From the farms and townships of western Oregon to the present world headquarters in Southern California, God's Work has compiled an outstanding record of growth and accomplishment.
Herbert W. Armstrong's first World Tomorrow program was a 15-minute radio broadcast with a possible audience of one or two hundred. But he prepared the script as if the world would be listening. And in time it was. The Work, as it is commonly referred to today, is beginning its 45th year. As we launch another year of worldwide ministry, the Work's international efforts seem only natural, as if it has always been that way. But when that first broadcast was made, a Work of this present magnitude was not even dreamed of. The Church consisted of 19 members, who received a small bulletin called The Plain Truth and who together donated $1.35 a week to sponsor a 30-minute Sunday broadcast on a radio station in Oregon. It was a struggle. The fruits of what was started there, however, bear out the worthiness of that struggle. Today millions of listeners and readers are receiving a Gospel message unique in the world; the real Gospel message that Jesus Christ Himself proclaimed in the hills of Galilee. In this issue The Good News staff, in cooperation with the Church's Mail Processing Center, has compiled a partial list of some of the Work's accomplishments worldwide to provide a glimpse into what God has done through this Work over the last 45 years. Since that first broadcast in 1934, the Work has recorded 4,891 radio programs and 768 television programs. Mr. Armstrong alone has written over 750 magazine articles, nearly 50 booklets, five books and between 400 and 500 co-worker and member letters. The total amount of literature mailed out adds up to 288 million pieces.
Magazine circulation in millions
Magazine circulation files show that 224 million copies of The Plain Truth, 12 million copies of Tomorrow's World and 12 million copies of The Good News have been mailed, totaling 536 million pieces. The Work has received 37 million letters, which, if stacked one on another, would reach 14 miles high, and has received 2,090,000 phone calls via the WATS (Wide Area Telephone Service) line since 1973. Since 1947 the Church has ordained 1,115 ministers. A total of 7,824 students have attended Ambassador College, with 3,046 holding Ambassador degrees. There are 606,894 graduates of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course.
A worldwide Work
Scattered throughout the world the Work has 565 congregations established, with a combined membership of 71,003. Weekly Church attendance is near 100,000. The annual Fall Festival is now kept in 75 locations around the world. The Plain Truth magazine is published in five languages and sent to 188 countries. The Church maintains 17 offices to serve the international Work, which includes 240 churches and 17,828 members scattered around the earth. In addition, the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation (AICF) and Mr. Armstrong's meetings with world leaders in government and education are opening new doors for the dissemination of Christ's Gospel In this end time.
'Greater works than these'
Shortly before His crucifixion, Christ was admonishing His disciples to keep the commandments and to remember that the Father had sent Him. Jesus had done many great works during His short time on the earth, but He instructed His disciples to do even more: "... He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). The Work today, through God's guidance, is fulfilling this prophecy.