In the summer of 1938, as agreed, his support from Eerdmans ended and he returned home to Grand Rapids where he began work in a factory that made plywood hulls for P.T boats. During that time, in a dramatic turn, the young Merizon suddenly decided to enter the ministry. One night as he lay upstairs “two young ganders,” a cousin and friend, dropped by to pester Jasper Merizon, trying their best to chip away at the elder Merizon’s rock hard theology. As their talk drifted upstairs Armand listened intently while his father fielded their objections and drew a sketch of cosmic order based on his notion of orthodox reformed doctrine. As Armand described it in an interview with a family friend, Randall VanderMey: suddenly, he felt a strong surge, convincing him that what he was hearing from his father was the undeniable truth. Later when the house was quiet Armand came downstairs, trembling, to announce the news of his lightening conversion (VanderMey, 2012).
One of the most ironic things in my personal life was there was a short period when I was so confused on a religious versus art basis, that I had heard an argumentation in our own living room, a religious argumentation between my father and some male relatives, and I decided I was going to become a minister.
What possessed him? Sunday services had always seemed like house arrest; Mondays meant escape. Even Vesper George couldn’t sideline his vision to become an artist in his own right. Every job he had taken was subject to his singular goal to become a painter. How could he suddenly surrender it all to become a preacher? Clearly his swerve toward the ministry indicated that something had usurped his determination to paint.
In retrospect his turnabout seems more of a dramatic concession than a devout conversion. In the past his fight to remain an artist had countered the values of his religious community, heavy seas when he was longing for an anchor of credibility. So it was for a short time with exalted confidence he allowed himself to believe that by becoming a minister he could master all the forces working on him (VanderMey, 2012).