GREETINGS, in Jesus' name! This special letter contains important instructions about the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread that are drawing near.
I will be at the tabernacle building near Gladewater, Texas, again this year, God willing, with Mrs. Armstrong for the entire eight days. We will probably have the largest crowd yet during this Church age for the Passover! I had wanted desperately to have the construction ALREADY STARTED on the big NEW tabernacle by this Passover season—but, unless an overwhelming response comes in from my last letter about it, this will be impossible!
My son, Garner Ted Armstrong, and Mr. Norman Smith, ordained ministers, will go to the tabernacle with me. The Pastor of the Gladewater Church, Mr. Kenneth Swisher, will be there, and I anticipate that two other ministers from south Texas will be at the tabernacle for part of the Days of Unleavened Bread.
The Passover always begins on the evening of the 14th of God's first month, Abib (or Nisan), which commences this year on the evening of the 3rd of April on our Roman Calendar. The Pass- over services will be held at 7:00 P.m., Thursday evening, April 3rd. This is not a regular preaching service, but the most solemn gathering commemorating our Savior's death. There should be NO VISITING on this solemn occasion. Each person should enter the building quietly, in reverence and humility—finding a seat as quickly and noiselessly as possible. Immediately after the service, all should leave in solemnity and reverence, reserving visiting and joyous greeting of friends for the following day.
The next evening marks the beginning of the first annual Holy Day, which is the first day of Unleavened Bread. A meeting will be held in the tabernacle, at 10:00 A.M. and at 7:30 P.M. This is the "night much to be remembered," and it is a FEAST! God, as you know, reckons the beginning of a day at SUNSET, and not according to a man made watch. And so this evening service precedes an all- day meeting the following day, which is the daytime part of this Holy Feast! It is also the weekly Sabbath, as it happens to work out this year, making it a DOUBLE SABBATH!
Services will begin at 10:00 A.M., and again at 2:30 P.M., after the noon meal in the tabernacle building. And remember! These are the days of UNLEAVENED BREAD! Be sure to have all the leaven out of your homes before you leave for the tabernacle, and, should you happen to eat in a restaurant at some time during the Feast days, do not forget to avoid eating leavened bread!
Services will then be held each day for the ENTIRE NINE DAYS (the last day falls on a Friday, and, since the next day will be the weekly Sabbath, no one will be able to travel home on that day.) Morning services begin at 10:00 A.M., and each evening at 7:30, except the Sabbath days when services are at 10:00 A.M. and 2:30 P.M.
LYONS, COLORADO: Services will be conducted at Lyons for the entire nine days for all the brethren in the states nearby who can be spared a trip of many hundreds of extra miles to the tabernacle.
Mr. Raymond Cole, together with Mr. Allen Manteufel, will go to Lyons from the Headquarters Church here in Pasadena, and will be assisted by the regular Pastor of the three Churches in Lyons, Garden City and Pueblo, Mr. Carlton Smith.
Services will be held in the Montgomery Schoolhouse, on Colorado Highway "66", just two miles east of Lyons, Colorado. The Passover service will be held at 8:00 P.M., on the same date, Thursday, April 3rd. The Feast Day services will begin the following evening at 8:00 P.M., with daily services to follow— each morning service beginning at 10:00, and each afternoon service beginning at 2:00 P.M.
Facilities: BRINGING TENTS IS NOT ADVISABLE! The weather could be severe enough to prohibit the use of tents. However there is house-trailer space available on Radio Church of God property, which is just 8ę miles above Lyons, on Colorado Highway "66."
Motels are available either at Lyons, only 2 miles from the meeting place, or at Longmont, a larger city, nine miles from the schoolhouse.
ONLY ONE MEAL will be served at the meeting place, on the "night to be remembered"—the eve of the FEAST day. This meal will be "potluck" type, with each person or family bringing a covered dish of some type—as has usually been done in the past. No other meals will be served—since facilities are not available. However, coffee and milk will be available continually during the Days of Unleavened Bread, for those who wish to bring their lunches and eat near the meeting place at the noon meal.
LOCAL CHURCHES: Each local pastor will make announcements as to time and place of services. If any of you brethren live nearer to some of the below listed areas than you do to the big tabernacle, or to Lyons, Colorado, then please write in immediately, by AIR MAIL, and we'll send you the information about time and place for the local Church nearest you.
They are: Chicago; Milwaukee; St Louis, Mo; Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas; Tacoma, Washington; Portland, Salem and Eugene, Oregon; Fresno and San Diego, California. Other local Churches will be meeting at one of the larger central areas.
Each year, there are a number of new members who have not been able to attend meetings at the tabernacle before. For their benefit, as well as for others who may need additional information, these special instructions are included.
Meals will be served, as usual, at cost, at the tabernacle. You must obtain your own motel or hotel reservations beforehand, as has always been done. 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.
Beside a combination filling station and cafe (already mentioned) on the north side of highway 80, you will see our sign "Private Grounds, Radio Church of God Tabernacle." Turn in at the sign, and follow the road straight back until you arrive at the tabernacle building, which is secluded in a forest area.
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. An evening meal, will be served at the tabernacle at 5:00 P.M. on the 3rd of April, just prior to the Passover services.
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 either at Gladewater, at Lyons, 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 most 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 or 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 mind's that they must use great care in driving on today's dangerous highways!
It will be a terrible thing if I am forced to announce that one of our own brethren has been killed or badly injured in an automobile accident! So please—be careful!