Rumors have gone out that when I have said so many times God's Work grew 30 percent per year the first 35 years my statements were untrue. The rumor started to spread that I grossly misrepresented — that the Work grew very slowly that first 35 years, but that it did in fact really grow faster AFTER 1969. Brethren, it is now IMPORTANT that you know the TRUTH. I have had three departments of the Work — Pastoral Administration, Mail Processing and Financial Affairs — give me the ACTUAL RECORDS — YEAR BY YEAR — UP TO THE PRESENT! The actual RECORDS give you the truth! Let me quote briefly from the article in the June 5th Good News: "For 35 years the Work of God grew steadily at the rate of approximately 30 percent a year. I do not know of any organization, secular or religious, that has shown so remarkable growth, starting from NOTHING financially (though we started with something greater — FAITH in the living Christ as HEAD of the Church and the Work). This Work was built literally on FAITH. "The living Christ blessed it richly, even though there was carnal opposition and persecution from the beginning... "Meanwhile I was going in person, with our advertising agent of that time, to managers of radio stations all over the United States, especially the major 50,000-watt stations, obtaining time for a DAILY half-hour program. This is what, more than any other physical means, BUILT THE WORK — kept it growing 30 percent a year!... "This, truly, is one of the most incredible success stories of our time. There is a very significant reason. For it is the story of what THE LIVING GOD CAN DO — and has done — through a human instrument, called and chosen by HIM — whose eyes He opened to astonishing TRUTH — one He reduced to humble obedience, yielded in faith and DEDICATED TO GOD'S WAYS!... "Brethren, READ THIS SERIOUSLY! Jesus Christ, the living HEAD of God's Church, started this present era of His Work through me. I DID NOT BUILD THE WORK OR THE CHURCH — the living Christ built it, using me as His instrument and His apostle. "But I made the mistake, un-realizing that mistake, of allowing an office of authority to be injected BETWEEN ME AND THE MINISTRY AND CHURCH! "For the first 35 years of this Work, I was the sole human in supreme command, UNDER CHIRST. During those 35 years the Church and the Work GREW AND GREW AND GREW! It had Christ's BLESSING! "I knew that GOD'S FORM OF ORGANIZATION is FROM THE TOP DOWN. I DID NOT REALIZE that allowing an office of authority to be interjected BETWEEN me and the Church was contrary to God's form of human organization. "WHAT RESULTED? Great confusion in the Church — especially in and around headquarters, 'WHO IS REALLY IN AUTHORITY?' many wondered, perplexed. The Work STOPPED GROWING."
Meeting with kings
Let me add here that after 1969 the MOST IMPORTANT phase of the Work did grow — while I was having personal, private meetings, by invitation, with kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers and others in high office in governments all over the world — in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America and Europe. And this was leading to personal PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS, reaching people by the hundreds and thousands in these gentile countries. Increases in yearly member growth since 1950 But both the membership and the financial income DROPPED OFF ALARMINGLY! The Work and the Church started in August of 1933. It started from ZERO financially. I had no automobile. I had to hitch-hike or depend on members to get me to the places where I was preaching six nights a week. By 1942 I started the first DAILY half-hour broadcasting over a strong Hollywood station. Our BIGGEST RATE OF GROWTH was from 1942 to 1955. I have not been furnished the records of member increase until 1950 and of income rate of growth until 1955. Beginning 1969 the DAILY half-hour radio broadcasting was gradually — and severely — reduced. Instead the Garner Ted Armstrong television programs were replacing daily half-hour radio. THEY WERE DOCUMENTARY PROGRAMS primarily, dealing primarily with conditions of THE WORLD — not the KINGDOM OF GOD. In 1972 we started daily telecasting on GOSPEL subjects, but after a time these telecasts became more and more SECULAR, dealing primarily with this world's politics. Finally the radio programs were virtually eliminated, going to five-minute programs. This was almost disastrous, as the records of results show. Brethren, Jesus Christ has now put HIMSELF back as the living HEAD of God's Church and Work. I have to say to you, in truth, that my mistake in allowing a position of authority to be inserted BETWEEN myself and the Church led to GREAT CONFUSION as to WHO IS IN CHARGE — WHO IS THE REAL LEADER IN THE CHURCH. That is now CORRECTED. The living JESUS CHRIST is the HEAD of this Church. It's time we quit saying, as did the Corinthian church, "I am of Paul — I am of Apollos — I am of Peter," etc. Biggest percentage of growth was in years 1942, when first on air DAILY, to 1955 — [but we] do not have the records available at this time. As one Church official said the other day, many in the Church have drifted so far away from the knowledge of WHO IS THE REAL LEADER of this Church that they have forgotten that JESUS CHRIST is our LIVING HEAD! The Church of GOD is ruled by HIM not the brethren or one they might choose, BUT AS CHRIST HAS CHOSEN AND IS LEADING, UNDER HIM! Below are the exact figures from our records.