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COME HELP HUMANITY!
Table of Contents
It All Began With One Man
The Garner Ted Armstrong Program
The Gospel is Published
The International Work
A Unique Church
Come Help Humanity!
"Up to the present, we know, the whole created universe groans in all its parts as if in the pangs of childbirth" (Rom. 8:22). Humankind somehow senses that something is very wrong with this world today. The tragic symptoms are everywhere about us. Humanity is continually confronted with a growing multiplicity of problems: the specter and shadow of the Bomb, overpopulation, famine, pollution, crime, racial conflict, political corruption, the alienation of the young, immorality, divorce, disease. Educators, theologians, politicians, ecologists — all responsible men and speaking as with one voice — warn us that humanity desperately needs help! Something must be done if mankind is to continue to exist on planet earth. This booklet explains how you can become involved in a world-saving crusade for sanity
Chapter One — It All Began With One Man
The very fact that most of you reading this booklet are subscribers to the Plain Truth shows that you are actively concerned with the state of this world. You are seeking and searching for answers! You are beginning to understand the real meaning behind all of today's bad news.
But perhaps you would like to know more about the organization and the very real personalities that compose it. You would like to know more about just what is behind the Plain Truth, the Garner Ted Armstrong radio and TV programs, the Worldwide Church of God and all that makes up what we call — "the Work."
We want you to know all about us. That is why we are publishing this new booklet about this Work.
It all started with one man and his wife.
The Story of One Man
It is the story of a man who had been unusually successful in the world of business, a man whose energy formerly had been directed to self-gain and status — who came to reverse his entire life's goal and to devote himself to giving instead of getting.
Herbert W. Armstrong was born July 31, 1892 in Des Moines, Iowa of respected and upright parents of solid Quaker stock. His ancestors had emigrated from England to Pennsylvania with William Penn a hundred years before the United States became a nation.
From early boyhood Mr. Armstrong had a passion for understanding. By age 16, in addition to school studies, he was frequenting the philosophy, biography and business administration shelves in the public libraries. At 22, bulwarked by a broad-based, intensive education, he was the "Idea Man" in the editorial department of the largest-circulation trade journal in America.
Business experience brought Mr. Armstrong into personal contact with corporation executives great and small, and with presidents and vice presidents of banks — all the way from country bankers to top bank managers on Wall Street and South La Salle Street, Chicago.
In the autumn of 1926 Mr. Armstrong was challenged on the theory of evolution. He delved thoroughly into the works of Darwin and his sponsors, Haeckel and Huxley, the works of Lyell before them, and Chamberlin and Vogt after them. This led to a study of Genesis and the whole Bible, and to its claims for special creation and the existence of an all-powerful Creator.
As he studied, Mr. Armstrong discovered compelling evidence that this Creator was indeed a supreme, living Intelligence infinitely higher than man and that the Bible was His inspired and accurate Revelation to man.
Mr. Armstrong's rational study of the Bible revealed the root causes of all of this world's ills as well as the solutions that will ultimately be effected — in spite of the resistance and opposition of humanity. Mr. Armstrong found the missing dimension in knowledge — an understanding of what man is, why man was put here on earth — the purpose for which humanity exists — the incredible human potential!
He soon discovered a biblically revealed "give" way of life which the Creator set in living motion to cause and produce peace, happiness, abundance and well-being. Mr. Armstrong, along with his wife Loma, started to practice this new way of life together in the spring of 1927. Soon they began to share this newfound way with others — at first only with a few scattered people in the Pacific Northwest, then, as finances made possible, the continental United States.
The scope of this Work is now worldwide. As a result, this enterprise now affects the lives of a hundred and fifty million people and more on all continents. Many thousands of lives have been changed — turned right side up — made more successful and happy.
Mr. Armstrong is now Founder, Chancellor and Chairman of the Board of the Ambassador Colleges with the parent campus in Pasadena, California, and a second campus at Big Sandy, Texas. He is also President and Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God, as well as Editor-in-Chief of our periodicals.
[Photo Caption — MR. ARMSTRONG on the air in the early years of the college, with Mrs. Armstrong by his side.]
[Photo Caption — CLOCKWISE from top left: the Order of the Sacred Treasure — highest honor the Japanese government can bestow on a private citizen of another country — was recently conferred on Mr. Armstrong. With Leopold Ill of Belgium. Speaking at banquet in Cairo. Receiving honorary degree at Angeles University.]
[Photo Caption — MR. ARMSTRONG has met many world leaders in his travels. Here he is greeted by President V. V. Girl of India.]
A New Dimension
In recent years Mr. Armstrong has entered upon a great new dimension in this Work. He and those with him had been unable to reach many big-population countries — especially in the non-English-speaking world — through the vehicle of mass-communication media. Government control forbade the use of such media in most of these countries.
The "give way" could only be shared with these countries — first through the topmost leaders and then later with those individuals possessing sufficient education to comprehend — under the auspices of those at the very top.
In the last several years Mr. Armstrong has had countless meetings with many prime ministers, kings, princes, heads of state, leading educators and others. He has spoken at many dinner meetings with large groups of leaders in nations all over this world. These meetings have led to major public appearances in a number of countries. Many more such events are being planned.
King Albert of Belgium had an iron cannonball melted down and formed into four watchcases to encase fine watches for presentation to the four men who had made the greatest contribution to world peace. Three were quickly awarded. Fifty years later, his son, Leopold III, awarded the fourth to Mr. Armstrong for his efforts toward world peace.
Herbert W. Armstrong has unreservedly devoted his life to sharing the "Give Way" with humanity.
Chapter Two — The Garner Ted Armstrong Program
Herbert W. Armstrong's crusade for helping humanity quickly grew beyond the capacity of just one man and his wife. Soon the services of others with various talents and abilities were required.
Mr. Armstrong found that as the college grew, the circulation of the Plain Truth magazine climbed, as offices began to open up overseas — finally girdling the globe — as more and more executive and administrative responsibilities fell on his shoulders — that he needed help with The World Tomorrow broadcast which he had originated on radio in 1934.
Mr. Armstrong found qualified help in the person of his own son — Garner Ted Armstrong — whose talents are uniquely fitted for radio and television. Garner Ted was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1930. After spending most of his youth in Eugene, he joined the Navy in 1948 and saw service on an aircraft carrier off the coast of Korea.
In a very few years after he began sharing the daily broadcasting with his father in 1955, Garner Ted became "the voice" of The World Tomorrow program. It continued its rapid growth of previous decades under his aegis.
In 1967 Garner Ted Armstrong carried the message of the world tomorrow into regular weekly television after his father had pioneered briefly in this medium in 1955. Now the Garner Ted Armstrong program, a full-color half-hour commentary explaining the meaning of world events in the light and backdrop of biblical prophecy, is seen on stations across the United States and Canada. He continues to do the daily radio program which is now heard in several nations in the English-speaking world.
A Unique Radio Talent
A radio station program manager once asked Mr. Herbert Armstrong: "I would like to know how Garner Ted Armstrong does this program. Where does he get all the amazing facts he is always giving us? I don't see how he could keep pouring out so much information, unless it is all written on script — yet it doesn't sound like he is reading it, and he surely could not find the time to write so much, besides researching so much information, and keep it up daily. And surely no one could carry so much in his head and ad lib it."
Paraphrased and summarized, here is his father's frank reply: "Ted has now been on the air about 13 years [now 20]. He is very well informed. I think no man has a better grasp of world affairs and their significance, of social conditions, of family life and problems and of human nature. Probably no person on earth has a better knowledge and understanding of the Bible, and of biblical prophecy — which gives the only real explanation of world conditions today, and of their meaning and where they are heading, and of the real meaning and purpose of life itself.
"So far as current news and events are concerned, Ted is an inveterate reader. He reads rapidly as his mother did. He has an unusually apt sense of comprehension, especially for sifting out instantly what is important from what is trivial. And he has a remarkable power of retention.
"We have at Ambassador College, Pasadena campus, a very well-organized News Bureau, staffed with a crew of well-trained men. They have been trained for our particular program. The News Bureau is equipped with AP, UPI, and Reuters teletypes. These are bringing us constantly, twenty-four hours a day, the full leased wire news reports from all over the world.
"Besides this, they scan and clip important news magazines — Time, Newsweek, U.S. News, Der Spiegel, and others, in addition to important newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, London Daily Times.... These men work very closely with Ted.
"News is all carefully boiled down, classified, and on whatever subject Ted is planning to speak, the highspot on that subject is brought to him just before broadcast time."
[Photo Caption — GARNER TED ARMSTRONG speaks at personal appearance in Portland, Oregon. Publications of the Worldwide Church of God are displayed on table in lobby (top left).]
[Photo Caption — THE AMBASSADOR COLLEGE News Bureau is serviced by AP, UPI and Reuters teletypes.]
The TV Team
The Garner Ted Armstrong TV program is more than just news and good reporting. It offers biblical solutions and answers to the critical problems that face the average American, Canadian and, indeed, the citizen of the world today. This unusual telecast gets down to the nitty-gritty of a problem — making it factual and interesting. In bringing the advanced news of the wonderful world tomorrow, Garner Ted Armstrong combines up-to-the-minute news reports with biblical prophecy. No other program gives such unique insight into world problems.
The television studios are located on the beautiful Ambassador College campus in Pasadena, California. Here a team effort produces the telecast. Researchers compile needed information on the program subject. Many times the input includes conducting interviews with respected professionals in their fields; gathering data, graphs and charts; plus finding interesting film clips. A single program can require animation, set design, film clips, charts and graphs, interviews and on-location filming.
Our "video pod," a videotape unit designed and assembled by Ambassador College personnel, is a unique, one-of-a-kind means of providing flexible and first-rate on-location coverage for the television program virtually anywhere in the world. All this is possible because the video pod is a complete production facility inside of a common freight container ("pod") used by airlines throughout the world. The pod is usually carried on a small flatbed truck but can be shipped by air anywhere in the world on short notice. At the destination another flatbed truck can be rented to carry the pod right up to the site.
An important aspect of the TV program are the hour specials filmed on location at evangelistic campaigns conducted by Garner Ted Armstrong.
He is no newcomer to evangelistic campaigns. It was during the very week of his brother Dick's untimely and tragic automobile accident in 1958 that Garner Ted was speaking at his first evangelistic campaign in Springfield, Missouri. (At the time of his death, Dick Armstrong was the evangelist in charge of the International Work.)
His father wrote: "During this week, Ted suffered sympathetically the pains Dick was living through. Yet he was compelled to remain right there appearing cheerful, speaking to the audience night after night.... Ted's campaign produced rich results."
In 1970, another series of personal appearances commenced with the theme "America, Listen." Successful appearances were held in Cincinnati and Nashville. These were but "warm-ups" for the present series.
In August of 1972, Garner Ted Armstrong held the first in the current series of campaigns — which is still very much in progress. The site of the event was Calgary, Alberta, where more than 3,000 Canadians turned out. Next was St. Petersburg, Florida, followed by San Antonio, Vancouver, Houston, Portland, Kansas City, etc. Certain campaigns are hand-picked for full TV and film coverage to be edited down and aired as specials over many TV stations across the United States.
Such are the main activities of Garner Ted Armstrong. But he is also President of Ambassador College and Executive Vice-President of the Worldwide Church of God.
On the personal side, Ted Armstrong holds a private pilot's license with a multiengine rating, and has accumulated over 200 hours flying modern jet aircraft, mostly in the service of this Work. He is an avid deer and elk hunter and enjoys fishing when his jammed schedule permits.
Chapter Three — The Gospel is Published
While personal appearances, meetings with heads of state, and the radio and television broadcasts are all vitally important, they are not sufficient to fulfill our commission in this modern age. The good news needs to be printed and published as well as preached. Today this Work is reaching millions with printed material containing vital spiritual truth unavailable from any other source.
Birth of the Plain Truth
Volume I, Number 1 of the Plain Truth made its humble appearance a month after The World Tomorrow radio broadcast went on the air in 1934. Less than 200 copies were distributed — all had to be addressed by hand, by Mr. and Mrs. Herbert W. Armstrong.
Mr. Armstrong had cherished since 1927 the idea of a magazine to be called the Plain Truth. At that time he had made up an entire "dummy" of this proposed magazine, and had even written articles for it. He even had a professional letter artist design a front-cover idea in 1927. But at this time there was never the financial "wherewithal" to start publishing a magazine.
That ambition to publish the Plain Truth was a natural outgrowth of his earlier business experience. Then in January 1934, he realized that this magazine was a must as a backup for the radio broadcast.
The editorial in the first issue stated what has been the guiding principle of all our publications: "In these anxious days of stress, turmoil and strife; of revolution and economic collapse; of war and fear of war; of confusion before a bewildering onslaught of creeds, dogmas, fables and false teachings, the Plain Truth makes its humble and modest appearance.
"The Plain Truth comes with a definite mission. It comes in a sincere effort to help lead those who honestly are hungering and thirsting after righteousness out of this modem confusion of tongues, and into the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.
"The real truth is simple and plain...."
[Photo Caption — EARLY issues of the Plain Truth were produced on an old hand-operated Neostyle similar to this one. The Neostyle was the "granddaddy of the mimeograph."]
A Unique Publication
The Plain Truth is obviously unique. Unique in its treatment of international affairs. Unique in its elucidation of solutions to the problems of humanity. The Plain Truth not only reports what is going on behind the scenes, but ties trends together from the perspective of the Bible. No other major news publication uses the Bible as a point of reference with which to analyze global trends.
Since 1934, this publication has anticipated many of the major developments of our time — years in advance of their fulfillment. During the collapse of Hitler's Third Reich, for example, the Plain Truth told its audience that the German nation would emerge, phoenix-like, from the ashes of defeat to become a major economic power in the Western world.
Overall, the Plain Truth has stressed the awesome impact of our nuclear age — a time when all human life can be wiped from the face of the earth — and has explained its import for the average man on the street. The Plain Truth goes far beyond the physical, the circumstantial, the obvious. It probes into the heart and core — the spiritual side — of each and every issue, and thus presents the real solutions which are otherwise unattainable. This is how your Plain Truth is serving you.
[Photo Caption — DATA PROCESSING maintains subscription lists for the Plain Truth and other publications.]
The Good News
The Plain Truth is not the only periodical published by this Work. Volume one, Number one of The Good News dates from April 1951. Not only has its circulation grown from a few scattered members of the Worldwide Church of God to about 350,000, now including co-workers and donors with us in this Work, but also includes many additional readers sharing an interest and curiosity in biblical truth.
The Good News is primarily a magazine of biblical understanding. It contains strong doctrinal spiritually oriented "meat-of-the-Word" articles for those who sincerely desire to look more deeply into their own Bibles and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The Bible Correspondence Course
Another important free publication is the Bible Correspondence Course. For over two decades, hundreds of thousands have become "biblical literates" through the help of this international course of biblical understanding. Approximately 750,000 students scattered throughout nearly every country on earth have taken our course.
People from all walks of life and age groups are enrolled — even ministers of religion — and all are learning the keys to understanding Bible prophecy, and the principles which lead to success, financial security and a happy, abundant life today.
Students write in every day to tell us how truly unique they find the course to be. That is because the Correspondence Course is designed to guide our students through a systematic study of their own Bibles (the Bible is the only required textbook). It shows them in a step-by-step manner the real meaning behind today's world news, and of God's purpose for human life.
The course is dynamic, down-to-earth — a course of real understanding. It pulls no punches. It shows what the Bible really says, making it easy to understand.
Twelve attractively illustrated 16-page lessons make the Bible come alive. The most vital, most important questions of life are thoroughly gone into and our students are directed to the clear, plain, simple answers in their own Bibles. Over 50 different booklets and reprinted articles are also offered and sent upon request as supplementary reading material in conjunction with the lessons. The course is also available in the French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Afrikaans languages.
[Photo Caption — MAIL PROCESSING Center, Pasadena, receives more than two million letters a year.]
Booklets and Other Periodicals
The Worldwide Church of God has published several books, dozens of colorful booklets, and numerous reprint articles (primarily designed to answer specific questions that emanate from various of our other media). Booklets are published on a wide range of some secular and many biblical topics. See the illustration on page 41.
To keep its membership up to date on the global activities of the Work, the Church also publishes The Worldwide News — a semi-monthly tabloid-type periodical.
The Mail Processing Center and Circulation Divisions
The Garner Ted Armstrong radio and TV programs, the Plain Truth and The Good News and the other publications all have one factor in common — they all bring in lots of mail. That mail has to be opened, read, processed, and literature must be mailed out to our many readers and listeners around the United States. This feat is all in a day's work for the men and women of the Mail Processing Center.
We have received nearly 30 million letters since 1934 and have mailed out some 400,000,000 pieces of literature during that same period. In 1975, over 2,000,000 pieces of mail were received at our Pasadena address. That represents a stack of mail 1½ miles high. In order to process that much mail per annum, our Circulation Division maintains the latest machines developed by computer technology. Its Data Processing section maintains a subscriber list of three million persons for the Plain Truth. (All information in our computer is held highly confidential. Your name will not find its way onto some commercial list via our mail processing facilities.)
Some of the mail can be handled almost entirely through computer terminals, especially those letters just requesting literature. Nonetheless, each of these requests is given individual, personal attention and care — by a human being concerned with the human product — people's lives!
Amidst this mass moving of mail then, we are able to maintain the personal touch. Letters with questions or problems of a personal nature are carefully and thoughtfully read by a small staff of highly trained employees with many years of practical experience. Such letters are given high priority and are promptly processed.
[Chapter 3 inset — Our Plain Truth Bureau on Brussels]
Here in what is increasingly known as the capital of Europe — some 300 yards from the doorstep of the European Economic Community (EEC) Commission headquaters — the Work has established an editorial outpost to help serve in watching and reporting the activities related to the unification of Europe.
Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is the headquarters not only of the EEC, but also of NATO — both being destined to play an important part in future world affairs.
Opened in May 1971, a large part of the Brussels’ operation includes maintaining contacts (personal relations) with numerous officials responsible for the various organizations that make up the European communities. Contacts are also maintained with the Belgian Miinistry of Foreign Affairs as well as embassies from many nations.
These are important because they represent sources of information needed to keep tabs on Europe. They are also needed to gain accreditation to the numerous conferences and press breifings continually taking place in Europe.
Personnel there contribute articles to the Plain Truth and select news “clips” by telephone to the Garner Ted Armstrong broadcast.
The Jerusalem Bureau
The volatile Middle East — and Jerusalem in particular — is a focal point of world attention and concern. Local and regional news today can mushroom into tomorrow’s international headlines. Our man in Jerusalem provides the publications and broadcast with clippings, articles and audio reports on current conditions and developments. This continuous stream of information from the media is a tremendous help in sustaining a timely and relevant editorial posture.
Chapter Four — The International Work
The Pasadena office is the largest handler of the mail and literature — but by no means the only one. This is a worldwide Work — and additional hundreds of thousands of letters are processed by our offices in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Bonn, Geneva, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the Philippines, etc. (see worldwide mailing addresses at the end of this booklet for a complete list of offices and addresses).
Growth Despite Obstacles
Indeed, the sun never sets on this worldwide Work of God. No matter where you are traveling on this globe, you are never very far from a Church of God or one of our overseas offices. The commission to help humanity is a worldwide, global proposition (see Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Acts 1:8) — not at all confined to the United States.
From the time of the opening of the first overseas office in London (January 1953) right up to the burgeoning activities today, the International Work has had to surmount various obstacles and overcome incredible difficulties. It has not been easy. Double-digit inflation, a labyrinth of governmental restrictions, difficulty in obtaining working visas for U.S. personnel, civil wars, language barriers — these are only some of the manifold problems plaguing the International Work. Pioneer and present personnel have had to exercise a great deal of resourcefulness and perseverance in meeting these problems head on.
Today the Irish Work exists in the midst of daily danger to members' lives (an explosion destroyed one member's automobile). But in spite of all the bombings and destruction in Northern Ireland, the Church faithfully assembles every week in Belfast.
The British Work
The past year has seen the biggest growth in the British Work since it began 22 years ago. Prior to that, growth had been slow but steady. Newspaper advertising — large scale — was tried, along with magazines. The radio broadcast, heard for years from Radio Luxembourg and then for 2½ years from offshore ship stations, provided a temporary boost.
However, a year ago a new dimension was added to the British Work — personal appearance campaigns. Some 800 new people are attending services as a result of these campaigns. Yet, the fact is there are 56 million people still to be reached in the British Isles. The Work of God is relatively unknown in Britain in spite of all our efforts and an encouraging year. We have barely scratched the surface.
The Australasian Work
Australia is a unique continent of three million square miles (fractionally smaller than the continental United States) and 13 million people. The vast majority of the population lives along the eastern seaboard — in fact, forty percent of the population lives in the cities of Sydney and Melbourne alone.
The growth of the circulation of the Plain Truth has been very encouraging in Australia. Due to the newsstand distribution in the major cities, circulation is about 250,000 copies — not bad when you consider that the circulation was only 50,000 about a year ago.
The gospel has also been effectively spread in Australia by campaigns (called Plain Truth lectures). Lectures have been delivered in most of the major cities of Australia. Several thousand have attended and the seeds have been sown for further growth.
The New Zealand branch has received a superior warning and witness. Every single household in that nation — about one million — has received a card offering the Plain Truth. Many have responded, making possible one of the highest Plain Truth saturation rates in the world.
The opening up of private commercial radio (1970) is one of the reasons for the overall growth in New Zealand. At present, Garner Ted Armstrong is heard nightly over an Auckland station which can be picked up throughout much of the country.
Experiments with "film evenings" in various cities have also been quite encouraging. Two films have been shown: "Herbert W. Armstrong — Ambassador for World Peace" and a Garner Ted Armstrong personal appearance campaign.
[Photo Caption — International Offices]
We now have 12 offices on five continents. We list them here in the order of their founding:
London, England — January 1953
Sydney, Australia (now Burleigh Heads) — December 1959
Vancouver, Canada — February 1961
Dusseldorf, West Germany (now Bonn) — April 1962
Manila, Philippines — July 1962
Geneva, Switzerland — October 1963
Johannesburg. South Africa — February 1964
Jerusalem — April 1967
Mexico City, Mexico — October 1967
Auckland, New Zealand — August 1968
Salisbury, Rhodesia — December 1972
Utrecht, Holland — August 1975
Fifteen Years of Progress
Half a world away, Canada sits atop the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The modern phase of God's Work in Canada began as far back as the 1930s. A few scattered Canadians were able to hear Herbert W. Armstrong broadcasting The World Tomorrow program from the West Coast of the U.S. Early Marconi and RCA-Victor radios were sometimes able to pick up the weak or fluctuating signal of some of the very first stations ever to carry The World Tomorrow broadcast.
Not long after the office in Canada opened in 1961, Ted Armstrong wrote to the office manager: "Have you thought at all about obtaining additional office space — about the future need for it — or analyzed the rate of growth so as to have any idea whatsoever about the time when we might need additional floor space in that building? I know that the present volume would certainly look as if such expansion would perhaps never be needed — but bear in mind that we still have virtually no radio outlets in that area!"
Since that letter was written, the Canadian office and warehouse space requirements have increased manyfold. The mailing list of the Plain Truth has jumped from 5,000 to well over 200,000 in the English and French editions.
Perhaps the biggest boon to the Work in Canada has been the Garner Ted Armstrong telecast. Utilizing over 250 TV stations, it has virtually blanketed Canada.
[Photo Caption — A WORLDWIDE WORK. Clockwise from top left: Our office in Canada (located at Vancouver, B.C.). Frank Schnee, office manager in Germany. Our Mexico City office is on the fourth floor of this building. Mail reader at the Geneva office.]
The Republic of South Africa
Swinging across the Atlantic, we find one African nation with all the trappings of modern civilization — high-rise cities, burgeoning industries, modern restaurants, motorways, and traffic congestion.
Over ten years of steady growth sums up the Work of God in South Africa. In addition to broadcasting over Radio Lourenco Marques, in 1965 we began advertising in nationwide magazines. Many responded to these ads by requesting our literature. In fact, the Work has largely been built as a result of the printed word initially in the form of ads. South Africans of all races have responded and many have gone even further by helping others to receive the vital knowledge they themselves have found profitable.
The Johannesburg office handles the mail from Southwest Africa, Mozambique, the black states of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia and Swaziland.
However, as everywhere, there have been problems to overcome from the very first. Language is one such problem. South Africa itself has two official languages — English and Afrikaans (used by the descendants of Dutch settlers). We now advertise and publish literature in both languages.
A small but growing mail receiving office is maintained in Rhodesia. All literature, however, is mailed from Johannesburg.
The Philippine Story
An English-language Work is maintained in the Philippine Islands — mainly because of a national familiarity with English due to American presence there since 1898. The story of the Philippine Work has been one of survival and growth in spite of obstacles. Martial law, near civil war on one island, poverty, serious inflation, natural disasters, serious malnutrition — the office and membership have survived all of these and the Work there is growing as never before.
Herbert W. Armstrong held a very successful personal appearance campaign in Manila in 1974, which went a long way toward fulfilling our commission there.
And finally, rounding out the Work in the English language, there is the Caribbean region of the International Division, consisting of the West Indies, the Bahamas and Bermuda. The Caribbean Work started on the island of Barbados, where Herbert W. Armstrong personally opened the first service of the Church of God in February of 1968.
The International Languages Effort
We publish a French Plain Truth and print many of our booklets in that language. We also maintain a mailing and receiving office in the international city of Geneva, Switzerland. This operation was not, however, born without its "growing pains." In fact, in the beginning years (1962-1965), our troubles in getting established in Geneva were so great that our lawyer remarked: "Gentlemen, it is a miracle that your Geneva offices are here at all."
But in spite of the customary early difficulties, the French-language phase of this Work has grown at an encouraging rate. The subscription list of La Pure Verite (Plain Truth) is now about 120,000 — a 30 percent increase over the year before. About half of that list goes into French-Canada, some 30,000 into France itself and about 8,000 into Belgium.
Bonn, West Germany is the hub of our German Work. A program of controlled expansion of Klar & Wahr (the German Plain Truth) is already underway — done primarily through newsstand distribution. The German version of The Good News is also expanding its circulation.
In 1974, the first personal appearance campaign in the German language was held at Dusseldorf's Hilton Hotel. Successful follow-up lectures were held a week later.
Our far-flung work for helping the Spanish-speaking portion of humanity stretches from here in the United States to Mexico (site of a mailing office) and on into Central and South America. Our Spanish personnel have to travel far and wide to serve our increasing, but widely scattered, family of Spanish readers of La Pura Verdad (the Spanish Plain Truth). Slow turn-around in mail in and out of many Latin countries is one of our biggest problems to overcome. However, recent attempts to speed up our "somnambulent postal vaquero" have been at least partially successful.
Finally, the Dutch-language Work was begun in September 1968. De Echte Waarheid (Plain Truth) is being printed and distributed in Dutch-speaking portions of Europe. Our basic booklets are also being translated and published in the Dutch language.
Chapter Five — A Unique Church
Many people, even in the United States with a highly urbanized population, still travel in rural areas in excess of two hundred miles or more to attend the weekly services of this unique Church. Overseas, many hundreds travel across countries and continents to attend special meetings of this same Church.
Why would they want to? What is so special about this Church?
It is a Church that answers the question, "Why not help?" The members, knowing where the "real action" is and where human concern richly pays off, stand behind the global enterprises laid out in the previous chapters.
In a day and an age when people are searching for fulfillment and meaning in life, it is a Church filled with members who are convicted that they know what true fulfillment and meaning is! The members of the Worldwide Church of God are convinced that they have the answers to the problems confronting the individual and society as a whole. They feel they have the answers to the most relevant questions a human being can ask! Why life? Why existence? Why human sorrow and suffering? What is the solution?
Noted theologian Dietrich Bonhoffer termed such questions: "... An inquiry about salvation, the only ultimate serious question in the world." Members of the Church of God bravely face that question. They feel they have a part in addressing that most essential question of individual and collective existence. They feel it is priceless knowledge and thrill at the opportunity they have to help give it to others.
They feel the answers to such questions, when earnestly sought, are obtainable. When those answers are found, members feel they provide the answer to the problems facing man as a whole.
The answers are revolutionary!
In a sense, the members of this unique Church feel that they are involved in a revolution. The revolution of man's spirit based on the gospel of Jesus Christ.
They feel, as one writer expressed it: "... The Gospel is by its nature revolutionary. In the spiritual sense, Jesus Christ is the only true revolutionary leader." The writer then verbalized the deep convictions held by members of the Worldwide Church of God: "Man spends too much time trying to change the world instead of trying to change the people who make the world what it is. World problems are an extension of individual problems. When man looks at the world, he sees himself with all his fear, meaninglessness, hatred, and self-centeredness. The world cannot be changed so long as human nature remains unchanged."
Not only do the members of the Church feel that they have the answers to individual and world problems, but they are doing something about it! Their convictions are so strong they stand behind the global enterprises of this Work in several ways. They back a world-wide effort at "reaching out" by supporting the principle of tithes and offerings. They put their financial resources behind their convictions — thus proving, as James said, that their faith is not an empty faith — it is a faith backed up by works or actions.
They know the importance of friendship and association with people of similar interests and concerns. That is why they will drive thousands of miles yearly to meet with others objectively striving to help themselves and humanity.
The ministry of this Church exhibits the same conviction and purpose. Their lives are devoted to pastoring churches filled with people participating in a worldwide effort of helping humanity. The ministry knows the value of uniting people in a purpose. Their daily lives, therefore, are dedicated to helping, teaching, leading and inspiring others to have a part in the same service to humanity.
[Chapter 5 Inset — If You’d Like to Know More]
Many hundreds have written asking if we nave representatives in their areas to counsel with them personally and to answer their questions.
The answer is yes, we do
The Worldwide Church of God stations personal representatives (most are ordained ministers) in the United States and British Commonwealth and many other areas of the world. These men will visit you, if invited, directly in your own home.
So if you have spiritual matters to discuss or questions to ask about biblical topics such as repentance, baptism, etc., please feel free to write us and request a private appointment.
Chapter Six — Come Help Humanity!
What the world needs now is hope! Prophets of doom, sundowners and doomsdayers from every field of human endeavor blow the trumpet of alarm warning the inhabitants of earth that man is the most endangered of species.
Eminent scientists give us a fifty-fifty chance of still being around in 1980. Famines are depicted as destroying hundreds of millions yet in this decade as the population explosion irresistible force smashes into the immovable object of food production. Pandemics are prophesied, if not from the natural background of the ravages of war, famine and the total breakdown of the services of civilization, then from the biological bombs stored in overkill proportions by every major nation on earth.
Instead of beating swords into plowshares (opposite page), man develops ever more frightening weapons. Armageddon has become a household word and the prophecies of the book of Revelation take on awesome reality as the whole world realizes that the death of thirds and halfs of all of humanity is not just a theological pipe dream but a dreadful present-day nightmare of reality that could burst the bubble of civilization at any moment — and literally bring to pass that unbelievable (till now) warning given by Jesus Christ when He said that just before He intervened in mankind's affairs things would have come to the point that if He did not intervene no human flesh would be saved alive! (Matt. 24:22.) Newspapers declare that they are not sure which of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse will ride with his terror first in nations such as Bangladesh and India.
The sword of Damocles hangs over all humanity, managed by insane minorities who in these days of nuclear proliferation threaten to blackmail the rest of the world with The Bomb cradled in their hands — lunatic terrorists who would rather have nothing at all if they cannot have all.
The United Nations is anything but united. Governments fall violently or in bloodless coups by the score — every year. Tinder boxes to ignite The Last War speckle the earth: the Mideast, China vs. Russia, India vs. Pakistan, South Africa vs. the rest of Africa. Leadership is missing or maligned; faith in government fails. Pollution mounts to the extent that we are now told the Mediterranean Sea will have no life left perhaps by the end of the decade, with the rest of the oceans of the world soon to follow. Energy crises mount. World economy disintegrates. Hope fails.
All of these dire predictions and many more yet to come are true to a terrifying degree. Without a "Strong Hand from somewhere" to save us from ourselves, this earth really would become a dead cinder, destroyed by its own most intelligent form of life. Leave God out of the picture and mankind will not survive the year 2000!
But that's the good news we proclaim: Our Redeemer, Jesus, Christ, is alive and well, not in hiding, at the right hand of the Father in heaven. He fully plans to fulfill the promise He made to us in the name of the Father to bring many sons to glory, to establish His Kingdom here on this earth, to save flesh alive, and to intervene before mankind commits cosmoscide! God's promise is to make you a Son as Christ is now a Son. To grant you membership in the literal family of God. To give you eternal life as He is eternal. To be holy as He is holy. To share all power and joint ownership with the Possessor of the Universe. To share the divine nature. To have the character of God, full of love, peace, joy — to be God as God is God! This is the purpose of creation — the hope of the world!
Help us proclaim it!
Come help humanity!