I have just arrived here in Gladewater, Texas, to inspect the new Tabernacle project and make final plans for construction of additional sanitary buildings in the camping area, altering the original tabernacle so as to convert it into a large dining hall, making decisions on wide sidewalks between the two buildings, paving the drive-ways, parking lot, and the many things that must be planned for the big fall Festival of Tabernacles.
The gigantic NEW tabernacle is going up, now—FAST!! The Behlen Manufacturing Company of Columbus, Nebraska, who are erecting this big tabernacle according to our own architect's plans, already have 22 trained and specialized workmen down here on the job, and many more are due to arrive in a few days.
WHAT A SURPRISE this big Tabernacle is! It is hard to visualize, from architects' drawings and blue-prints how BIG it really is. I found the whole floor already laid—in concrete. It is about 175 feet wide and 250 feet long. You can't picture this in your mind—you have to be there and SEE IT to realize how big it is!
They only started rearing up the walls three days ago, but the entire rear wall is up—towering some 45 or 50 feet above ground—and today the two side walls were going up into the air. As each section of side walls is erected into place, the same width of roof is set in place.
It was really thrilling to see these great long sections of aluminized steel being lifted up by big cranes into place. It is going to be a race against time to get it completed in time for the festival, but the foreman on the job, and our manager on the grounds, Mr. Roy Hammer, told me they fully expect to have it completed on time.
Following the terrible tragedy that took the life of our elder son, Richard David Armstrong, my wife and Dick's wife with her little 2« month old son, also named Richard David (the Second— not "Junior"), took the train to join our other son Garner Ted, in Springfield, Missouri. We arrived in time for the last two meetings of the evangelistic campaign that had been in progress for four weeks. A new Church of God was established there last Sabbath afternoon, following the close of the campaign on Friday night. There were 173 in attendance at this first Sabbath service of the CHURCH OF GOD at Springfield, Missouri. It was the largest church AT THE START to be founded in God's true Church in our time. God blessed the work of Garner Ted and his team of co-workers in this campaign abundantly. On Friday morning I went with Ted to the local radio station where he recorded one of the daily radio programs, which you will soon hear.
Our baptizing teams are winding up their summer tours, with the biggest harvest of any year by far—and hundreds awaiting baptism whom they have not been able, as yet, to see. Let me suggest to all who are awaiting baptism that you come to the Feast of Tabernacles at Gladewater Texas, beginning the evening of September 28, and lasting eight days, and you can be baptized there in our own baptistry on our grounds.
Now brethren, I have to remind you—the next payment to the Behlen Manufacturing Company for this big Tabernacle comes due on August 20th—and our check MUST be mailed to them in time to reach them on that date. It is a very large check again this month. If you have not yet mailed in your pledged amount, or special offering for this Tabernacle fund for this month, please try to do so BY RETURN MAIL. If you cannot possibly get it to us by the 20th, send it in AIR MAIL anyway the very first day possible, so that if we have to use any of the funds for the Gospel work and broadcasting to make up this Behlen check, it can be replaced quickly.
I want to say that our members have been responding with just about the needed amount each month so far—BUT WE MUST KEEP IT UP!! And beginning the November payment we shall have to increase the monthly payments by 50%—up to $18,000 every month.
It is going to cost about $25,000 to build the two additional sanitary buildings in the camping area—and these we simply are FORCED to build. Also the paving and side-walks between the new Tabernacle and the dining hall, and other expenses not included on the Behlen contract. So we are going to need several thousand dollars EXTRA these next six weeks.
Brethren, PRAY EARNESTLY for all the OTHER members of God's Church, that they may be prospered so that we may all be ABLE to send in enough to meet every need. There are enough of us to do it, IF every one does his full share, or maybe just a little MORE than his full share. And REMEMBER—this must be over and above your tithes and regular generous offerings. It must be in ADDITION to the money for the great world-wide GOSPEL work. I have to tell you that our income for the work of God during July dropped off almost $2,000 per day under June! That is a most alarming situation. Will you join me in prevailing PRAYER, that all members and co-workers will MAKE IT UP IN AUGUST?
Many have told me or written me that this tragic accident which took from our work one of the very ablest and most experienced ministers has resulted in shaking them up—AROUSING THEM to the fact they are not as close to GOD as they should be. It has spurred them on to greater effort, sacrifice, and more earnest prayer. Brethren, WE HAVE NEEDED A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING! The one most important thing in our lives is this precious WORK OF GOD! Let's put our whole hearts into it!!
This shows us that we need to PRAY, most earnestly, for those of God's called and chosen ministers in the top positions of responsibility and authority. We need to pray for MORE than just the protection of asking God to send angels to guard us. We need to pray earnestly that God will RESTRAIN SATAN AND HIS ORGANIZATION OF DEMONS FROM STRIKING AT US. Satan would strike at me, personally, and take my life from this work—if God allows! Next, he would strike at my other son, Garner Ted. For the sake of God's work, I need you to PRAY CONSTANTLY FOR ME, PERSONALLY—and for GARNER TED—and for other leaders such as Herman L. Hoeh, Roderick C. Meredith, Dr C. Paul Meredith, Raymond C. Cole, Norman Smith, Raymond McNair and others. PRAY FOR ALL OF GOD'S MINISTERS!! Satan is very angry because God has granted us the BIGGEST HARVEST this year of any year in history. Don't think for a second that nothing could happen to me, or any of us who are leaders in God's work!! Next to myself, there has been NO other minister more valuable to this work than Dick Armstrong—and Satan struck at him. Why God allowed it, we don't fully know yet—except to WAKE US UP, and send us all to our knees, and to make us realize we have NO protection, except from GOD—and if we become careless and lukewarm, we shall not have that! Let us lift our voices to God UNITEDLY to restrain the hand of Satan, and protect His servants!! Let us be aroused to SUPPORTING God's work more generously. GOD BLESS YOU!!