GREETINGS, in Jesus' name! I am sending you this vitally important SPECIAL LETTER with important announcements and instructions about the coming PASSOVER and Days of Unleavened Bread!
Full eight day services will be held in more places than ever before this year, and Passover Services will be held in newly established Churches—so, even though this letter will have to be lengthy—be sure you read every word!
This year, the Passover comes on the date of March 31. This corresponds to the 14th of Nisan (or Abib) in the Sacred Calendar. (If you do not yet have one of the Sacred Calendars for this current year, be sure to write in for one immediately.) However, you must remember that the days begin the previous sunset! This means that the actual Passover Service will be on Thursday evening, March 30. Be SURE you remember this date—even writing it down, placing it in your wallet, or carrying this letter on your person. PASSOVER on Thursday evening, March 30, 1961. The FEAST—the "night to be much remembered," which is the beginning of the 15th of Nisan, begins the very next evening, or the night of March 31. This will be a double Sabbath. This year, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is an annual Holy Day, corresponds exactly to the weekly Sabbath of April 1. However, since the days begin at sunset this means that sunset on the 31st of March, Friday, commemorates the beginning of this Feast.
The Days of Unleavened Bread continue through Friday, the 7th of April, and will be immediately followed by another weekly Sabbath, April 8. This means we will actually have nine days of services, since the last annual Holy Day will not be over until sunset on Friday the 7th, and the weekly Sabbath immediately begins!
And here's a SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! Mrs. Armstrong and I are overjoyed to tell you we are going to be at the Headquarters Church, in Pasadena, for the very first Passover since 1951! We fully expect the greatest attendance in the history of the Head- quarters Church for this age!
The beautiful and imposing Pasadena Civic Auditorium has been secured for the Friday, Sabbath and Sunday services. However, Passover Services will be held at the Shakespeare Club.
This will truly be the greatest Passover season in the history of God's Church since apostolic days! I hope as many as possible of you can be here to share it with us! I want to urge all you brethren from Arizona, Nevada, perhaps parts of New Mexico and most of California to make every effort to be here for this wonderful Feast with us!
Do you fully understand the TREMENDOUS significance of this commanded Feast of God? This is the most solemn spiritual Feast of the year—the beginning of God's Sacred Year, picturing the very BEGINNING of the plan of salvation! The Passover is the beautiful and solemn picture of the redemption of all mankind through the shed blood of Jesus Christ our Saviour! By partaking of the symbols which Jesus Himself instituted, we commemorate, at the Bible COMMANDS, His DEATH! Then, during the Feast Days of Unleavened Bread, we put all leaven completely out of our homes, picturing the putting out of sin from our lives.
It is a vital and necessary part of the growth of every one of God's people that he partakes of these annual Feast Days— acting out the very PLAN of God that He is working out here below! To MISS taking part in these Feast Days through sheer negligence, through carelessness, or mere "forgetfulness" is a very serious SIN! Perhaps only a small, minute FEW have done this—but some have! Brethren, it is frankly inconceivable to me, as the servant and minister of God, that some of the very PEOPLE of God—calling themselves "Christian" could actually use as an excuse, that they "forgot" the date for the Passover! How COULD a person actually "FORGET" the very date commemorating the time when Jesus Christ shed His blood and gave His very LIFE in sacrifice for YOU!
As you read in a recent article in The GOOD NEWS magazine, God is truly BLESSING His Church! And now—no matter where you may live in the nation—there will be Passover Services held within, at the most, a few hundred miles from your home! There may be a very few exceptions to this, of course, but only a few. Several of our local Churches will be holding services for the full eight days!
My son, Garner Ted and his family, will be at the big Tabernacle near Big Sandy, Texas, again this year, Mr. Norman Smith, ordained evangelist in God's Church, and director of our radio studios, together with Mr. Ken Swisher, pastor of the local Church at Gladewater, will be assisting. Also, perhaps other ministers from Texas and surrounding areas will be at the big Tabernacle for part of the Feast.
Mrs. Armstrong and I will fly from Pasadena during the middle part of the Days of Unleavened Bread and will be able to spend, God willing, the last few days with all you brethren at the big Tabernacle near Big Sandy! Be sure to plan to stay the entire eight days! Remember, we have ample facilities on the grounds and in the surrounding area for all who would care to attend for the entire time!
Mrs. Armstrong and I will have to go directly to New York from the Tabernacle in Texas, and then go over to England to be with the new college there. In this way, we can be with the brethren of God's Church in the two biggest congregations during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
And now, here are the detailed plans for all of our local Church areas:
(and all Churches in the local area—San Diego, Redlands, Temple City, Sherman Oaks, Long Beach, Los Angeles and the south Fresno area.)
PASSOVER: Services will be held at the Shakespeare Club beginning promptly at 7:30 P.M. Thursday evening, March 30th. Since all the Churches in the local area will be attending, it will be crowded. However, if everyone will be patient and follow the directions of the Deacons and their assistants, we should have no difficulty. Remember, God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33) and His Spirit in us should guide us in being orderly in everything.
Towels and pans will be available for all. No one need bring them to the Passover Service in Pasadena.
FRIDAY March 31: There will be morning services only in the Civic Auditorium on Friday—to permit ample time to prepare food for the Feast and the noon meal on the following double Sabbath. Although Friday is not a Holy Day, nor one of the Days of Unleavened Bread, many who have come for the Passover the previous evening will be able to attend this service.
FRIDAY EVENING FEAST: This is the "Night to be much remembered." The Feast will also be held at Ambassador College Campus with about a five minute introduction and prayer for the meal at the Tempietto in the lower garden. Be sure to dress warmly or bring sufficient wraps so that the coolness of the evening will not cause anyone to take cold.
SABBATH AND SUNDAY: Morning and afternoon services will be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Between the services a potluck lunch will be served at the Ambassador College Campus on the tennis courts. Tables and chairs will be available for most of the people on the tennis courts and in the lower gardens. There are also many other places to sit and eat around the campus.
FRIDAY April 7: This is the last Feast Day or Sabbath of the Days of Unleavened Bread. Services will be held in the local Churches. Unless otherwise announced, Pasadena will meet at the Shakespeare Club. Long Beach and Los Angeles Churches will meet in Gardena for all day meetings and noon Feasts both Friday and Sabbath.
FOOD: It is suggested that every family bring covered dishes of food for all the Feasts, unless that is not possible because of distance. Those who come too far to bring prepared foods, items of fruit or other staples or beverages may be purchased in advance. Local people in the Los Angeles area are encouraged to bring extra amounts for each Feast.
DIRECTIONS TO LOCATE HALLS AND CAMPUS: A detailed map is enclosed to facilitate locating the various places of meeting.
PASSOVER Services will begin promptly at 7:30 P.M. in the big Tabernacle. The next morning, there will be a service in the Tabernacle beginning at 10:00 A.M. That evening will begin the Days of Unleavened Bread with the joyous Feast on the "Night to be much remembered." Services on this evening will begin in the big Tabernacle at 7:30 P.M. This will be a short service to be followed by the Feast in the Dining Hall or old Tabernacle Building.
Facilities: Do not plan to bring tents for this Spring Feast! While God will surely give us good weather for the Feast, the recent bitter weather throughout the South
brought ice, snow, rain and cold to our grounds in Big Sandy—and we may have colder than usual temperatures. There are ample motels, hotels, and apartments in and near Gladewater, Big Sandy, Greggton and Longview for all.
There will be ample house-trailer space on our own grounds—and those desiring to stay in one of the metal booths on the grounds may do so. Very few requests have come in as yet for the booths—so, should you desire to utilize one of them, you may be sure of accommodation. However, these booths are not heated, unless some type of
portable heater or stove is brought, which is entirely safe around children, and would not cause a possible fire hazard.
Meals will be served, as usual, at cost, in the dining hall. The charge is 75› for adults, 40› for children from 6 to 12 years of age, and no charge for children under 6.
Booths may be occupied for the entire time of your stay for a donation to the building fund of $55.00 for a large booth, or $40.00 for one of the smaller ones.
DIRECTIONS FOR FINDING THE TABERNACLE: For those of you who have not yet attended one of the Feasts at the Tabernacle, the following information is given: The grounds are just off Highway #80, about 9 miles west of Gladewater, Texas, and 2 miles east of Big Sandy. Gladewater is a little over 100 miles east of Dallas, toward Shreveport, La. You won't be able to miss the huge steel Tabernacle Building, which rears up above the surrounding landscape, dominating the scene for miles. Turn in at the sign, through the brick entrance way, and drive straight to the Registration Booth, where you will receive a sticker for your car.
Those of you who come by train or bus can get taxi service at Gladewater, and at Big Sandy. It would be more advisable to go to your place you have reserved first, get settled, and then go to the Tabernacle Grounds.
OTHER LOCAL CHURCH AREAS:
Services to be conducted by Mr. Wayne Cole and Mr. Carlton Smith. All services will be held in the Diplomat Hotel, 108 West 43rd Street. Passover and the Feast night will be held in the Crystal Room, 7:30 P.M. All day meetings will be conducted April 1, 2 and 7 at 10:00 A.M. and 2:30 P.M. Evening services will be held April 3-6 at 7:30 P.M. All services other than the Passover and Feast night will be held in the Palm Room of the Diplomat Hotel.
Passover ONLY to be held in IOOF Hall, 277 Mills Street at 7:30 P.M. Mr. R. W. Hoops officiating. The rest of the Feast to be held in Pittsburgh.
Mr. Bill McDowell will conduct all services at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Hall, Fifth Avenue and Bigelow. Passover and the Feast night at 7:30 P.M. All day services April 1, 2, 7 and 8 beginning at 10:00 A.M.
Mr. Raymond Cole and Mr. Dean Blackwell will conduct the services. The Passover and Feast night will be held at 7:30 P.M. All special Feast Days plus the weekly Sabbath, April 8, will be held in the Logan Square Masonic Temple, 2451 North Kedzie Boulevard. The all-day services will commence at 10:00 A.M., April 2-6; afternoon and evening services (time to be announced) will be held at the regular meeting place, Wozniak's Lounge and Halls, 2530 Blue Island Avenue.
Mr. Hal Baird will conduct all services in the American Legion Post #103, 3212 Sutton Avenue, Maplewood (St. Louis), Missouri. Passover and the Feast night will be held at 7:30 P.M. All day services on both the annual Sabbaths will be held at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.
All services will be conducted at the American Legion Home. Passover will be at 7:30 P.M. with the Feast night, March 31, also at 7:30 P.M. The two annual Sabbaths and the weekly Sabbath, April 8, will be all-day meetings with services at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. conducted by Mr. Bryce Clark.
Passover Services will be held at 7:30 P.M. at the 20th Century Club, 536 North Broadway. Feast night will be observed at 7:30 P.M. at the March Y.M.C.A. Auditorium, 402 North Market. Both annual Sabbaths plus the weekly Sabbath, April 8, will be all-day meetings beginning at 10:00 A.M. and 2:30 P.M. at the 20th Century Club. Mr. Allen Manteufel will conduct all services.
The Dallas Church and those in the vicinity will go to the Tabernacle at Big Sandy.
Passover Services will be held at the American Legion Hall, 1610 Chenevert Street, beginning at 7:30 P.M. The night of the Feast will also be held at 7:30 P.M. There will be all-day services, 10:00 A.M. and 2:30 P.M. on the annual Sabbath, April 1, only. The last Holy Day and weekly Sabbath, April 7 and 8, there will be no services in Houston. These days will be observed at the Tabernacle in Big Sandy, Texas. Mr. Richard Prince will be officiating.
Mr. David Antion will conduct all services at the American Legion Hall in Chandler, Oklahoma. Passover and Feast night services will be at 7:30 P.M. All-day services will be held on both annual Sabbaths plus the weekly Sabbath, April 8, commencing at 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M.
CORPUS CHRISTI-SAN ANTONIO:
Services will be held all day on both annual Sabbaths plus the weekly Sabbath, April 8. Passover and the Feast night will be conducted at 7:30 P.M. The all-day meetings will begin at 10:00 A.M. and again at 2:30 P.M. All services will be conducted by Mr. Roger Foster at the Assembly Hall at the Fair Grounds in Beeville, Texas. Follow Corpus Christi Street west from Highway 181 to Quinn Street, left on Quinn one block and then left again one-half block.
Services will be conducted by Mr. Herman Hoeh and Mr. Burk McNair at the Victory Grange Hall. From Denver, take Highway 40 (Colfax Avenue) east to KOA Radio transmitting towers, turn left (north) and go one-quarter mile. Plates, cups and napkins will be provided locally. Passover and Feast night services will begin at 7:30 P.M. Morning services will be held each day at 10:00 A.M. with either afternoon or evening services which will be announced.
Services at 7:30 P.M. for Passover and Feast night with a Friday morning service March 31 at 10:00 A.M. All-day meetings will be held April l and 2 and again April 7 and 8. All morning services will be held at 10:00 A.M. with the afternoon services at 2:30 P.M. All services will be held at the IOOF Hall, 9th and "K" Streets on the third floor with the exception of the Passover services which will be held in the basement. Mr. Ron Kelly will officiate, assisted by Mr. Les McCullough.
The first four meetings will be held in the Neighbor's of Woodcraft Building, 1410 S.W. Morrison Street. All services will be conducted by Mr. A. J. Portune, from the Headquarters Church, and Mr. Dale Hampton, the local minister. Passover and the Feast night will be held at 7:30 P.M. All-day meetings commencing at 10:00 A.M. and 2:30 P.M. will be held April 1 and 2 in the same building. Beginning April 3 through the 8th, the meetings will be conducted at the regular meeting place, the Washington Masonic Lodge #46, 722 E. Burnside. A potluck lunch will also be served on these days with the services starting at 10:00 A.M. and 2:30 P.M.
All services will be held at the Norselander Hall, 300 Third Avenue West. Passover and the Feast night will be held at 7:30 P.M. The annual Sabbaths will be conducted in the same hall with services commencing at 10:00 A.M. Mr. Jimmy Friddle will be in charge.
Brethren—it is a vital PART of your Christian life that you ATTEND THESE FEASTS! They are to keep you constantly in remembrance of God's great PLAN He is working out here below, showing the great PRICE that was paid in our stead—the life and body of Jesus Christ Himself—that our sins might be forgiven, and that we might receive physical healing when we're sick! It is a time of solemn SEARCHING of the self—and also a time of real spiritual REJOICING! Your very life depends on it!
And so PLAN to come! Make EVERY effort to be there! If there are circumstances which are real, and are not just carnal "excuses" or lack of real spiritual ZEAL—then your Heavenly Father surely understands—but if you simply don't attend, when you ARE ABLE—God will hold you accountable.
Remember, only those who have completely REPENTED of their past sins, who have been CONQUERED of God, given themselves to Him in unconditional surrender, should partake of these symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. THIS IS NOT THE TIME OR THE PLACE TO BRING UNCONVERTED FRIENDS OR RELATIVES! THIS IS NOT an "evangelistic" service for the world—but a solemn occasion FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD ONLY!
All brethren should remember the seriousness and solemnity of the Passover. If arriving from a distance and seeing old friends and other brethren—do not visit, or engage in anything more than a quiet, brief greeting on the night of Passover. Put it off until the following day, or the night of the FEAST—a more appropriate time for visiting and fellowship.
Finally—REMEMBER to be extremely careful! As God's minister I call upon all of you to PRAY for each other's safety. I'm going to pray for YOU—and I want you to pray for ME, and all of God's people. It seems, each year, we must be saddened to hear of some accident, or mishap to one or two. DON"T LET IT HAPPEN THIS SPRING!
Some have perhaps assumed that nothing can happen to God's people—that God will supernaturally intervene, no matter HOW CARELESS WE GET! That is NOT true. It will be a terrible thing if I am forced to announce that any of God's own called ones have been injured or killed in a car wreck!
In closing—PLAN TO COME! You can't afford not to. Let's all rejoice in this Holy Day season—and GROW in grace and knowledge, spiritual ZEAL and strength, and in love of the brethren!