We now have to REALIZE IT! These are the most trying and crucial days for this great closing WORK OF GOD since it began!
Right now I am filled with gratitude and encouragement. THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart! Last month I had to write you that our business office was unable to pay salaries and wages for the week. Many of you responded, even at great sacrifice to yourselves.
I want you to realize how important your INTEREST, your earnest prayers, your dedication to this monumental task has been— and especially these past two or three weeks. The situation was very serious, and indeed STILL IS. Many of you took it seriously. Many, here, fasted and prayed. At the college in England the entire student body fasted and prayed. From the bottom of my heart I THANK YOU!
But LISTEN, dear Co-Workers! Gratifying and encouraging as this fine burst of response has been, it already is dropping off—and it was not enough to catch up! If there is a slacking off now, the work will be in worse financial shape than ever in just a week or two.
WE MUST UNDERSTAND THIS! Usually a fine response such as this is followed by a dangerous let-down in tithes and offerings. Many who make a special effort in an emergency, sending in larger than usual offerings, seem to think that is sufficient to last. Then over a period of a month or six weeks God's Work comes out with less money than normal.
What would happen in a war if an army, by a sudden burst of effort, surged forward to win a single battle, then laid down their arms and decided to take it easy or go on furlough? They would win a single battle and then LOSE THE WAR!
Well WE are in a WAR—on the firing line with CHRIST as our General—firing spiritual bombs of GOD'S TRUTH—the Message of Christ's own GOSPEL—to make this whole world CONSCIOUS of the GOOD NEWS of Christ's soon coming and His KINGDOM, to rule the happy, peaceful WORLD TOMORROW! There can be no letting down—no slacking —no quitting in this war! Christ said it is only he who endures to the end that shall be saved! As a result of my last letter, we made a fine START toward catching up. Now LET US CARRY RIGHT ON, more determined than ever—more dedicated and devoted to Christ's great mission than ever! We must not win a partial battle, and then lose our war. LET US NOW PLUNGE ON HARDER THAN EVER TO FINAL VICTORY! Even more serious battles may be immediately ahead.
Here is a NEW THREAT! NOW the newspapers, newscasters, and government authorities are telling us bluntly that the U.S. is in a serious recession. Millions are now unemployed. That includes hundreds of our Co-Workers. WHAT DOES THIS RECESSION MEAN TO US, INDIVIDUALLY, AND THE WORK?
HERE ARE THE FACTS: Some economic experts are saying it will get worse, until we go down into national calamity of depression. Others are saying we have now hit bottom, conditions will pick up in the spring, improving through summer and fall, and 1961 will turn out to be a good year. Which is right? Humans cannot foretell the future! God can! This much I know! For the sake of HIS VERY WORK, God Almighty will make it possible for His Co-Workers to continue in such financial condition that GOD'S NEED FOR HIS WORK shall be continually supplied. In all probability conditions will improve through this year, even though the methods used to stimulate the improvement may hasten the ultimate economic downfall of the country. All signs and prophecies indicate that calamity will strike around ten or twelve years from now—and that it will require that same amount of time for the completion of this work. And it is the COMMON PEOPLE, mostly in the middle and lower income levels, whom Christ has called as His Co-Workers in His work.
What about us, individually? What about YOU? A number of our Co-Workers have written me that they are now unemployed. Yet some, who are faithful in paying God's tithes into His work, have found better jobs almost immediately. REMEMBER! If you are FAITHFUL—if your heart is in GOD'S WORK—HE PROMISES TO TAKE CARE OF YOU!—to supply your needs! In some cases it may not appear, for a time, that God is answering and keeping that promise. But if you do your part—put forth extra effort to find employment—keep praying and TRUSTING God—keeping faithful in tithes and offerings for His Work, God will never fail you! He may allow a TEST OF FAITH. But if you don't fail Him, He won't fail you!
Those in the world have no such assurance for the future —NO SUCH SECURITY! How grateful we should be for it! No matter what the national or world conditions—GOD ALMIGHTY WILL KEEP HIS WORK GOING FORWARD, and growing and multiplying in power and scope!
REMEMBER! You and I are servants of GOD! We are HIS INSTRUMENTS! He is using us in preparing for Christ's coming and HIS KINGDOM! The living Jesus Christ is the Head of this work—He directs it! If we are willing to give our SELVES to Him, willing to sacrifice for Him, He will see that we are prospered and financially able—and spiritually able—to keep up OUR PART until HIS TREMENDOUS MISSION IS ACCOMPLISHED!
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!
In sudden and dramatic manner, He has opened several very key radio station doors to The WORLD TOMORROW! You know, of course, that we do occasionally encounter temporary set-backs here or there. But always the gains are much greater than the set-backs. In the past few months we have suffered two very important losses—in the two largest cities in America. In New York a change of management at WABC put The WORLD TOMORROW off that super-power prestige station. In Chicago, we went off the great 50,000-watt WLS due to change in ownership and radical programming change. These are the two leading stations on the ABC network. These losses caused a serious drop in mail response. We have rather expected to lose powerful KGO, San Francisco, the #3 station of the ABC Network, for there was a change in management there in this same ABC shakeup. So far no cancellation has been given.
However, important as these stations were to us, the total impact of God's Message has been increased by the addition of several other very important and powerful stations in other parts of the country.
But this past week things happened swiftly and dramatically. 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% to 99% 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 tune 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 15 minutes. They looked at the rating of the program following. It held right up— only one-tenth of 1% drop! 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 5 minutes' news at 9:00 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 10:00 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 1:00 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 30,000- 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 these 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 these 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 35 minutes late. Then 35 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 30 minutes late! It was now going to get us to Toledo just one hour and 15 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 stepped 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—9:00 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 9:00 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. Incidentally, he said that he was a sort of Catholic, but he was afraid not a very good one—a sort of "Protestant Catholic" he called it. He quipped, "I didn't vote for Mr. Kennedy because he is a Catholic. I voted for him because I'm one." Of course this was meant as a jest, but, funny as it may sound, that may be the reason enough Catholics voted for him to elect him!
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 super-power 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!
On Tuesday morning of last week, my son, Garner Ted Armstrong, flew up to Vancouver, B.C. 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.
My son took with him complete legal documents and Board resolutions for opening a Church bank account, and gaining official recognition by the Canadian government as an established Church.
Again, things happened in a dramatic and providential manner. That very same Tuesday afternoon, he found and rented a splendid office, across the corner from the bank and the post office; he retained a leading solicitor (attorney), and opened the bank account. It happened in a most unusual and providential manner that he was, by coincidence, introduced to one of the prominent, outstanding lawyers of Vancouver, who suddenly took interest, and said he would handle our account himself personally. Through his influence things moved right along—the office space opened up—the bank accepted our account, and legal procedures were under way to gain official government recognition, so that our Canadian Co-Workers may deduct tithes and offerings sent our office there from income tax returns.
Meanwhile one of our trained Ambassador College graduates, Mr. Dennis Prather, and his wife, were driving to Vancouver, where Mr. Prather will manage the new branch office.
ATTENTION: ALL CANADIAN CO-WORKERS: Hereafter address your letters—especially when they contain tithes and offerings, to me, or to Radio Church or God (not to Mr. Prather), Box 44, Vancouver, B.C.
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 or 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!
But we do have to realize that these additional stations add additional expenditures! I hope very soon, also, to be able to tell you a high-prestige 50,000-watt station in NEW YORK has opened a good time every night—better time than we had on WABC.
Every set-back is ALWAYS A BIG LEAP FORWARD!
We are in the most important battle on earth today! This is a battle to be able to PROCLAIM CHRIST'S TRUE GOSPEL of His coming KINGDOM AND WORLD GOVERNMENT in such mighty POWER that the whole world shall KNOW IT! It is a real battle to even get on these big stations—to induce them to let us use their powerful facilities for this purpose!
I need your EARNEST PRAYERS now, more than ever!
WE DARE NOT LET DOWN, NOW! I must call on you, at any sacrifice, to keep up sending in your tithes, and offerings as generous as your circumstances make possible! We even need more LOANS from those who have sums of $1,000, or several thousand, or even five hundred, not working which could be working for Christ IN HIS WORK!
Whether it is widows' mites or several thousand dollars —according as God has made possible for you—keep up YOUR part of God's work—and REMEMBER, AIR MAIL gets it to us quicker!
THANK YOU again, and God will bless you—because I ask Him to, and He does bless all of us loyally in His Work!