Park Lane, London
June 6, 1956
TO ALL THE BRETHREN back home:
We've been so busy since returning to London, I have not until now gotten around to writing since our arrival here. Our problem in developing the work over here is the same as everywhere -- finding a medium, or media, for reaching the people DAILY. A once a week broadcast, ending at midnight, is too late for more than a very few to listen to regularly every week. The result is that only a small portion of listeners over here are REGULAR weekly listeners and we've learned in America that once a week is not enough.
There is NO possibility, presently in sight, for daily radio, TV, or any other mass media, and it may be one to five more years before we can even get the 11:00 P.M. slot on Radio Lux. And 11:00 P.M. is the earliest they will allot to a religious program. But there IS a way to reach the people nightly -- just what we are now doing here in London -- PERSONAL EVANGELISTIC CAMPAIGNS. We do not yet have the trained man-power for it. But in two to five years we MUST have men trained and available for full-time service over here, who can speak at least as well as our present best -- who can develop into speakers somewhere near as good as Billy Graham -- and enough of them to have at least five teams of two men each going full time in Britain. THEN you'll see the work take a burst ahead over here, until it will grow somewhere near the magnitude of the work in the U.S. General plans are now laid. We must soon, now -- not later than fall -- make the first start in our newspaper campaign over here. That will cost as much, or even more, perhaps, than Radio Lux, but it will bring results accordingly. Then, by the time our evangelistic campaigns start full blast in Britain, we must increase the newspaper space, and use large enough newspaper space in each local city where a campaign is being held to advertise the meetings so that the ads will be SEEN, and draw a crowd.
In the present meetings in London, we have used no newspaper advertising -- just two letters sent from the office here to the local mailing list. There are only some 200 names in metropolitan London, but we sent out about 500 letters, including territory some 50 miles distant. But people do not travel long distances here for a meeting like at home, so we have not had much more than the 230 local letters to draw from. We knew the crowd would be small. We have a very nice hall, though not as modern and nice as the one in 1954, seating 200 on first floor, and 100 in balcony. We are having some 45 to 55 in attendance so far -- it seemed to me more last night than Monday night, and some have come some little distance. BUT, while not every one is intensely interested, the majority appear to be. After meetings they want to ask all kinds of questions, and first and foremost among them is about the Sabbath, and law and grace, etc. I have already learned that these are all people who have listened on Radio Lux more or less regularly, mostly for some time, all are getting the PT, and already are fairly well advanced. The fact we used no newspaper ads means we have ONLY those who already have heard quite a little. So, I am immediately getting off of prophecy, which I have always used to START a campaign, to get people interested, since these already ARE interested -- and I'm going now into those subjects -- I think tomorrow night (no meeting tonight) on the DAY of the resurrection and the 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb, followed by showing the Ten Commandments in force since Adam, then the difference between the spiritual law and the rituals, then law and grace and then the Sabbath.
I now feel reasonably certain we shall have a new London Church raised up as a result of these meetings. Two people last night, out on the sidewalk after meeting, said, "I hope we're going to have a church of our own in London." One young lady has insistently told Dick she wants to be baptized right away.
Of course, it is too early, as yet, to know definitely, but it now looks like a church can be started and kept going every Sabbath beginning a week from this coming Sabbath, or beginning the first Sabbath Ted and Shirley will be here although we will have to start it here smaller than we now do in the U.S. -- perhaps not over 10 or 12, adult members. But George can hold them until Dick returns, and it will grow.
Our largest interest in Britain, by far, is further north, in the industrial areas, and in North Ireland, and Scotland. London is the point of LEAST interest per 100,000 population, but the very fact there is so MUCH population here means an interest large enough to start a church and of course it would be impossible to operate the office in any other city. I hope that soon after Dick gets back, a church can be started in Manchester, and Dick and George can serve both on the same Sabbath.
We are going to have to repeat the same procedure in South Africa and in Australia. WE SORELY NEED TWENTY TO THIRTY TOP FLIGHT EVANGELISTS WHO CAN ATTRACT AND HOLD LARGE AUDIENCES, INSIDE THREE YEARS. The laborers are FEW, but the harvest is comparatively PLENTEOUS -- and it is now the PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY of EVERY MEMBER to PRAY for more men of personality and ability to come to Ambassador.
A letter from Benjamin Rea says Ted is now READY to start 15 minute broadcasts in Spanish. That means we must first have enough booklets translated and printed in Spanish to follow it up. As soon as this is done, I am ready to start Ted on the air in Spanish, on KALI, Pasadena, in San Diego, in San Antonio and other American border cities, and a NET-WORK all over South America, which WAS available to us, and I think still is.
It will be almost no time then, until we shall need to open offices in one or more major South American cities for mailing literature, and need EVANGELISTS who can PREACH in Spanish, and attract large South American crowds -- if Catholic influence does not make this impossible.
One young woman coming to meetings here, who is from Ireland, says we have a large interest there, but she says I would be killed if I tried to preach in Dublin. It would be absolutely impossible to hold any personal evangelistic campaign in Dublin. It is controlled by Catholics.
I ask ALL brethren there to PRAY, intensively and in real earnest, for the church here, and that a real harvest will be reaped from this present preliminary effort.
We got back 2200 ft. of the 2600 ft. of film we shot on the Middle-East tour, rented a projector, and viewed them yesterday. Some 10 or 15-second spots here and there came out black (we must have shot with a lens that had the cap on) -- some portions were overexposed, because I had no light meter and tried to save the expense of one, and all those pictures are too over-exposed to use (penny-wise and pound-foolish), but perhaps two-thirds of the film is very good. The pictures I took from the train in upper Egypt are too flickery to see, and one portion we had a guide take of us in the Garden of Gethsemane pans back and forth and up and down so fast that NOTHING can he seen, but, well, perhaps HALF of the whole film is very good. The one big trouble, we see now, too late, is that we thought we could not afford enough film, and took only HALF enough, and many of the scenes are too skimpy and over with before you realize what you've seen -- and I should have taken a tripod, but tried to save that expense, so quite a few of the picture are not as steady as they should be. We wish now we could take the trip all over, with at least 5,000 feet of film, light meter and tripod. We have not yet received Dick's still pictures back -- all slides in color -- but hope they will be better than the movies. None-the-less, I think everybody at home will really enjoy seeing them, but I realize now, too late, that on such an extended trip we should have taken twice as much. There are some GOOD shots of all of us riding our three camels -- mine, "Christopher Columbus," Mrs. Armstrong's, "Ginger Ale," and Dick's, "California" (here I come!) -- across the Sahara desert, with the pyramids in the distance, and of our tent-camp there -- very colorful -- and I suppose all will get a good laugh at us!! This is what some wanted to see, and -- you'll see it! -- but WE will get laughed at! (And we'll laugh all over again WITH you.)
I should have CLOSED with that request for real deep, in-earnest prayers for the work here and its expanse all over the world. So will add it again -- just now a telegram was delivered, from Jack Parmelee, our advertising agent, advising that WABC, the ABC New York station, 50,000 watts clear channel, has offered us evening time availabilities across the board -- that is, EVERY NIGHT -- but he failed to tell me WHAT time or the cost. IF it is at a reasonable time and cost, I will order it started at once. This will put additional expense on our business office, but also it will more than pay its own way in six months or less. It is the EVERY NIGHT programs that DO bring the money, bring people to conversion, and raise up churches. THIS WILL MEAN CHURCHES IN NEW YORK CITY, AND OTHER EASTERN CITIES INSIDE OF ONE YEAR! WHERE are the ministers coming from? I'll tell you! -- from YOUR PRAYERS -- if you take this to heart in deadly earnest.
God is certainly moving ahead in His work. Can we keep up with the pace He is setting for us? WABC, New York, will do almost as much for the work as XEG or WLS, and more than WWVA or XELO. My! -- but God is giving us a CHALLENGE right now! The opportunities for the future ought to LIFT us to new heights of fervor and zeal. I wish you could have seen the intense DEVOUT attitude of the heathen WORSHIPPING IDOLS, relics, stones, and dead men's bones. They PUT US TO SHAME -- and we have the true LIVING GOD, and His ACTIVE WORK!!! I hope we can pray as much as the Moslems, the Coptics, the Greek Orthodox, and others do. If so, this work is now on the eve of a plunge forward that will make everything up to now look puny. LET'S GO!!!!!!
Love to all, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong