GREETINGS, in Jesus' name! After many delays, with trying suspense during periods when it appeared we could not go ahead with the Tabernacle this year, I have just received the final completed bid from the Behlen Manufacturing Co., who are to undertake the entire completed construction.
We had hoped to hold the total cost under $300,000. At Passover time, the Behlen people informed me the indication then was that we probably would be able to cut under that figure, as they were getting in some bids on sub-contract work at lower figures than their own estimates. However, the final firm bid, as always happens in any building construction, comes to a figure higher than anticipated or estimated in advance. The total cost will be $331,550. However, this is a firm bid—not an estimate. It cannot go higher.
And this price includes everything on the Tabernacle building—the aluminized steel building itself, the concrete for floors and porches, etc., brick facing over the front, all electric wiring and fixtures, all plumbing, heating, air ventilating, public address wiring, and complete finishing of all conference rooms, mothers' room, and children's play-room. The main auditorium room is not to be insulated or its walls or ceilings finished—just the plain corrugated aluminized steel with no finish—-but we believe this will be satisfactory.
lt probably will be difficult for most of you to realize how big this building will be—the main auditorium room 121 x 251 feet, and seating about 5,500, beside ample rest rooms, emergency first-aid rooms, eight insulated sound-proof ministers' conference rooms, a large ministers' conference and dining room, an office for me, and a large room for chorale rehearsal and for ministers' wives. The rostrum will be much larger than the present one, with special elevated tiers behind the pulpit for the chorale, so that it will never be necessary to move the pulpit or rostrum furniture when the chorale sings.
If this size building—with no pillars or posts in the giant main auditorium—were built by ordinary construction methods, it would probably cost about $600,000 or more. This is the least expensive type of building construction ever known—so far as we know, and we have designed it to be built at the lowest possible cost. It is just a BIG BUILDING! Even so, we should outgrow it in two or three years. It is so designed that we can then add two wings enlarging it to a 10,000-seat capacity, and when we outgrow that—if we do—we can add a balcony, bringing it up to around 14,000 seats. The additions will not cost proportionately to this first major unit.
This huge Tabernacle will be very plain—nothing ornate or luxurious—but it is very skillfully designed for our particular needs. I feel that it will be very adequate for our purpose.
The work has been in a terrible financial bind. Our business office is simply straining to keep our heads above water. About ten percent or more of our members and co-workers have been out of work, and unable to send in customary tithes and offerings.
BRETHREN!—this means that the rest of us must STRAIN A LITTLE HARDER, sacrifice a little more—send in a little more than formerly! The WORK is leaping ahead with increasing crescendo, and in multiplying POWER! More people are being converted than ever before—over ONE THOUSAND precious souls now awaiting baptism by our teams on their summer tours. Think of it! Over a thousand!
My son, Garner Ted Armstrong, has made all arrangements for conducting the largest evangelistic campaign the Church has ever undertaken this summer, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With him we are sending a trained and competent team. Mr. Al Portune is going as song leader, and Mrs. Lucy Martin, head of the Ambassador College Department of Music, as pianist. Both Mr. Portune and Ted are soloists of professional ability, and they will sing frequent solos. Mr. Wayne Cole has already gone to Pittsburgh to visit our members scattered over that district and start our new CHURCH there prior to the opening of the campaign. He will be there to assist Ted in the campaign, leading in prayer, making announcements, etc., and pastoring the new local Church. Also we are sending Mr. John Hammer and Mr. Charles Black to act as deacons, ushering, passing out song books, etc. Mrs. Garner Ted Armstrong will also play the piano, thus using two pianos for the congregation singing. A splendid and well-known hall, near down-town Pittsburgh, has been engaged.
My other son, Richard D. Armstrong, is the father of a new 8-pound, 6-ounce boy, named Richard David Armstrong the Second, born May 15th. This is the tenth grandchild for Mrs. Armstrong and me. God is blessing us in every way!
Jut recently the super-power KVOO, Tulsa, 1170 on the dial, 50,000 watts, opened up a MOST desirable time for The WORLD TOMORROW—7:30, Central time, every evening! This will mean better reception for many of our members. Also, it means we MUST organize new churches in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and probably Duncan, just as soon as we can possibly have pastors available. Also, we hope to organize a new church this summer or early fall in either Springfield or Lebanon, Missouri. Many of you brethren still have no local church near enough to attend regularly. But BE PATIENT, brethren, and KEEP PRAYING for God's work, and for more God-called ministers to enter Ambassador College—and in God's due time there will probably be a local church raised up near you. JUST THINK! More than a thousand new members being added to our approximately 5,000 members during this one year alone! Most of them, probably, will not be able to attend a local church. The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers FEW! YOU must be one of our PRAYER- laborers, and TITHE-and-OFFERING LABORERS. that this need may be supplied!
DON'T FORGET OR NEGLECT your special PLEDGE for the new Tabernacle fund! In the next few days I must sign a binding contract with the Behlen Manufacturing Company. We do not have the full amount pledged which I must pledge to them! We must receive, EVERY MONTH, more than the amount pledged, so I may keep up these payments. I am going to offer the Behlen people a mortgage on this new Tabernacle and its grounds, so they could take it away from us if the payments are not met promptly. I must count on you to back me up!
We have not much longer to go, in this glorious work of our Lord! Perhaps some 13 more years! EVERY YEAR MUST COUNT! The POWER of this work must be MULTIPLIED many times over what it now is. THIS NEEDS YOUR DAILY PRAYERS—YOUR INTENSE, EARNEST, BELIEVING PRAYERS!
God bless you all! Keep praying for one another—for ALL our brethren, who are precious begotten children of God! We must make this work of God our ONE PARAMOUNT MISSION IN LIFE!