|Autobiography of Herbert W Armstrong - Volume II
June 29, 1959 — May 22, 1963Dear Co-Workers with Christ: We spent a very busy ten days in London. We planned for having the British and overseas edition of The Plain Truth printed hereafter in London. Until now we have shipped the printed copies by air freight ....
Monte Carlo June 29, 1959
Also plans were made for establishing a second Ambassador College in Britain, beginning September next year, 1960. God opened to us one of England's fine, spacious country estates. Until the owner died a year ago, this was the home of one of England's wealthiest titled ladies — Lady Yule. It is one of the most recently built of such estates — built in 1924, and in superb condition. Originally this estate comprised over 800 acres. When wealthy titled people die in Britain today, the inheritance taxes take almost everything, and their heirs (Lady Yule left no children) are forced to sell the property in order to pay the taxes. In this case, the estate has been subdivided into many smaller farms, and most of it sold, except for the fine big mansion, with its eight acres of beautifully landscaped lawns, rose gardens, etc., and a two-acre plot containing brick housing units for the former employed staff, the fine brick stables, garages, etc. These will make student housing, as also will servants' quarters in one large wing of the mansion. They had no difficulty selling off small farm plots, and even near-by guest cottages. But in England today nobody could buy such a mansion to live in, and it could only be sold for a college, hospital, or some such institution. The result was, having been unable to sell it in a whole year, the price was reduced to a small fraction of what it cost to build. We obtained it for less than we paid for any of our college buildings in Pasadena, though this is larger than any of them, and even finer than any except Ambassador Hall. It came to us with a small payment now, a large part of which was paid by our British Co-Workers, and except for small payments which I think British Co-Workers can fully pay, no more to be paid for a year, when we establish the college. This also provides adequate office space for our fast-expanding London office. Our London office manager told me the saving in office rent will more than pay for this fine property.
Thus God has providentially opened to us a superb, magnificently landscaped ten-acre college campus, only five miles from the edge of London, walking distance from suburban train, with a fine, stately, thirty-three-room college building, with ample class rooms, and offices and mailing rooms — and without putting any financial burden on our United States and worldwide work from Pasadena headquarters!
Co-Workers, the way God continues to bless His Work and to lead the way just fills me with awe, with gratitude, and almost chokes me with emotion! Constantly Christ shows us that He is in this great Work — guiding it — blessing it! What a privilege for us to have a part in it — to be co-workers with Christ Himself!
I hope it fills your heart with joy and thanksgiving, too, as it does mine — and inspires you to pray harder for this great work — to sacrifice more so you can give more if you have not already done that, as I know many of you have — but far from all!
I am typing this letter in Monte Carlo, and will airmail it to Pasadena, where it will be reprinted and mailed on to you! I hope to be back home before you receive this, or a day or so after.
New York, November 4, 1960Dear Friend:
I have just completed my first trip around the world! I have thrilling and important news for you. I have come up to the offices of our New York advertising agency to type this letter to you, during a stopover of a few hours between planes. I must fly on across the Atlantic Ocean again tonight, arriving at London airport tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. Mrs. Armstrong is there, and I expect her to meet me at the airport.
Our New York advertising agency is responsible for opening up time for The World Tomorrow on overseas radio stations outside the United States, around the world. Constantly more and more powerful stations are opening their doors for broadcasting the World Tomorrow message on five continents around the world.
I have had to be in England most of the time since June, preparing for the opening of the second Ambassador College. The founding and starting of a new college is a gigantic task. It seems a thousand and one things have to be thought of, planned provided, put into operation. The new college did open on schedule October 14.
Developments on the other side of the world, in Australia, made necessary a hurriedly planned flight to Sydney, Australia. The president of our New York advertising agency flew to London, where I joined him, and together we flew on to Sydney, and then on around the world — all in something like two and a half days' actual flying time! ...
I was very much surprised, recently, to learn that only a very small percentage of all people have ever flown in an airplane. I used to say that I would never fly unless I absolutely had to, in God's Work — and then I would trust God to protect me. The time finally came when, nineteen years ago, I had to fly from Seattle to Portland. I had broadcast the program on Sunday morning from the studios of a Seattle station, and had to be in the studios of the Portland station for the broadcast a very few hours later. The only way I could get there on time was to fly.
Half-way along that first flight of mine, the captain came through the cabin, speaking very quietly in the ear of each passenger the tremendous news he had just heard over the plane's radio that the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor — the United States was at war! That, of course, was Sunday, December 7, 1941. You can understand why I shall never forget my first flight in the air! ...
I have had to do a great deal of flying these past nineteen years. These big 707 jets have been in service only about two years, and already I have lost track of the number of times I have flown on them. But this was my first trip around the world — and the first time I have ever taken time or space to tell you about it.
I did not look forward to this trip with any eagerness. Mrs. Armstrong does not like to fly, and of course could not come along on a trip of this great length and short time, anyway. My entire trip around the world, with six days in Australia, three in Pasadena, and one in Texas, is less than two weeks. I put off this trip as long as I could ....
We flew straight through from London to Sydney — almost half way around the world — on the same plane. There were forty-five-minute fuel stops made at Rome, at Cairo, Egypt — flying over the very path of the great Exodus under Moses, and close to Mount Sinai — then Karachi in West Pakistan on the west border of India. We stopped again at Calcutta after crossing India, then southeast to Bangkok, on down to Singapore, then clear down to Darwin, Australia, then across that continent and landing at Sydney about 7 a.m. in rain and a gust of wind. Our office staff there now numbers ten, seven of whom have been sent over from Ambassador College ....
During the six days in Sydney, arrangements were made to gradually add thirty-nine additional stations, with daily broadcasting. This will mean we shall cover thoroughly the areas in which about 98 percent of all the people of that continent live.
It seemed very strange on Sunday night as we left Australia to realize we were starting to cross the vast Pacific Ocean. From London we had travelled east and southeast — always, so it seemed — travelling farther and farther away from the Pacific. I had left the Pacific Ocean when I last had left Pasadena, and had steadily travelled farther away from it all the way to London. And from there I was still going on east — and now, all of a sudden, I realized I was way west of Pasadena, instead of east. It really seemed very strange. I had been going constantly farther east of Pasadena, and now here I was west of it! ...
During my brief three days at headquarters in Pasadena, I approved going on our second station in Canada ....
Now I must hasten back out to the international airport, and board one more big 707 jet, on the last leg of this 'round the world journey, to be with my wife and continue supervision, for a while, of the new Ambassador College in England ....
February 16, 1961
Dear Co-Workers with Christ:
We now have to realize it! These are the most trying and crucial days for this great closing Work of God since it began! ...
Now I want to tell you how the living Christ has moved swiftly this past week, in a most thrilling manner, to speed His Work ahead! ...
Kansas City is a very important center where we have had no station at all. There is just one 50,000-watt station there, with coverage reaching over much of Missouri and Kansas and adjoining states — KCMO. The management there has been consistently adamant against what radio men term "commercial religion."
Perhaps most of our Co-Workers do not realize how very difficult it is to induce any of the larger, more powerful, top-prestige stations to open time for The World Tomorrow. In radio circles there is a feeling that all religious programs are "commercial religion," broadcasting only for the money they get by begging the public over the air. They object to ordinary religious programming, which is sentimental, emotional, interesting only to a very small segment of religiously inclined people. And 95 percent to 99 percent of the entire listening audience tunes out immediately when such programs come on. The stations cannot sell time to commercial sponsors following the average religious broadcast, because the rating agencies have shown that they have no audience left except a few religious people who will turn immediately to some other religious program.
It's difficult to convince radio station managers that The World Tomorrow is utterly different — that we speak to, and grip the interest of non-religious people — the whole public — that most of our audience is made up of people who seldom, if ever, go to church. Many of the largest and highest-ranking stations have learned that The World Tomorrow attracts a large listening audience of the entire public — and that we are not commercial and never ask for money on the air, or in any of our free literature. You have no idea how difficult it is to induce radio men to realize the true facts about God's own program!
But on Monday of last week, the manager of KCMO was in Los Angeles, in the offices of the Katz Agency, one of the two or three largest firms of radio and TV station representatives in the country, and who represent KCMO. It was hard for them to believe any religious program could hold a listening audience, and turn over a big audience to the sponsor who follows. They demanded proof.
So they got out the rating reports. First they looked at the KLZ ratings in Denver. They were astonished to find that the rating agency surveys in Colorado showed that The World Tomorrow is rated number one in Denver. We had the largest listening audience of any station. We held our audience the second fifteen minutes. They called up the management of WLAC in Nashville. They found we were the highest rated program. The management there recommended that they accept The World Tomorrow. They found we are the number one rated program on WWVA, according to an extensive Hooper survey.
The manager of KCMO immediately cleared the time of 9:05 to 9:35 p.m., following five minutes' news at 9 p.m. He then called his friend who is manager of KRMG, Tulsa, told him what he had found about our program, urged him to accept the program. KRMG did — 9:00 p.m. every night.
Getting on KCMO automatically opened up to us our first station in Arizona — KPHO in Phoenix — every night of the week at a good time.
That all happened between 10 and 11:30 a.m. Monday morning. Then our advertising agent and the top man in radio sales for the Katz Agency telephoned for a luncheon engagement with me. At 1 p.m. they arrived at the college. They were really excited. Things were happening like miracles! There was some kind of tie-up between these stations and the Storer chain.
This Storer company owns several important 50,000-watt stations. These include KGBS, Los Angeles; WGBS, Miami; and WIBG, Philadelphia. We have succeeded in getting on these three 50,000-watt stations on Sunday only, but so far we had been unable to convince them of the true facts about The World Tomorrow and they had refused to open up time week-nights, which we need seriously in these important areas.
These men explained that the "home base" original "mother" station of the Storer group is WSPD, the NBC station at Toledo, Ohio. Although this station is only 5,000 watts, its ratings show it has more than half of the total radio audience in its district. Six or seven other stations in the area divide the rest of the audience.
"This station is the key," said its West Coast representative from the Katz Agency. "to getting complete every-night time on those three other Storer stations. We called them on the telephone. We can't convince them. We think that if you go over there and talk to them personally, Mr. Armstrong, you may be able to present the facts in a way so they will come to see how different The World Tomorrow is from the kind of religious programs they object to."
He said the management of the Storer stations at Toledo had agreed to listen with an open mind if I came to them — although they advised against my coming, saying they didn't think there could be any facts that would change them.
But the manager of the West Coast offices of the Katz Agency was now so interested and enthusiastic over the World Tomorrow program that he had agreed to fly back himself with me, and also to have his top radio-sales man go with us. It was arranged for those two men, who are the West Coast representatives of this Toledo station, our advertising agent, and me to fly to Toledo. Tuesday morning we boarded a non-stop jet plane for Chicago, with reservations to fly on to Toledo, Ohio, early the next morning.
At 7:50 next morning we were out at Midway air terminal in Chicago for an 8:30 plane. At 8:10 they marked the plane up as thirty-five minutes late. Then thirty-five minutes later, they posted on the bulletin board an additional hour delay. Meanwhile our advertising manager telephoned the manager of WJJD, a 50,000-watt Chicago station. He is a former partner of our advertising agent, and has been manager at WJJD only about a month. He was very favorable to giving us a good time seven days a week. I was introduced to him on the telephone, and suggested I stay over in Chicago and see him on Thursday (it was now Wednesday morning).
Finally they cancelled out our flight to Toledo altogether, and announced they were sending us by taxi clear across Chicago to O'Hare Field to catch a 12:10 plane on another line. Meanwhile the Katz manager called Toledo, found the station manager was at the airport in Toledo to meet us. So it was arranged for him to meet our later plane.
Well, it seemed everything was going wrong! Arriving at O'Hare Field, our 12:10 plane was marked up thirty minutes late! It was now going to get us to Toledo just one hour and fifteen minutes before we had to board the plane on our return flight — and it is one hour's drive from the airport to downtown Toledo!
When we stopped off the plane at Toledo, the three top executives of the station were there to meet us. Because of our short time, they arranged for a conference room in a motel across the street.
I had much to tell them, and not much time. We finished our conversation walking through the airport. It was not until we reached the gate to the plane, with its propellers already warming up waiting for us to hurry on board, that final decision came. They accepted The World Tomorrow — 9 p.m. every night, seven nights a week!
Arriving in Chicago, we dropped off our luggage at our hotel, then had our cab take us on to the large suite of offices of the Katz Agency on Michigan Boulevard. I was introduced to the Chicago manager of the agency. While there the West Coast manager of the Katz Agency called the leading radio station at Spokane, KHQ, long distance. Their manager was in Phoenix, attending a meeting with the manager of KPHO, which had just opened time for us. The KHQ office in Spokane called their manager on another telephone at Phoenix. The KPHO manager recommended that he accept The World Tomorrow. The KHQ manager instructed his office that if his West Coast representative, who was making the call from Chicago, also recommended it, to clear the time 9 to 9:30 p.m., seven nights a week.
Thursday morning the manager of WJJD came to breakfast with us, and then we walked over to the WJJD offices. Two station officials were there waiting for the conference. They seemed friendly. Then the president of the company which owns this station along with a few others walked in. There was no smile on his face. He was decidedly antagonistic. Nothing could budge him. His mind was not open to any facts, other than that the answer was a frigid "no!"
About noon we met the manager of a 1,000-watt station, while waiting to see the manager of 50,000-watt WCFL (the CFL stands for Chicago Federation of Labor). This station manager shot sharp questions at me about our program. When I mentioned that we tell people how to live to be happy, and that we proclaim the truth of the Bible, he asked: "What is Truth? Nobody knows! This whole world is all mixed up. There is nothing but confusion — especially in religion." He said he himself was confused.
"I can straighten you out," I said, "if your mind is open, and I can have enough time with you." He was intrigued. Later he called our advertising agent at our hotel, offering to open an early morning time seven days a week. "What shall I tell him?" asked our advertising agent.
"Tell him," I said, "that if he will make it a condition of the contract to come out to Pasadena and see our college campus, and spend a little time with me getting straightened out, we will go on his station." He accepted ....
Later we met the manager of WCFL — only he had just recently resigned. However, he is some kind of a top man in Chicago union circles and very influential. He felt that the station would do whatever he recommended. He spent some little time with me personally. God seemed to give me favor in his sight. He became real friendly — seemed to really want to help us get on a 50,000-watt Chicago station. Of course we could not get the final answer at the time, for we had to leave for the airport to catch the evening non-stop jet plane for home.
Co-Workers, does this give you a little clearer idea why I need to ask you continually to pray for this work? Without divine intervention we would not be able to get on any of the really major superpower stations. I know that hundreds — maybe thousands — of you Co-Workers were praying earnestly for this work the past two weeks. That is why all these miracles happened so suddenly all at once!! Never has anything like this happened before!!
This letter is getting long. But there is still more to tell you! ...
The time has come when we have to open a branch office in Canada. Scores of our Canadian Co-Workers have been unable to deduct on their income taxes the tithes and offerings they send for God's Work, because we have had no office nor recognition in Canada ....
Now, finally — I have found that when Christ opens vital and necessary radio doors for us, He expects us to walk through those doors! Soon after this work started on the air, in the late fall of 1934, He opened the door of station KXL, then 100 watts, in Portland. The work could have spread within its first year to Portland. But I hesitated. I was afraid to go ahead. Instead, I sent a letter to Co-Workers asking if they would pledge the small amount of money it would cost. Not enough pledges came! We lost our chance. The doors of KXL did not open for us again until some two years later.
When stations important and necessary to this work have opened up to us in later years, and I walked right through the doors Christ opened, in faith, God has always supplied the means. When I hesitated, the money never came!
Co-Workers, God has performed miracles for His Work this past week! I know he expects me to follow where He leads! In faith, I am going ahead! I know you will back me up, and will not let me down! ...
Thank you again, and God will bless you — because I ask Him to, and He does bless all of us loyally in His Work!
Written from Ambassador College
St. Albans, near London
May 22, 1963
Dear Co-Workers with Christ:
Again I am writing you from Ambassador College in England. Mrs. Armstrong and I expect to be here for the remainder of the present school year ....
I have written you about our austere year, on which I found it necessary to embark some two months ago. Some of you misunderstood! Let me make it clear! God's Work is not going backward! — never! The actual gospel work is going forward faster than ever before! We are not making any cuts that would actually slow the Work.
But this is what we are doing! We are cutting every waste effort or unnecessary expenditure we can. We are continuing to add more radio stations — but, (for this one year) not as rapidly as we had been doing. We are cancelling out some radio stations that have not proved productive and apparently were not being listened to by as many as others.
I did write you two months ago that we had postponed the opening of the third Ambassador [campus], in Texas, for one year. That was because of this austerity year. But we feel that will not slow down the actual proclaiming of the gospel — as long as it is for only one year. And another reason is that we are simply forced to continue a building program at both Pasadena, and at the college in England — or else take in no additional students next school year!
Here in England we are now trying to feed one hundred ten students in one ordinary-size family dining room — designed for only one small family! So we are proceeding right along to complete the new dining hall, which was started last year. We have no place for additional incoming new students to sleep the next school year. So we are continuing the work of remodeling the "Clock Horse Stables," converting them into a new dormitory to house one hundred fifty men.
We are having to enlarge our office space, and space for our printing department here, to take care of the constantly increasing mail from listeners requesting literature.
The Work cannot grow unless the colleges continue to turn out an increasing number of graduates every year. This great Work now encompasses the whole world. It now requires the full time work of hundreds of trained men and women. It now reaches millions of people every week — our estimate is at least twenty-two million!
We are spending no money for just "beautifying" our college properties that is not absolutely necessary for the functioning of the colleges. Our colleges are outstandingly beautiful because multimillionaires built these fabulous estates that way at their expense. Then these magnificently landscaped properties came to us at a tiny fraction of their original cost.
For example, you could not, today, even buy the fine and imposing iron fence and gates around Ambassador Hall on the Pasadena campus for the price we paid for the whole fabulous estate! ...
But we are certainly not letting these fine properties go to weeds and ruin. God commanded Adam to dress and keep the Garden of Eden, not let it run down and go to weeds. We do work hard to properly maintain what God has seen fit to entrust into our hands. He will hold us accountable for how well we take care of what He gives us!
The building program must go on, or the work cannot grow! Our building program has been costing only a small portion of the total expenditures for God's Work — between two percent and three percent. It would be penny-wise and pound foolish to cut this off. Rather, we are making big cuts in the two biggest items of expense. This enables us to continue right on with the necessary building program, and still reduce expenses, while at the same time increasing and expanding the work itself! God's Work must continue to grow its normal 30% even during this austere year! This does take careful planning, and sound management! ...