RADIO CHURCH OF GOD
August 17, 1956
Dear Brethren of GOD'S Church:
A serious emergency has arisen in respect to the coming Feast of Tabernacles, September 19 thru 27th.
Brother Roy Hammer called me on the long distance telephone about it the other day and I was forced to make a quick and decisive decision.
1st) We have entirely outgrown the rest-room facilities serving those who camp in tents or trailer-houses on the grounds. Our plans called originally for TWO rest-room units, one building for women and one for men. It was a rush job at the time, and both time and money prevented us from erecting more than the one. As a compromise measure, we partitioned that one in the middle. Now we are FORCED to build the other rest-room building and have it completed before September 19th. This involves a great deal of plumbing and the purchase of fixtures, and will cost a few thousand dollars.
2nd) We were jammed even past seating capacity last year, and all reports indicate a 30% to 50% increase in attendance this year. We face the necessity of providing seats for an additional 600 or more people. We cannot enlarge the present auditorium. We had planned to ship the tent we have at our grounds near Lyons, Colorado, pitch it near the Tabernacle, wire it with loud-speakers, and let the overflow HEAR, but not see, the proceedings. But we find it would cost as much to ship the tent to Gladewater and back as the tent cost in the first place, and due to the possibility of a sudden violent storm or tornado in Texas, it has been decided inadvisable to ship the tent to Gladewater. This left only one alternative: I was forced to make the decision to build the large lounge-room on the front of the Tabernacle that had never yet been built. This we will have to do without the stone-masonry, leaving that until later, but putting up all the wood construction now. The overflow crowd will have to sit in this lounge room, which will seat more people than the Colorado tent. They will be unable to see the speakers' platform, but will be able to hear thru loud- speakers. This room will cost some $15,000 to $20,000.
This was an emergency decision. I had no choice. It HAD TO BE DONE.
I have authorized, and started this work. A crew of men are now hard at work putting in this additional construction. We hope to have it ready by September 19th. BUT, it MUST be paid for, AS WE GO, and not after it is done! I was forced to send over a check for $3,000 last night, and I have had to guarantee the contractor a check for $5,000 each week between now and the time of the Festival, or until paid for. WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY! We have to raise it! I can't send any appeal to our whole Co-Worker mailing list -- but ONLY to you who are actually MEMBERS! It means that we who are members of God's Church -- begotten children of GOD'S FAMILY -- absolutely MUST, somehow, raise this EXTRA $5,000 per week between now and the date of the Festival, only one short month away.
Brethren, this means we have to reach down deep, and sacrifice till it HURTS! I was forced to PLEDGE this, on YOUR behalf. We expect some 2,500 or more people at this Festival. We have no place to put them. There was no other way.
If ever God gave us a real TEST, this is it! The whole work needs money badly. I can't take this out of the work. The work is growing now as never before. At least SEVEN new Churches have been raised up this year -- an average of ONE NEW CHURCH BEING ADDED EVERY MONTH! That's just simply BREATHTAKING! The Gospel is going out to the world as never before. This year we have added a whole national net-work of radio stations in Australia, beside Chiang Kai-Shek's Voice of Free China in Formosa. We have added 50,000- watt super-power WABC in New York, EVERY NIGHT. We have added a leading net-work station in Fresno, California, EVERY NIGHT. Scores and scores of new converts are being baptized this summer. Ambassador College is having by far its largest number of new students this fall -- already beginning to arrive. Some 45 or more new students are coming in, and total enrollment will go past 100 for the first time -- probably 110 or 115. IN EVERY WAY, God is pushing forward His work. Our first evangelistic campaign by our own ministers (other than myself) is now ending its second week in Fresno, California, with a number already requesting baptism. This campaign, meetings six nights a week, is being conducted by Roderick Meredith and Dick Armstrong.
Yes, this is the time of OUR great test. God has been stepping up the work at a faster pace. HE -- God -- has been doing great things for us, and in and thru us. NoW He is putting upon us a real challenge. We can't have all these good things at God's hands without making some sacrifice, and putting in OUR SHARE. But our share, right now, has to be a DOUBLE SHARE, or more, from every member.
Now I do not mean to pressure any of you into giving what you cannot, or OUGHT not. Once in a great while I come across a case of a member who has actually given more than he should, and even injured God's cause in some way by so doing. But for every one of these there are perhaps ten -- perhaps a hundred -- who do not give as much as they CAN, and SHOULD.
Brethren, PRAY over this. From those who are able, we need LARGE special offerings -- $500, $1,000 or more, for this special Tabernacle Fund.
Time flies fast, and it may not seem that long, but it has now been some two or three years since I have made any special request for this Tabernacle Fund. I felt, when we went on the ABC radio Network, and last year when we went on TV, that every single extra dollar had to go into those campaigns. THE RESULT IS THAT THE TABERNACLE IS BEGINNING TO DETERIORATE, because it is not finished. Actually, this is a disgrace to the Church of God!
The time has come when we cannot put off any longer the finishing of God's Tabernacle.
Ancient Israel, in the time of Kings David and Solomon, was just about the smallest nation in the world. Yet God moved them to build in Jerusalem the finest, most fabulous building ever erected on earth! Thru obedience to God, The Eternal prospered them so they were able to finance this.
Brethren, what's wrong with us, today? Ancient Israel was just a carnal, physical people. We, today, are a SPIRIT-begotten, and supposedly a Spirit-FILLED people. Are we unable to finish this inexpensive, rough wood-constructed building? This Tabernacle we are building would compare with the Temple ancient Israel built about like a modern little cracker-box would compare to the Empire State building in New York. WHAT'S WRONG, today? Do we, after all, lack the real POWER of God?
When ancient Israel, in the wilderness, in Moses' day, needed to build a tabernacle for God, and Moses sent out a proclamation, those fleshly, physical Israelites responded so overwhelmingly that Moses had to send out another proclamation asking them to stop sending in so much! Today, WE are supposed to be a SPIRITUAL Church. We are supposed to be really ON FIRE for God and His work.
But ARE WE? A R E Y O U ?
God is putting us to the TEST. I have to ask you to RUSH to us, by return mail, and every week until the Festival, the LARGEST extra offering, OVER AND ABOVE TITHES AND USUAL OFFERINGS FOR GOD'S WORK, for this Special TABERNACLE FUND.
REMEMBER! This must be extra -- IN ADDITION to tithes and regular offerings for the work. The work cannot suffer or stop just to finish the Tabernacle. So mark this part of what you send in as SPECIAL for the TABERNACLE FUND. Specify what part of your check, money order, or currency bills, are for the TABERNACLE FUND. Send in your tithes and regular offerings just the same. Send this as an additional, SPECIAL offering just for this purpose. And HURRY! Use AIR-MAIL!
Now here are instructions about coming to the great Feast of Tabernacles at our own Radio Church of God Tabernacle near Glade- water, Texas.
This Great Festival begins this year on Wednesday evening the 19th of September. You should plan to arrive early enough to be located and settled in your temporary homes before sunset. The first meeting will begin at sunset or shortly thereafter on the 19th. Remember, your presence at the Feast of Tabernacles is mandatory. God COMMANDS us to attend without fail. He has provided the financial plan whereby we are enabled to attend the Feast Days He has given us -- by saving our second tithes.
RESERVATIONS: There are many motels located in and around Gladewater. There have been several newer motels added in the past two years, one of which is located at Greggton, a small town a few miles east of Gladewater. There is another large, nicely equipped motel at Greggton called "The Broadway Terrace". There have also been added new motels on the highway in and around Longview. The Longview Hotel is usually available.
CAMPING FACILITIES: Ample space is provided for those wishing to bring either tents or trailer houses. There are a few simple directions to follow, however. Please write as early as possible to Mr. Roy Hammer at Box 453, Gladewater, Texas, and inform him if you intend to bring either a house trailer or a tent. You should, of course, bring all your own bedding, washing and shaving equipment, and any other personal effects necessary. When you arrive at the Tabernacle grounds, please ask either Mr. Roy Hammer, or his son, Buck Hammer, with regard to locating yourself on the grounds.
MEALS: Meals will be served at the Tabernacle as before, with the nominal cost of $2.25 per day for adults, and $1.15 per day for children from 6 to 12 years of age. There is anticipated no charge for those children under 6 years of age. These meals are "at cost" to you, with absolutely no margin of profit asked nor intended. Payment of meals should be made at the time you register with the Tabernacle office.
REGISTRATION: It is essential that all persons register at the Tabernacle office, regardless of whether you eat at the Tabernacle or not.
DIRECTIONS: The Tabernacle grounds are just off Highway #80, 8 miles west of Gladewater, 2 miles east of Big Sandy (about 100 miles east of Dallas. At this point beside our private road leading to the Tabernacle -- beside the cabins and restaurant at this little junction, you will see a sign: "PRIVATE GROUNDS, Radio Church of God Tabernacle."
It would be best at this late date for you to plan on having a tent on the Tabernacle grounds, or to rent a house trailer in Dallas or nearby -- they are less expensive and nearly as comfortable as a hotel, if not more private, and will allow you to be among our own people.
I shall look forward to seeing you at the Tabernacle, and may God bless and protect you, bringing us all safely together for His wonderful Feast Days!
Sincerely, in Jesus' name,
Herbert W. Armstrong