GREETINGS, in Jesus' name! I'm sending you the special letter with news about the coming PASSOVER and DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. And I have GOOD NEWS for you! This year, for the first time, we will be holding the full eight day's Feast at FOUR SEPARATE LOCATIONS! And, for the first time, the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread will be observed, for the full eight days, IN NEW YORK!
This will have to be quite a lengthy letter—but read every word! Mrs. Armstrong and I will be at the big tabernacle near Big Sandy, Texas again this year, God willing. Also with us will be our son, Garner Ted and Mr. Norman Smith from the Headquarters Church at Pasadena. Mr. Kenneth Swisher, the Pastor of the local Church at Gladewater will be there for the full eight days, and it is hoped some of our other ministers from South Texas, and also up in Missouri will be able to come to the Tabernacle for a few days.
The Passover always begins, according to GOD's calendar, on the evening of the 14th day of Nisan (or Abib). Remember, God counts time from SUNSET to SUNSET. This year, God's Passover will come on the evening of APRIL 21st! If you have a copy of the "Sacred Calendar" you will see the Passover corresponding to the 22nd of April—but remember God counts the days beginning at sunset! So the Passover will be observed just after sunset the evening before, or on April 21st.
The Passover service will be held at 7:30 P.M. This is not a regular preaching service, but a most solemn gathering, commemorating our Saviour's death. There should be NO VISITING on this occasion. I know it is a great temptation to greet old friends, or to meet new ones, on this first meeting at the Tabernacle, or wherever God's people will gather together. But remember these instructions—enter in an attitude of PRAYER, submissiveness to God, and humility. As you enter the building (wherever you may be meeting) quickly and quietly find your seat. Deacons will assist you with coats, towels and basins, showing you quietly where to place them. Immediately after the service, all should leave in solemnity and reverence, reserving visiting and greeting of friends for the following day.
The next evening, which is sunset, April 22nd, marks the beginning of the first annual Holy Day—the FEAST Day—first Day of Unleavened Bread. In commemoration of this "night to be remembered," services will begin promptly at 7:30 P.M. This evening service precedes an ALL DAY service the following day, Thursday, the 23rd. Morning services will commence at 10:00 A.M., and afternoon services at 2:30 P.M. These times will hold true FOR ALL CHURCHES. Remember, these are the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD! Be doubly sure you have put out ALL LEAVEN from your homes if you are traveling to observe the Feast. If traveling, you will probably have to eat in restaurants, or buy food. Be SURE you don't eat leavened bread! God intends we learn the important lesson on these days of putting the "leaven" which is SIN, out of our lives!
Brethren—I wonder if you realize these days come in the EXACT SAME PART OF THE WEEK THEY DID WHEN CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED? Christ took the Passover on a Tuesday evening, was crucified on WEDNESDAY, buried just before sunset on Wednesday afternoon before the FEAST Day, which came on Thursday, and was resurrected before sunset the following SABBATH. This year, these days happen to correspond EXACTLY!
Services will be held for the entire eight days as follows: Morning services beginning daily at 10:00 A.M., and evening services beginning at 7:30 P.M. On the weekly Sabbath, and the final Holy Day (Wednesday, April 29th), services will be morning and afternoon, at 2:30 P.M.
Now, for some special instructions for other areas.
The full eight day meetings will be held in Portland. Mr. Raymond Cole, Pastor of the Churches in Oregon, together with Mr. Burk McNair, co-Pastor, will be conducting services in Portland. Mr. Cole is presently locating a suitable hall for the meetings, which will be announced in all the local Churches in Oregon and Washington. For any of you living within driving distance of Portland, and who plan to attend Passover services there, you may write to Mr. Raymond Cole, 98 Clearvue St., Eugene, Oregon. His telephone number is Diamond 5-5492.
Mr. Bryce Clark, Pastor of the Churches in Colorado and Garden City, Kansas, will conduct services for the full eight days at Denver. He will be assisted by Mr. Charles Dorothy, from the Headquarters Church, and Mr. Dale Hampton, student in Ambassador College.
Mr. Clark has located an excellent hall for the meetings, with parking lot, full kitchen facilities, rest rooms, PA system, piano, and giving complete privacy. The hall is the Victory Grange, located 4 miles east of Fitzsimon's Corner, (Peoria St.) on Highway 40, and 1/2 mile north. Proceed east out of Denver on Highway 40, turn north on a blacktop road at the KOA radio tower (located 4 miles east of Peoria St.) The Grange is a large tin covered building on the left hand side of the road, approximately 1/2 mile north of the turn off.
NEW YORK CITY
Mr. Roderick Meredith and his wife, together with Mr. Carlton Smith, another ordained minister, will be holding services for the eight days in New York City. A special addenda will be included for those in the New England States, New York, New Jersey, and other nearby states, including detailed instructions concerning location of the meeting place.
These, including the Tabernacle, are the four places where the full eight day services will be held. Others, who may be able to drive to one of our local Churches for the Passover, but find it impossible to journey to one of the already-mentioned locations for the full eight days, may write immediately for instructions regarding any given local area. The Passover and Holy Days ONLY will be observed in the following locations:
Pasadena, San Diego, and Fresno, California; Corpus Christi,
San Antonio and Houston, Texas; Chicago and El Paso, Illinois;
Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Saint Louis and Springfield, Missouri;
If you live within possible driving distance of any of the above locations, be sure to write in immediately, by AIR MAIL, and we will send you either the Pastor's name and address, or detailed instructions. Many of the above mentioned Churches will be having combined meetings—so it will be necessary for you to have full details before planning a trip.
Regardless of which area you may plan to visit—you must make your own reservations in advance! This should present no special problem whatever, except in the case of the Tabernacle in Texas. For the benefit of those attending the Tabernacle, as well as for others, these special instructions are included.
Meals will be served, as usual, at cost, at the tabernacle. Accommodations may be somewhat difficult to find this time of the year, because we are expecting a larger than ever attendance at the tabernacle. There are a few cabins located near the grounds, called "Tucker's Cabins," which are owned and operated by the owners of the small cafe and filling station at the entrance to the tabernacle grounds. There are motels in Gladewater along the highway, and also many motels between Gladewater and Longview, a city several miles further east. There are some nice motels in and near Greggton, a small town midway between Gladewater and Longview. Also, there is, in addition to several large motels near Longview, a large hotel. These accommodations near Longview are located about 20 miles from the tabernacle, however, and so would necessitate a good deal of driving back and forth.
The better motels, first-class, cost from about five to eight dollars per day for two people, with one dollar being added for each additional person as a usual procedure. Other cabins and motels are available for less, however. Hotel Longview rates, a strictly first-class hotel, are from four to six dollars single and six to eight dollars double. I STRONGLY ADVISE PLANNING TO ARRIVE EARLY so you can find adequate sleeping accommodations. We have no facilities for making reservations for you, so try to make them immediately if you have not done so already.
DIRECTIONS FOR FINDING THE TABERNACLE: The grounds are just off highway 80, about 8 miles west of Gladewater, and 2 miles east of Big Sandy. It is approximately 100 miles east of Dallas on highway 80. Highway 80 is the main east-west highway from the East to Dallas and toward the West, so those of you who have not been to the tabernacle before should be able to find it without difficulty.
You won't be able to miss the huge steel building rearing above the surrounding area on the north side of highway 80. Turn in at the sign, "Private Grounds, Radio Church of God Tabernacle," and drive straight north onto the grounds. Deacons will be there to assist you in locating and parking.
Those who come by train or bus can get taxi service at Gladewater, and possibly at Big Sandy, or, if coming by bus, it is possible the driver would let you off right at the grounds, though it would be better to go first to a hotel in Gladewater or Big Sandy, making sure of your place to stay before you go to the tabernacle.
Finally brethren, don't forget that our Heavenly Father has COMMANDED all of us to attend these annual Holy Days for our own GOOD, and our vital spiritual growth! It is a vital part of our Christian life, to be constantly kept in remembrance of God's great PLAN He is working out here below. The Passover shows the tremendous PRICE that was paid in our stead—the very life and the body of Jesus Christ, that our sins might be forgiven! The Days of Unleavened Bread show the putting out of SIN from our lives! Those who have been privileged to attend God's Holy Days in the past have said it is truly a wonderful time of rejoicing and spiritual feasting to be able to hear the inspired sermons, to attend the Bible Studies, to have personal contact and fellowship with God's ministers and His flock scattered abroad!
It is truly one of the most wonderful experiences in a Christian's life! So MAKE EVERY POSSIBLE EFFORT to come—and then, if it is NOT possible, and God knows each case, you may find it necessary to observe this most sacred service in your own home. Remember, however, that no one who has not been baptized, and has not really SURRENDERED to God in complete repentance should partake of the Passover! If you find it impossible to attend the festival at one of the four places where God's people will be meeting for the full eight days or at one of the Local Churches, then write me IMMEDIATELY for instructions on HOW TO TAKE THE PASSOVER IN YOUR OWN HOME!
We are hoping to see many of you, however, at the big tabernacle in Texas. May God bless and protect each one of you!
ONE PARTING POINT! It seems God's people sometimes GET CARELESS, and nearly every year we have to hear of some accident that has occurred, which INJURES someone who is a member of God's own flock! BRETHREN—DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN THIS YEAR! I call upon all of you in the name of Jesus Christ, as God's Apostle, and your Minister, BE CAREFUL!
Some have perhaps assumed that nothing can happen to God's people—that God will supernaturally intervene and prevent any accident, regardless of HOW careless we get! This is simply NOT TRUE! God expects us to DO OUR PART! Be extremely CAREFUL coming to the Passover! DO NOT DRIVE WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPY! Finally, I am going to pray, and I want to call on ALL OF YOU TO PRAY that God will protect His people—and somehow impress it on their minds that they must use great care in driving on today's dangerous high- ways!
It will be a terrible thing if I am forced to announce again that one of our own brethren or member of our own families has been killed or badly injured in an automobile accident! So please—be careful.