I want to THANK you, most sincerely, for your prompt and generous response to my appeal for special funds to finish the local church auditorium (at the rear of the large main auditorium) in the Tabernacle at Gladewater, Texas.
I do not feel that I ought to make any special appeal for these funds to our large number of Co-Workers who are not actually members. Many of them are members of various churches and denominations, who do not as yet fully realize ALL the truth, but nevertheless are interested in the "World Tomorrow" broadcast and The PLAIN TRUTH, and are helping us to support it. Perhaps you have never realized it, but about 90% of all the money it takes to carry on this great, vast, world-wide work of God is being supplied by just such people, who are not themselves members of God's true Church. They do not attend any of the festivals at the Tabernacle. When I continually appealed to them for special offerings for the Tabernacle year before last, some of them resented it, and some may have stopped supporting the radio and publishing work as a result.
I felt you ought to know this — to realize that God is laying it on the hearts of many not actually in His church — at least as yet — to help finance His work — and also to know that I can now appeal only to you MEMBERS, who constitute only a small part of our Co-Workers, to finish this work on the Tabernacle.
That means WE FEW must make EXTRA SACRIFICE to get the Tabernacle completed, since there are so few of us, comparatively. When I consider the comparative small number of us, the response to my last appeal was very gratifying — and I want you to know how grateful I am at your generous response. About $6,000 came in. It was enough to get the work started — but not enough to complete even that one room.
The big part of the expense is the stone, which will form the entire rear wall of this room, the large fireplace which will be built on the opposite side of this wall, in the great lounge room to be built later, and the chimney, 12 feet wide and 6 feet deep, that will protrude up thru the roof. Also the entire outside wall along the entrance porch is to be built of this stone, beside two 3-feet square pillars that support the porch. This stone is the one real architectural touch that will add the final grace and beauty to the building, and give it that atmosphere of solidity and permanence.
We have decided to build this of the very finest stone we can procure. While it costs more, the cost is only some $600 or $700 more, on a total cost of some $3,500 worth, than much inferior stone. The entire structure is costing more than $100,000 — it is the largest building in the country — and the architect felt, and we agreed, that this slight difference in cost is negligible, when it will make the whole building look at least 50% better. This stone is being shipped, now, by freight, from quarries in eastern Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.
We encountered considerable delay in getting this stone ordered. The quarry from which the stone we wanted comes, had been shut down, but we found that another near-by quarry is now open, supplying the same identical stone, and we finally ordered it. It should be on the siding at Big Sandy in another week. Meanwhile the work is proceeding.
This part of the building will cost probably a total of $10,000. We need another $4,000 to complete it. Therefore I have to ask you to RALLY ONCE AGAIN, and make another big double-effort, to send in SPECIAL offerings, entirely over and above your regular tithes and offerings you send for the work.
I feel strongly, brethren, that we should then proceed and build on the lounge room on the very front of the Tabernacle, and have it ready before the Feast of Tabernacles next fall. This will not cost as much as the finishing of the smaller church auditorium, because the most costly part of the materials for the lounge room — the giant perlins, or beams overhead to support the roof, are already on the grounds and paid for. In addition to this, I feel we ought to try to ENCLOSE the two sides on the large main auditorium and install all the glass work and the doors (already on hand and paid for) on the north side of the building. And we also ought to try to build at least 100 of the small booths before this coming Festival, if at all possible. Last year we had about 65 tents pitched on the grounds, and some 35 house trailers. All others had to stay in motels or hotels. It's impossible to build all of the booths so that we can offer housing to ALL who will come this fall, but if possible I feel we ought to try to erect at least 100 of them. Even this would not take care of a fourth of the people who will come.
So all this means we should CONTINUE sending in SPECIAL building fund offerings — over and above tithes and general offerings for the work — EVERY MONTH, or even more often if you can. We've simply got to put our shoulders to the wheel — put our WHOLE HEARTS into the work of God, and of HIS CHURCH, which he has made OUR Church.
THIS IS THE ONE GREAT PURPOSE OF OUR LIVES RIGHT NOW. Of course the great, powerful Gospel work to the whole world is FIRST in importance. We must put that FIRST, over and above our own local churches — for those of us fortunate enough to be able to attend one of them. But we must also make ADDITIONAL and SPECIAL sacrifice for the work of the Church itself, and right now, for the Tabernacle which is the one great central NATIONAL meeting place for us ALL.
At least two, perhaps four or five, of our new members in ENGLAND are coming clear across the ocean for the Festival of Tabernacles this fall. Isn't that WONDERFUL? Let's bend every effort to have the main tabernacle building finished up, and at least 100 booths constructed. WE CAN, if we are really in earnest, with our whole hearts.
Raymond McNair has moved to Chicago, where he is calling on members, and Co-Workers. He hopes that God will raise up a new Church in Chicago very soon, thru his work there. He goes every Sabbath to preach at the St. Louis Church.
THANK YOU, Brethren — but we must KEEP IT UP. Please send in, and keep on sending, the largest SPECIAL, additional offerings you can. Designate it, and state amount, as for TABERNACLE building fund.