In 1996, LaVere and his wife Elizabeth Soper, together with Patrick Kelly Dobbins were made “Trustees of Crossbasket.” From what I’ve learned, the couple’s heart was certainly in the right place, passionate about their missionary work, passionate to help others and determined to make Crossbasket a successful mission. They worked hard and formed the “Mission of Compassion” as part of Latter Rain Ministries. They openly invited people along who were curious about God.
According to people who stayed there, Elizabeth preferred to be known as “Beth”. In her own words, “she would never have dreamed she would have left America to live as missionaries in Europe.”
Born in the 1940’s LaVere attended Garden County High School and had been a minister since 1966. American born, After receiving his college degree from Bartlesville Wesleyan University in Oklahoma, LaVere Soper began his pastoral ministry in the Wesleyan Church in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where he pastored for two years.
1973– LaVere received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and left that denomination.
1977– God gave LaVerea vision of the end time harvest that would take place as recorded by the prophet Joel. In this vision he saw the end time, and the rain of the Holy Spirit that was about to begin on the earth, which would begin the final end time harvest. At that time he set up a ministry called Latter Rain Ministries – which, in 1999 became “Mission of Compassion.”
1984– LaVere maintained that it was God who spoke to him in saying he was to go to a “Castle in Scotland” to progress the work of the Lord. This message was rightly taken very seriously by LaVere, who uprooted from his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA and moved to Glasgow, then shortly after, to High Blantyre at Crossbasket. Little is known about Patrick Kelly Dobbins, the other member of the trustees.
1985– They moved to Crossbasket, at the time owned by Rev Cochrane.
1990s– Around the mid 1990’s, it is known there were allotments or small gardens in the grounds for vegetables, grown by the residents of the Castle. It was their good attempt at self sufficiency. A man called David Beggan was the worship and youth leader.
Despite working hard to maintain the Castle, during the latter part of the 1990’s, renovation work was minimal, and although great effort was put into heating the place and keeping it watertight, it was a losing battle. I can recall conversations with my own family around this time usually around “what a shame it was that Crossbasket was looking very tired.”
Latter Rain Ministries leave Crossbasket
2004– LaVere Soper and his wife Beth, stating in one of their newsletters that they had been guided by God, decided to leave Crossbasket and pursue missionary work elsewhere including in Eastern Europe. A year later they were back in Scotland and known to have set up in Motherwell. Speaking of that 2005 move, LaVere said almost with a tone of relief, “One of our major tasks this year has been to relocate into a new home and ministry offices. That relocation has been accomplished and we praise God for our new headquarters. They are not quite as dramatic as a castle, but they are 500 hundred years more modern!
His words in the September 2004 spoke of him ‘selling the castle’. However, what he meant presumably is that the ‘Trustees of Crossbasket’, of which he was one of them, intended to sell the castle. LaVere, again speaking in one of his latter newsletters about the subsequent sale of the castle, is quoted saying “The Lord was right when he said that the wind of spirit blows where it wants to and you don’t know where it came from and don’t know where it is going.”
During the writing of this book, I found it difficult to get in contact with the Sopers and only last year managed to get hold of them. As such, there is certainly much more to their story and those people who touched their lives.
An extract from “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul Veverka (c) 2015