This is SERIOUS. This is URGENT! We face an EMERGENCY, and I have to ask you to read carefully every word, take this matter seriously, take it on your knees to GOD, and then to ACT on it!
During the early years of this great Work of God, to which we have been called, I was forced to write often to our Co-Worker Family of serious emergencies. Frequently the very existence of this Work was threatened. It took living FAITH. It took real SACRIFICE. But the living Jesus Christ is the HEAD of this Work. He directs and guides it — HE BLESSES IT — and He never did leave or forsake us. Always we pulled through. The tests of faith were not pleasant to experience — at the time. But they have borne the rich fruit of patience, trust in GOD, and a constantly growing Work thundering forth Christ's true GOSPEL in power to ever-increasing MILLIONS around the world. They have borne the rich fruit of thousands of changed, Spirit-begotten, happy lives for GOD'S KINGDOM and for joyous eternity!
A little over two years ago I bound this Work to a year of austerity — cutting every expenditure to the bone, curtailing radio broadcasting expansion — to bring this Work into a sound and stable financial condition. We made great progress in that direction — but one year was not enough. We held ourselves to a second austere year. The living CHRIST led us into this and through it — and He blessed us with greatly improved financial stability, while at the same time real spiritual fruit borne by this Work continued to increase 30% each year! The Work itself did not stop or slacken — it leaped on forward, even while we "tightened our belts" as it were, on expenditures.
Now we see plainly that we must continue the austerity in budgeting and appropriating expenditures — we must ask you Co-Workers to do the same with your personal expenditures, and to SACRIFICE where possible, that we may INCREASE with real generosity our financial offerings for the support of this great Work.
Now once again God's Work has reached a critical CRISIS!
Let me make it PLAIN. It's necessary that you UNDERSTAND THIS — or else God's precious Work cannot go forward!
The vast harvest Jesus Christ is reaping right now through this — HIS WORK — just immediately prior to His COMING to RULE and save this whole world — is not just "happening" in a vague, unplanned sort of way. This is GOD'S WORK — the living CHRIST heads, guides, directs and blesses it — but He uses us. He uses YOU AND ME as His instruments. He works THROUGH US! And there has to be definite planning, in which He guides and leads us. There have to be definite REASONS for the growth and success of this great World-Wide WORK.
I have explained before — when God started me in His service, I attempted co-operative activity with a small church group 38 years ago, who seemed to follow closer to the BIBLE TRUTH than anyone I could find. But their ministers rebelled against GROWING in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, or in GROWING in spiritual character in their lives — individually and collectively. They refused to correct errors or publicly confess them, even when they admitted privately to me they were preaching untruths. They were spiritually dead (described in Rev. 3:1-6).
During those early years, God abundantly blessed my efforts — and totally withheld blessings from them. I preached in country school houses, and in hired halls if the rental charges were low enough. Always there were conversions — people accepting the TRUE Gospel, repenting of sins, and being baptized, accepting Jesus Christ as personal Saviour. But through those years I could not find record of even one single true conversion by the combined work of those other ministers.
I came to realize I was trying to do what Jesus NEVER would have done. Suppose He had tried to join with, and work with the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the hypocritical Scribes of the days of His earthly Ministry. JESUS DIDN'T DO THAT! He called young men — fishermen, taxcollectors — took them into HIS OWN PRIVATE SCHOOL — so to speak — taught them the TRUE Gospel God had sent Him to proclaim, trained them for carrying on GOD'S WORK!
The living Christ made it plain to me that He is our example — that if I was to be used as His instrument, I must follow in His steps. A COLLEGE to train young people was necessary. While only men may be ministers who preach, we live in a modern complex world where technical facilities are available for use today — many of which require the help of trained women. There were, too, other reasons why the college had to be Co-ED — with girls as well as men.
God led me to Pasadena. The first acquisition of property came in late 1946. The college, accompanied with severe "birth pangs," opened October 8, 1947.
Up to that time the Work was small — limited to only fruit-bearing work of ONE MAN. True, there were a handful of Co-Workers with me — enough to barely support the active full-time work of one single minister. But after the first students were graduated, beginning 1951 and 1952, the Work of God began to expand. God had sent to Ambassador College young men HE had called and chosen. Not every student was a God-called minister, of course. But three of the first four pioneer students were — the other one was a girl. As the college grew, and graduated called, consecrated, Spirit-led men whose lives were yielded and Christ- led, the WHOLE WORK OF GOD expanded and grew.
As more radio stations were added, more and more trained people were needed in the office to receive the mail requests, send out requested literature, give personal answer to questions. I had been unable to get out The PLAIN TRUTH magazine every month and carry all the other duties of a growing Work handled by myself and wife alone. But soon Christ had given me trained editorial help — trained mechanical help. In due time The PLAIN TRUTH was coming out every month, and, through the years, gradually improved and enlarged.
The broadcasting and the literature began pricking the hearts of people — letters began coming in pleading for personal visits of true Ministers of God, for counsel, for spiritual guidance, to explain the Bible — and to assist in the conversion and baptism of an ever-increasing number of people being CONVERTED!
Today, in the Pasadena office alone, it takes 65 men just to open, read, and channel the THOUSANDS of letters received DAILY! Yes, THOUSANDS, daily — averaging more than three thousand every day, seven days a week! Today it requires scores of typists, a great battery of IBM machines, and technical operators, to send out the requested literature the same day the request is received. Today a two-story office building is devoted to what we here call the "L.A.D." — Letter-Answering Department. In the offices in this building are ordained ministers, Ambassador College-trained, who dictate on dictaphones personal answers to thousands of letters — and a large "typing pool" of stenographers who type out the letters they dictate.
Today, here at Pasadena Headquarters, a huge printing plant with giant presses and other equipment, is working TWO SHIFTS daily — 16 hours daily — with a large staff of trained men, printing not only The PLAIN TRUTH, but ton after ton of booklets, books, and other literature. Today, in a separate building, a huge MAILING DEPARTMENT mails out the hundreds of thousands of free booklets, and The PLAIN TRUTH, sending them to the Post Office in huge trucks. Today freight cars are pulled up alongside the giant new Press Building, and unload six large freight cars of paper every month. Now that is just at Pasadena Headquarters alone!
Today Ambassador College-trained ordained ministers, mostly married to Ambassador-trained wives, are stationed at about 100 locations in all parts of the United States — from Miami to Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. — from San Diego to New York, New Hampshire and Toronto, Canada — scores of cities in between, such as Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Dallas, Kansas City, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Denver, Portland, San Francisco, Phoenix — just to name a few, where they are kept busy almost night and day in a personal ministry, helping those who write in requesting a personal visit. More than 250 people every week are now requesting a personal visit from one of these ministers. No one is ever called on, unless they request it themselves.
Perhaps you did not REALIZE the extent to which this great Ministry of Christ has grown. Today THOUSANDS of precious human lives are being converted for God's Kingdom every year! And this is WORLD WIDE. Ordained ministers, Ambassador College trained, are constantly visiting people who REQUEST such personal counsel and help, not only in all parts of the United States and Canada, but in all parts of Britain, Germany, France and all Europe, South Africa, Australia, the Philippines, the West Indies, and even parts of South America, Asia, and other parts of Africa.
Today more than 25 MILLIONS of people every week hear the WORLD TOMORROW broadcast, over every inhabited continent on earth! Today two million people read The PLAIN TRUTH. Today The PLAIN TRUTH is printed not only in the three English editions, but also in French and in German — and, soon, a Spanish edition. Scores of important booklets also are printed in these other languages — as is the Ambassador Correspondence Course. THIS IS THE GREAT FRUIT BORNE — THE VAST HARVEST REAPED — BY GOD'S TITHES AND YOUR OFFERINGS FOR THIS WORK!
In Sydney, Australia, a large staff of between 35 and 50 handle incoming mail, and send out requested literature, and the Australian edition of The PLAIN TRUTH, now printed in Melbourne. But already a large building has been leased, and presses and other printing equipment ordered, to enlarge the Printing Plant there and do our own printing of The PLAIN TRUTH, as well as all the other booklets and literature.
In Australia today we maintain several ordained ministers — graduates of Ambassador College — for visiting and helping personally those who request it — for conversion, baptism, spiritual help — beside those in the office in the L.A.D. Department there.
Today nine ordained ministers serve in England out of British Headquarters at the College, beside three others stationed farther north, and in Scotland and North Ireland. Today we have an office staff in South Africa at Johannesburg, beside three ordained ministers stationed there. Also offices with ordained ministers and staff workers in Duesseldorf and in Geneva, and in Manila, the Philippines. A large and fast-growing staff carry on the same work from our Canadian offices in Vancouver.
TODAY THE SUN NEVER SETS ON OUR OFFICES AROUND THE WORLD! Every year produces a much larger harvest of CONVERTED precious LIVES for GOD'S KINGDOM than the year before!
Now HOW HAS ALL THIS BEEN MADE POSSIBLE?
By the AMBASSADOR COLLEGES! As the colleges have grown, the Work has grown. As the COLLEGES have grown in number of students, the number of people hearing Christ's Gospel Message has increased each year! If the colleges are not allowed to keep on growing, THEN THE WHOLE WORK WILL STOP GROWING!
Now I have written you before — we cannot take in more college students UNLESS we have MORE CLASSROOMS and LECTURE ROOMS in which to teach them — more DORMITORY buildings in which they may sleep and study — new and larger DINING HALLS in which to feed them — new and larger ASSEMBLY HALLS or AUDITORIUMS for weekly forums, assemblies, and chapel services — as well as for musical recitals and concerts and other cultural activities.
Over at the college in England, we have recently finished a new dining hall, and a men's dormitory building. But we need desperately, there, the new gymnasium that is planned — for the climate is such there that most physical exercise which students must have for physical fitness and good health, must be taken INDOORS. A well-planned program of physical-fitness exercises is in progress at each college — and this is just as necessary as any other part of college work.
For example, how do you suppose Garner Ted Armstrong is able to keep those vigorous, alive and alert POWERFUL radio programs coming — a half-hour every day? He takes daily physical exercises — he plays basketball, handball, tennis, and swims — not all of these the same day, of course. Once in a while his program will seem to lag a little, and I know he has then been overworked with executive office responsibilities, and didn't have time for the PHYSICAL recreation to stir up blood-circulation. Also he must be careful to get ample sleep. How do you suppose I have been able to carry on this energetic, exhausting grind these past 38 years?? I have to watch my health, my diet — and keep physically fit.
At the college in England we need immediately additional girls' dormitory units — a new and larger auditorium, additional classrooms, a new office building for office space.
We are just prepared, now, to break ground on the new dining hall here at Pasadena. UNLESS THIS IS FINISHED BY FALL, WE CANNOT TAKE IN MORE STUDENTS for the next school year!
This situation has become DESPERATE!
The WHOLE WORK OF GOD depends on it!
Yet you Co-Workers have been dropping off in the EXTRA SPECIAL and ADDITIONAL OFFERINGS FOR THE BUILDING FUND until it is half of what it was — and hardly a third of what it MUST BE if the WORK OF GOD is to keep on forging ahead!
Now PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY! Your tithes and regular offerings are budgeted for GETTING OUT THE GOSPEL — for the broadcast expense — for the vast publishing work — for expenses of these many ministers serving people personally ALL AROUND THE WORLD. This, of course, is the MAIN INCOME that supports GOD'S WORK. It is handled wisely, budgeted carefully.
DO NOT take any part of your tithes, or regular additional offerings, and mark it for this SPECIAL BUILDING FUND. We need to raise the money for these desperately needed additional college buildings by a SPECIAL BUILDING FUND — supplied by EXTRA additional offerings, over and beyond your tithes and regular offerings for the Gospel Work.
For this SPECIAL BUILDING FUND I have to ask you to simply squeeze it out of money you would not, otherwise, have sent in for God's Work — by sacrificing something you would have spent on yourself or family, as an added, EXTRA offering IN ADDITION to tithes and regular offerings for the Gospel. Now please UNDERSTAND, I am not asking you to go without food or needed clothing or necessities of life. I don't mean that at all. But we are in a time of prosperity and high living standards in the United States, and nearly every one of us does spend money on pleasures, and things we don't really need — and all such of us can — if we allow the living CHRIST to make our hearts willing — give up some of these things, and send in, EVERY MONTH, an added SPECIAL offering marked specially for THE SPECIAL BUILDING FUND.
I realize some of you may be on small and limited pensions — or public welfare aid — or something of the kind — and you are not in the category described in the paragraph above. Some of you, I surely realize, are UNABLE to contribute to this special fund. If so, no explanation is necessary. If you can't make this extra contribution, we'll understand — and just ignore it.
But to all the rest of you, we must realize that those who CAN, need all the more to be as generous in this as God makes possible — for those of us who CAN must make up for those who CAN'T! I am simply asking each of you to do, as YOUR PART in the glorious and great Work of God, WHAT GOD HAS MADE POSSIBLE.
Now we have to plan our budget A YEAR IN ADVANCE. It is VERY IMPORTANT that we KNOW a year in advance HOW MUCH we may allocate for the BUILDING FUND.
In just a few days, the contractor firm we have selected to build the dining hall on the Pasadena campus, will expect me to sign a binding contract covering progress payments for the next year or fifteen months. I MUST KNOW WHETHER I CAN DO IT, or whether, because our Co-Worker family will not back me up, I must refuse, and then take in fewer students next autumn. For the past two years we have been able to accept only one out of every SEVEN students who apply for admission. THAT STOPS THE WORK OF GOD! Jesus Christ has never forsaken this Work — AND I KNOW YOU WON'T!
Our architects are now writing up the contract, according to terms verbally agreed to, with the contracting firm selected to build the new buildings on the English campus. The first unit of buildings is to begin March 15, and the company is guarantying in this contract completion by March 14, 1966 — exactly 12 months — allowing us 16 months for progress payments, and with NO INTEREST for the four months they will carry us AFTER completion.
I MUST KNOW WHETHER THIS SPECIAL BUILDING FUND WILL ALLOW ME TO SIGN THESE CONTRACTS!
These contractors expect me to BIND ourselves to these payments. But I DO NOT ask YOU to bind yourself with a real pledge or anything of the kind. But I DO ask all of you whom God has made able, and whose hearts He has made willing, to send back to me BY RETURN MAIL, a statement of intention, that I may know how much you HOPE, and plan, AS LONG AS ABLE, to send in monthly for this EXTRA special BUILDING FUND. If, for any reason, you find later you are unable to send in the amount subscribed, YOU ARE IN NO WAY BOUND — you do not even need to write or explain the reasons, or notify us you have to stop or reduce the amount — though of course I would appreciate it, should that happen, if you would. THIS IS NOT A PLEDGE. It is not taking a vow. It is not binding on you. It is a mere statement, to help me determine our budget, of what you believe and expect, as of now, to be able to do.
Our Business Office informs me that these special offerings for the BUILDING FUND have now dropped off to less than HALF of what they were — and we need a BIG INCREASE over what they were, for this coming year or 18 months.
THE VERY FUTURE OF THE WHOLE WORK DEPENDS ON THIS!
IT IS DESPERATELY IMPORTANT, or I would not ask it!
And, IN ADDITION, the Business Office tells me that tithes and regular offerings are FALLING OFF right now!
Co-Workers, this entire situation is URGENT. Look how GLORIOUSLY and ABUNDANTLY God has BLESSED His Work He is doing through us! Look how it has GROWN — look at the MANY THOUSANDS of precious lives it is saving! Just ONE of them is worth all that has been spent through these years! Absolutely NOWHERE ELSE on earth is money spent producing SO MUCH.
Constantly, here in Pasadena, we hear a "commercial" on TV and radio by an automobile dealer shouting constantly their slogan "MORE for your money." How one Chevrolet dealer can give people MORE for their money than another, I don't exactly know. But I DO KNOW that NOWHERE — absolutely NOWHERE ELSE ON THIS EARTH, can SO MUCH good be done for the money, as in the VERY WORK OF GOD. When you put your money — (pardon me, I mean GOD'S MONEY, for it's all HIS anyway) — into the VERY Work the living Jesus Christ is directing, it has THE POWER OF GOD added to the money, in producing the richest harvest OF ALL TIME!
Co-Workers, what a blessing God gives us just to ALLOW us to be a part of HIS WORK! WHAT A JOY!!
Because this is SO URGENT, I am going to do something I don't remember having done before. You will find enclosed a self-addressed return envelope, THAT NEEDS NO STAMP. It will be AIR-SPEEDED to us, by AIR MAIL, and POSTAGE WILL BE PAID BY US AT THIS END!
Therefore, AS GOD HAS MADE POSSIBLE, and to whatever extent He has made possible, will you please, BEFORE YOU LAY THIS LETTER DOWN, sign the enclosed statement of intention card, filled in, and, if you have tithes or offerings available at the moment, enclose those too, marking the portion for the special BUILDING FUND separately, enclose with the card in the envelope and get it posted as quickly as possible!
THANK YOU for standing firm in this with me. And please add your earnest, believing PRAYERS.