Beginnings

Historical Tombs of The Asylum

The Asylum @ Cornerstone Festival 1998 – 2012

The Asylum Ministries officially began as a place for the misfits among misfits to gather @ Cornerstone Music Festival in 1998.

Joe Kopnick began The Asylum at Cornerstone Festival in 1998 as a place for those who were a part of the xnet goth webring to meet in person in the physical world for the first time. It did not take long for the Rose Kurkzab and Zoe Karraker to grow the Asylum into something so much more though – A Refuge for Misfits and Oddballs of many shapes and sizes… Over the years, the Asylum has taken many forms and even now CONTINUES to change shape and form daily.

Starting in 2007 The Asylum began a ministry relationship with Loyal Thurman and his ministry, Hope for the Rejected (Now Renamed to Unified Underground). Some of you may remember Loyal coming into the Asylum that year and participating in the Goth Makeovers we were doing to raise money for the ministry. Since the very first Unified Underground Conference in 2007, Asylum has participated in the conferences ranging from prayer support, promotion, consulting, and even speaking at the conference itself. For a few years, our 501(c)3 status and faith covering was even through Hope for the Rejected (now renamed as Unified Underground).

In some regards, we are currently a year round, event-based ministry focused on the Goth and related Sub-Culture(s) with passion and vision for Reaching Lost Souls. In 2008 Benjamin Rau and Elizabeth Thompson were asked to take over leadership of the Asylum’s prayer team/ministry. While at this time we were little more than a prayer by EMAIL NEWSLETTER, over time we would add Facebook, Skype, Cell Phones, and whatever other technology we could adapt to our use to establish what has become an international, multi-media prayer network. At times this has meant periodic prayer groups and at others it has meant 24/7 prayer meetings all in support of The Asylum, her ministers, and her people.

Following Cornerstone 2010, the Asylum leadership team prayerfully named The New Generation of Leaders: Bill and KJ Fanum and Benjamin and Elizabeth Rau. One of the first things we did as a team was to answer the question for ourselves: “What would you do… if all expenses were paid, and money was no object… what would you do with the Asylum?” every one of the 4 of us had the exact same answer: “Pack it up and take The Asylum on the road… become a full-time, traveling, tent ministry.” This has become the dream at the center of all we do and all we strive for as a team, a ministry, and a family. This dream has turned into a driving passion for Biblically grounded and driven Revival and Deliverance… Just imagine: Old school revival tents intertwined with carnivals and gypsy caravans… Cities of tents as far as the eyes can see; and all of them gathered for the sole purpose of glorifying The Lord: our Power, our Savior, and our Messiah!

One of the Steps we took toward this end was to team up with Nailed to the Cross’ Christopher Middendorf and Quincy Faith in Action’s Patrick Mike Quigley. What this partnership gave the Asylum is use of QFIA’s 501(c)3 status, accountability, and a spiritual/faith covering that would anoint and watch over us when we were out in the field doing ministry.  As these first actions were made, the proverbial ball began to roll and this is where the first strides of our prayer network’s growth began.

Our first years as the Leadership of the Asylum we completely dedicated ourselves and our ministry to prayer, worship, revival, and deliverance.  We have hosted Holiday Celebrations Such as a Passover Seder at First Church of the Living Dead and The Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group’s Spring Training Weekend; we have been part of Worship on All Hallows Eve at Wheatland Salem United Methodist Church; we have participated in prayer walks through State and Renaissance Fairs; and we have partnered with Cave of Adullam in an assortment of local activities. In Addition to Cornerstone Music Festival and the Unified Underground Ministry Conference, the Asylum has also been part of gatherings at Ichthus Music Festival, Anvil Music Festival, and First Church of the Living Dead… and many others…

By 2012, when the LAST Cornerstone Festival came around, we were not only a recognized and important part of the Festival; but we were the first party involved in what would eventually become known as AudioFeed Music Festival (It was our idea) which is looking toward its 7th year of Festivities this year (2019 now; where does the time go?!). You see, as Goths, we looked for the beauty in this death as we do in so many other deaths and sought to be part of the new life that the LORD was going to begin. 

Although, like our prayer network, our ministry network also spans the entire globe and is ever evolving and growing to adapt to where and how the LORD is leading us…

This is only the beginning of our Story… So stay tuned while we take the time to update our web pages with what The Lord has been doing over the last several years…

The Asylum Ministries & The Unified Underground 2007-2010

Starting in 2007 The Asylum began a ministry relationship with Loyal Thurman and his ministry, Hope for the Rejected (Now Renamed to Unified Underground). Some of you may remember Loyal coming into the Asylum that year and participating in the Goth Makeovers we were doing to raise money for the ministry. Since the very first Unified Underground Conference in 2007, Asylum has participated in the conferences ranging from prayer support, promotion, consulting, and even speaking at the conference itself.  For a few years, our 501(c)3 status and faith covering was even through Hope for the Rejected (now renamed as Unified Underground).

In January of 2014, The Asylum began speaking with Unified Underground and Youth for Christ about joining their respective missions after we were once again turned down by our prior faith covering…  over the course of 9 months, these discussions met an impasse as The Asylum and Christian Goths in general do not budge on issues of questioning the standards in play – that is we will question them and we will rip them apart to make sure that they are Biblical and that they are Honorable and that they are Just.  While Loyal Thurman (Unified Underground) was more than willing to work with us on these issues, Youth for Christ was not; and we parted ways amicably and at peace….

 The Asylum @ AudioFeed Music Festival 2012 – 2019

As the first party involved in what would eventually become known as AudioFeed Music Festival which gave rise to the needs that inspired the creation of Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group… as Goths, we looked for the beauty in the death of CornerStone Music Festival and sought to be part of the new life that The Lord was going to begin in and all around us… even if we are the only ones (and we aren’t!) 

By 2012, when the LAST Cornerstone Festival came around, we were not only a recognized and important part of the Festival; but we were the first party involved in what would eventually become known as AudioFeed Music Festival (It was our idea!) which is looking toward its 7th year of Festivities this year (2019 now; where does the time go?!). You see, as Goths, we looked for the beauty in this death as we do in so many other deaths and sought to be part of the new life that the LORD was going to begin.

In faith, The Asylum as a team and as a family dedicated ourselves in the Spring of 2012 to make something happen in July 2013 over 4th of July Weekend, even if it meant we would be the only ones present in the middle of a corn field… The first people to give us support and encouragement for this idea was “Mamma” Linda Olson who agreed to let the “Goths” take over her farm house for the week and Richard Anthony Drake who has provided much/most of the art The Asylum has used over the last decade.  Mamma Linda’s farmhouse, built in the 1800s and was a part of the Historic Underground Railroad, and it was going to be transformed into a Goth Mansion at the center of something brand new: we were going to hang fabric, light candles, and drink an obscene amount of caffeinated beverages while enjoying fellowship, food, family, and good discussion over our 4th of July Family Reunion and Homecoming.  By the time Cornerstone Festival 2012 actually happened Mamma Linda had it on her heart to commit to another year of her annual Screaming Hog Pig Roast and one by one bands and individuals and stages came to us, wanting to be part of whatever was going to happen at Mama Linda’s farmhouse over 4th of July in 2013…  Groups like: Occupy Cornerstone Festival and FlatFoot56 who were responsible for much of the crowds that showed up the first couple of years.  Or The Black Sheep, a Hardcore Music Venue in Springfield, IL that became the “Main Stage” of AudioFeed….  The Arkansaw Stage; yes, the one and the same from Cornerstone Festival’s “Generator Stage Row” and The Anchor Church who also ran a Tent/Stage at Cornerstone Music Festival…  Probably some of the most well known folks who become the AudioFeed Administration and the real faces and people behind what AudioFeed has become and continues to evolve into are Jim and Jennifer Eisenmenger of The Front Porch which has become AudioFeed’s very own Impromptu Stage. 

And this is only the beginning of our Story; AudioFeed’s creation took The Asylum out of the geographical purview of her faith covering: Quincy Faith in Action, and the need for something brand new arose – this was the beginning of The Lord’s movings and our inspiration in creating what would become Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group: a ministerial/faith covering founded by The Asylum Ministries for the benefit of all those in any form of Subculture Ministry.  The Lord is opening doors all around us – the well is anything but dry here in this land; and opportunity favors the bold and creative who endeavor with persistence and perseverance…  
There are many who are getting confused currently as The Asylum is going through a transition to part from the Faith and 501(c)3 covering of KMMG – we are transitioning from the founding member ministry to a partner ministry realtionship in order to allow both groups to better pursue all that The Lord has laid down for them in mission, vision, and long term goals.  Please keep The Asylum, KMMG, and AudioFeed in prayer regardless of what paths any of us may be traveling on.

The Asylum Ministries & Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group (KMMG)

In 2012 when The Asylum’s involvement with Road Dogs Cafe and the movements that became AudioFeed Music Festival in 2013, we were moving outside of a geographical region that our Faith Covering, Quincy Faith in Action restricted their operations in by way of their bylaws.  Rather than continue to work with us and change their bylaws, they wished us well and gave us their blessing in seeking out new opportunities… 

In January of 2014, The Asylum began speaking with Unified Underground and Youth for Christ about joining their respective missions after we were once again turned down by our prior faith covering…  over the course of 9 months, these discussions met an impasse as The Asylum and Christian Goths in general do not budge on issues of questioning the standards in play – that is we will question them and we will rip them apart to make sure that they are Biblical and that they are Honorable and that they are Just.  While Loyal Thurman (Unified Underground) was more than willing to work with us on these issues, Youth for Christ was not; and we parted ways amicably and at peace…. 

Exactly 9 months from the point in 2014 where Patric Quigley reiterated to us that neither he nor QFIA had any desire to move forward with The Asylum in its growing mission field to the point where our impasse with Youth for Christ was met.  At this point Patrick Quigley calls us up out of the blue and tells us that The Lord has laid it on his heart exactly as we talked about 9 months ago and that he wanted to figure out what that might look like and work with us toward that end.

All founding board members in the founding and incorporation of KMMG came by way of The Asylum Ministries in late 2014 when we began compiling and submitting our paperwork.  While there are claims that QFIA led the charge or merged with The Asylum, at that time QFIA was already becoming defunct and dissolving; and Patrick Quigley was the one and only member of QFIA to join a pool of Asylum Members in building what would become Kodesh Mishkan Ministry Group.  We took Patrick Quigley’s suggestion to use an “Orthodox Structure” as a template for the extensive para-church network that we were building and envisioning. Kodesh Mishkan is not now nor has it ever been Orthodox Christian; KMMG, like The Asylum has members from the full spectrum of Christianity and Judaism, but our structure, because everyone needs a structure, was modeled after the Greek Orthodox for official activities and proceedings sponsored and organized by the KMMG Presbytery.  Kodesh Mishkan had its beginnings with The Asylum, in a simple music festival tent at Cornerstone Music Festival – and even before that in an online goth community decided they wanted to meet somewhere in the real world face to face – that being a family online wasn’t enough, and they needed a home.

Since July 2010 when Benjamin and Elizabeth Rau and Bill and Kari Jo Fanum were installed by Rose Kurkzab and Zoe Karraker, Asylum Ministries dedicated itself to worship in daily life as well as at our annual events…  our long term goals of full time subculture ministry, taking The Asylum on the road toward whatever end The Lord planned for us, and Biblically solid and grounded revival of the world we live in …

Why Kodesh Mishkan? The phrase comes from Scripture and it literally means “Holy Tent” and is the phrase used for the Tabernacle in the Old Testament; and the suggestion was a group effort by Richard Anthony Drake and Benjamin Rau and agreed upon by the founding presbytery members of the new ministry.  We wanted this name to be a constant reminder to all who saw it, thought of it, said it that what we are doing began in a “tent” a simple tent serving disenfranchised people at a Music Festival just like His Tabernacle was meant to serve a newly freed people who have only known slavery and establish them in His ways as a people to herald His kingdom to the world.

Why 2014?  Well this was the last year of what was then Unified Underground, a Subculture Ministry Conference – probably the only of its kind.  We saw a need; and said that just because they are no longer able to build up and lift up sub culture ministers, does not mean that the need is no longer there; and nobody else is stepping up…   just because we couldn’t work out a professional symbiotic relationship, does not mean we didn’t share a burden for the work at hand. KMMG was just as much about building up these disenfranchised ministers as it was establishing a backbone of holiness and worship in the underground as a foundation for all ministry worldwide to find common ground…

Now, in 2019, The Asylum is leaving KMMG behind to begin a new chapter of our ministry.  Some might wonder why it is that The Asylum is now separating from Kodesh Mishkan; and there is much rumor and speculation about just that.  In short: 1) there are too many stylistic differences between what The Asylum is (and always has been) and what KMMG has become, 2) we are returning to the original mission and vision we had in building KMMG to pursue something(s) new, and 3) The Asylum’s focus has always been on the underground while KMMG is focusing much more on Emergency Chaplaincy Services.  We want to make this ABUNDANTLY CLEAR; The Asylum and KMMG are parting on GOOD TERMS; and leadership on both sides are in conversations to seek out places where we will be able to demonstrate our continued cooperation and partnership as our ministries and relationships with each other continue to evolve and grow. We ask all parties who have been affected in some way by all of this be it good, bad, ugly, or indifferent to lift all that has happened up to The Lord and pray with us and for us that His will be done through us and with us and all around us while we still remain here on this Earth in His name…  above all else, pray…

The Asylum’s New Chapter

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