GREETINGS once again from World Headquarters of God's Work at Pasadena. Mrs. Armstrong and I arrived here a week ago from England.
The 17th college year gets under way here today. But with only about half the number or new freshman students we accepted a year ago. And I want to tell you WHY. It is NOT because of any lack of applications. This year there were more applicants than ever before—618. But I had put a limit of only 70 on the Admissions Committee.
The reason is simply that we cannot increase our total student registration any larger UNTIL we can expand our facilities for handling them—build more buildings. We have outgrown our dining-hall facilities, and students cannot live and study here unless they can eat! We have outgrown our only assembly hall—a make-shift temporary one. We could not get all our students into it last year. We started out by holding our twice-weekly assemblies outdoors. When weather no longer permitted that, we managed to rent the use of a hall away from the campus.
Last March 25th, I wrote our Co-Workers that I was forthwith instituting a financial AUSTERE YEAR. It was NOT a program of reducing the onward march of God's Work—rather, every phase of this great Work (except this cut in student enrollment beginning today) has leaped on ahead this year at the same breath- taking pace—30% increase over the year before. For 30 years we have maintained that same rate of increase.
But a fast-growing WORK, now world-wide, demands also a rapidly-increasing financial income. Rapid growth always brings serious financial problems. We did not have adequate money reserves for such an operation.
We reached a point where that situation could continue NO LONGER. For the first time in the 30-year history of this Work, the opportunity was present to make certain reductions in expenditures WITHOUT slowing the growth or power of the Work. I had to seize that opportunity.
One reduction I made was to postpone the opening of the third Ambassador College in Texas for one year. Another was the decision to cut in half the number of new students who would be admitted at Pasadena beginning today.
I managed to cancel out a number of radio stations— several which were bringing a too-meagre response in requests for literature—which reduced expenses almost another $100,000 a year. I put efficiency men on special investigation of every department, and we managed to make a certain reduction in pay-roll, without harming the Work.
I am happy, now, to be able to report to you that we are making splendid progress. By next June 30th, end of our next fiscal year, we shall, if present progress is maintained, be able to present a financial statement that will reflect to any bank a condition of efficient and sound management of the business end of GOD'S WORK—the most important activity on earth today!
But let me repeat—the Work of GOD, proclaiming in mighty power world-wide the true original Gospel of Jesus Christ, and ministering to those precious children of God whom He gives us for our hire, CANNOT continue to grow, and to COMPLETE the Commission of Christ UNLESS THESE COLLEGES CONTINUE TO GROW. They train the dedicated and consecrated men and women who must carry on the active phases of this great Work.
And the colleges cannot grow unless facilities expand! They must have housing in which to live—dining halls in which to eat. We must provide more class-rooms, larger assembly-halls. There MUST be increased space in buildings for Administration, for the editing of The PLAIN TRUTH, for the opening of the thousands of letters received—for the printing of literature—for the mailing out of that literature.
In addition to expanding the broadcast outlets, with more and more radio stations, printing an increasing number of copies of The PLAIN TRUTH each year, printing a constantly increasing number of booklets—many hundreds of thousands —we have reached the place where construction of additional buildings is now a dire necessity!
Co-Workers, LISTEN TO THIS!
THIS IS MIGHTY SERIOUS! Not only have I been forced to curtail enrollment of new students to HALF for this year, starting today—but also, even now I have had to SET THE SAME LIMIT OF 70 NEW STUDENTS WHO CAN BE ADMITTED AT PASADENA ONE YEAR FROM NOW!
WHY? Simply because we have no place to FEED a larger number, until the new dining hall can be built! Because we have no auditorium large enough for a larger student body to assemble in! And it is not now possible to have either of these new buildings ready by one year from now!
We can suffer this reduction in new freshman students these two years, and then make up for lost time, without actually retarding the forward progress of the Work as a whole. BUT, we dare not let it happen a third year! If we should, then the WHOLE WORK would have to slow down and start going backward!
Late last winter we appointed a new firm of architects— one of the largest and most competent in the world. With them, we have now completed the new MASTER PLAN for the Ambassador College of the future here at Pasadena. It has had to involve the purchase of at least four vitally necessary additional blocks of property, beside several more smaller parcels. It involves a large addition to Ambassador Hall, to provide additional class rooms. It provides for the new dining hall, new auditorium, new Administration office building, a large addition to our Press Building (for printing, mail-receiving, reading, and letter-answering departments, mailing room, etc.). The college MUST have these facilities, or it cannot grow. But this is a five to seven year program.
We now have 400 students jammed into this outgrown campus. The new Master Plan is designed to accommodate 550. That will be the maximum enrollment we shall accept on the Pasadena campus.
Plans are proceeding rapidly for the Master Plan for the NEW Ambassador College campus for our 1,200-acre property in east Texas. We plan eventually to accept 550 students there. Plans, however, call for starting one year from now with only 65 students, and with NO new buildings. They will have to "rough it" with existing facilities the first year. We do not plan to begin actual construction of new buildings either at Pasadena or Texas for about another year.
The reason for this is simply that we do not have sufficient funds in the special Property and Building Fund to begin building operations sooner. And we shall not be able to start construction even then, UNLESS more of our Co-Workers will start making SPECIAL and EXTRA contributions to that special fund. The fund is growing—but it is growing TOO SLOWLY to allow the start of this direly-needed construction!
That is why I must STILL ask many more of you Co-Workers to send in a STATEMENT OF INTENTION, that we may know how much you will undertake to contribute monthly to this fund—that is, SPECIAL contributions IN ADDITION TO your tithes and regular contributions you have been sending in. THE REGULAR OFFERINGS MUST GO FOR OPERATIONAL EXPENSES FOR THE GOSPEL WORK. The new buildings must be built out of ADDITIONAL and special offerings, marked for that special PROPERTY FUND.
I hope, in the near future, to be able to show you the architects' sketched picture of the Pasadena campus now planned, in color.
Now, WHAT OF THE GOSPEL WORK?
The four baptizing teams, covering the United States and Canada, have just completed their summer tours. The living Jesus Christ has given us the BIGGEST HARVEST of precious lives for His Kingdom of any year so far. Several hundred were baptized.
But remember, we now have ordained ministers stationed at many points all over the United States, and they are constantly baptizing an increasing number throughout the year, every year—IN ADDITION to those reached on these special summer tours.
So, the harvest for the past year runs into THOUSANDS! And still they will baptize ONLY those they find to be fully repentant—who have turned around to go the other way—that is, GOD'S WAY—whose lives have been CHANGED—who have really made the unconditional SURRENDER to Almighty God!
We have had two baptizing teams touring the British Isles this summer, and one team through Germany and Austria—and in every place our Saviour and Leader Jesus Christ is granting the biggest harvest ever.
In every way, GOD'S GREAT WORK is growing, rapidly—and producing a constantly increasing SPIRITUAL HARVEST for God's Kingdom!
This great SPIRITUAL HARVEST is something that will shine in GLORY in the Kingdom of God FOREVER! It will never perish. It is ETERNAL INHERITANCE for many precious THOUSANDS of blood-bought, Spirit-begotten, Grace-bestowed children of GOD.
And THAT, dear Co-Workers, is what YOUR sacrifice and generosity with GOD'S MONEY has produced! THAT is what YOUR FERVENT AND PREVAILING PRAYERS are helping to bring about!
Of course it is not anything you or I have done—but GOD has produced all this in and through you and me, as instruments He is using—as fellow Co-Workers WITH the living JESUS CHRIST!
We must never slacken. A growing Work requires a growing income. I have to ask you to CONTINUE diligent in prevailing PRAYER—for me and for this Work—to continue to sacrifice—for more of you to send in statements of intention for SPECIAL contributions to the Property Fund—generous in regular offerings.