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A Tribute to Basil Wolverton
Plain Truth Magazine
October-November 1979
Volume: Vol 44, No.9
Issue: ISSN 0032-0420
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A Tribute to Basil Wolverton
Herbert W Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Ordained: 1931
Office: Apostle

Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.

   How many of you will endure till the very end? Many have dropped off already. But Basil Wolverton endured through every trial and persecution to the very end!
   One day, about 1936, I received a neatly typed letter from artist Basil Wolverton.
   He had been very angry with me. He said he heard me on radio. What I said angered him, because it was so different from what he believed, yet he could not prove me wrong.
   He said he was determined to tune me in again, and the next time he felt sure he would be able to refute me. But, after listening in the second time, he was angered more than ever, but still unable to prove me false.
   He listened a third time. Same experience. This time he began checking what he heard on radio with his Bible. He, like I had some ten years before, became astounded to see in his own Bible truths diametrically opposite to what he had believed—and wanted to believe.
   I was quite impressed with his letter. My wife Loma and I visited him and his wife Honor in their almost new but comparatively small home in Vancouver, Washington. Immediately a warm friendship generated that never lapsed.
   Soon they were both baptized. As the weeks and months whisked by, a small church was raised up in Portland, and one in Vancouver. In due time Mr. Wolverton was ordained a local elder.
   After the headquarters of the Work was moved to Pasadena, problems developed in the small groups meeting every Sabbath in Portland and Vancouver. I think that for a time they all had to meet at one place, instead of the two neighboring cities. After the broadcasting and Plain Truth publishing grew to national scope, we ran into difficulties because there was no minister to deliver sermons at Portland and Vancouver.
   It was especially during these difficult years that Basil Wolverton's loyalty, dedication, and perseverance saved the church in that area. Mr. Wolverton was a nationally known artist—not a preacher. But he led those flocks, kept them together, and held Bible studies until we began graduating ministers from Ambassador College. Otherwise, those churches would have died before they really were started.
   Basil Wolverton became one of my lifetime close personal friends, as well as serving as elder in the Vancouver and Portland churches until Ambassador College graduated ministers. The churches grew—through the loyalty and continuous labors of Mr. Wolverton.
   After Ambassador College was well established, Mr. Wolverton wrote the only Bible story book for children that we have ever put out. It was written in his unique writing style, and profusely illustrated by his own style of art illustrations.
   This unique Bible Story, starting with Genesis 1, appeared for a long while month by month in The Plain Truth. Finally it was done into a Bible Story book.
   As a memorial tribute to Basil Wolverton, I am now ordering a new edition of The Bible Story book. I have not, at the moment, decided whether to publish it as a paperback cover book to be offered again gratis or to produce it as a high-quality hardbound book to be put on sale in bookstores throughout the English-speaking world. We might even produce hard-cover quality books in other languages, made available in bookstores throughout the world.
   It is entirely different from any other Bible story book ever produced. It relates the true story of the Bible beginning in Genesis 1. It is not a grouping of isolated Bible stories about certain disconnected events—but the continuous story flow of the Bible from Genesis 1 on—unlike any "Bible story book" ever printed.
   In this way, Basil Wolverton's talent and unique work will continue living on after him.
   I loved Basil very much—as did all who knew him. And the same is true of his lovely wife Honor, who also "endured to the end" in her loyalty to caring for Mr. Wolverton from the time of his first stroke until his death. Honor, too, will surely be "honored" in the Kingdom of God. I know Christ would have me pay tribute to Honor, a most gracious and charming and devoted wife to Basil through the years.

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Plain Truth MagazineOctober-November 1979Vol 44, No.9ISSN 0032-0420
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