Dear Fellow Ministers:
Greetings again from Pasadena! It has been very good to be able to talk with so many dozen~ of you personally over the past few weeks. However, I am happy that things are slowing down a little bit now so we can "catch our breath" and have more time for detailed planning, catching up on our normal procedural work, etc.
I know by this time that all of you know that — pending any unusual problems — the receivership is being lifted from God's Work! We are very grateful for this, and hope that God will help us get on with positive plans and programs in the Work again.
Mr. Armstrong spoke this Sabbath to about 2,000 assembled brethren here at headquarters via telephone hookup from Tucson. Frankly, his talk was very helpful and very inspiring to us all. His warm, fatherly approach — and the deep spiritual orientation he gave us — reflect something that nobody else can give us!
While congratulating all the brethren here who rallied to physically help the Work during the recent crisis, he again directed our minds to the deep realization that it is the great GOD who alone can deliver us. He told us, frankly, that God obviously allowed this trial to come on us for a reason. One reason he stated is that we have NOT been as close to GOD as we should be! So he exhorted us to get closer to God through fervent prayer — asking God to teach us where we have gone wrong and to renew his spiritual POWER among us.
Along this line, some of our P.A.D. team have suggested that perhaps I should mention the series of sermons I have been giving here at headquarters. I have been giving an entire series on the vital importance of Bible study, on the power of prayer, on meditation, on really using intelligently the "tool" of fasting, and on exercising the power of God's Spirit that we receive through these previously mentioned "tools" of Christian living. Literally scores have commented personally how much they appreciate this series, and how long a time it has been since anything like this has been given here at headquarters. If you have not done so (though I know some of you have), perhaps you should give a similar series of sermons to help the brethren really get back close to God as we should and must be as a Church.
Positive changes are still moving along here at a rapid pace! It is my pleasure to announce that Mr. Armstrong has approved the assignment of Mr. Leroy Neff — one of our long-time, faithful and loyal pastor rank ministers — as the Area Coordinator here at headquarters replacing Mr.. Burk McNair! Mr. McNair enthusiastically joined in this decision, as it now frees him up to function fulltime as Acting Regional Adviser of the five areas back east he has been assigned to coordinate under my direction. Replacing Mr. Neff will be Mr. John Ogwyn from Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Victoria, Texas, who in turn will be replaced by Mr. Dennis Van Deventer from Regina, Canada. Both of these are fine, solid ministers whom I know will do a great job. Also, Mr. Roy Demarest has been assigned to replace Mr. Dave Odar in Baltimore, who is going non-career. Dave is loyal and cooperative and they will overlap each other within a few weeks.
Another bit of great news is that "old faithful" — Mr. Ken Swisher — has consented to transfer with his family to take over the two big churches in Dallas, Texas, replacing Mr. Ray Wooten! He will also become the active Senior Pastor in the area, as Mr. Wooten goes to Kansas City as Area Coordinator as was previously announced.
So things are moving on!
Barring unforeseen problems, I want to announce something I have talked with a number of you coordinators about. That is, we will have an Area Coordinators' meeting here at headquarters for three days, March 20, 21, and 22. All of you please plan to fly in Sunday or Monday so you can join with us for all-day meetings during these three days to discuss manpower, the budget, future plans for growth, etc.
Before closing, let me again remind all of you of the Acting Regional Advisers that have been assigned for you to call and work through except when you absolutely have to get me personally. Please follow through on this fellows, and we will list both their home and office phone numbers below and remind you again of the areas they are servicing.
And please notice that we are adding Mr. Carl McNair's area to Mr. Burk McNair's region — so Carl now has to report to "Big Brother" who is literally watching him! Therefore, you men in Carl McNair's area should now report through Mr. Burk McNair in checking things through headquarters. This will give Burk five areas to supervise, but he does not have the same pressure of other responsibilities as brother Raymond who is so heavily involved in managing the entire college. Also, Dennis Luker should not take on any more areas as he will continue to work with me in overall planning on a more constant basis than the others and will give special input regarding the foreign areas as well.
Once you get used to calling and reporting through this team of dedicated men and our 11 Shake-down cruise" is over, I am sure this new system will work very well and help all of us get the job done as we should. That is our sincere desire, fellows, regardless of offices. I hope all of us can continually humble ourselves and continually gain more of the spirit described in I Peter 5:5: "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder, Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."
Thanks again for your loyalty and cooperation! We can be sure that God will give us greater growth than ever now that we are getting the whole Work "back on the track" — truly under Mr. Armstrong and under Christ and trying with our hearts to do things His way.
—With Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith