RADIO CHURCH OF GOD
HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
PRESIDENT and PASTOR
The WORLD TOMORROW
The PLAIN TRUTH
a Magazine of UNDERSTANDING
December 9, 1962
Dear Brethren of GOD'S Church:
GREETINGS in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Once again I have to write you about a SERIOUS EMERGENCY. It is MOST URGENT!
I am writing this Sunday morning. Friday evening, just before the Sabbath came on, I stopped in the office of our head bookkeeper a moment. I was startled -- almost horrified -- to learn that the special offerings for the PROPERTY FUND had suddenly dropped off alarmingly the past two months. Then at Church yesterday, Mr. Mauck gave me the explanation: -- in my letter of October 16, last year, I had asked pledges for one year -- and for most of you, that year expired in late October or early November. I had forgotten it was for ONE YEAR -- although I did make plain that the need would continue right on.
Brethren, please read carefully every word, and HEED, and PRAY! For this is, right now, the MOST SERIOUS PROBLEM IN GOD'S WORK! Let me explain clearly what has happened, and the serious situation of the moment.
Every phase -- except one -- of God's entire work has, for 29 years, continued to grow and increase at the rate of 30% every year. That means the size of this work DOUBLES every 2 years and 7 months, approximately. But the ONE PHASE of the work that has not increased is the special PROPERTY FUND.
I had to start this special fund, and ask for these special offerings, over and above tithes and regular offerings, when we began building the larger tabernacle at Big Sandy, Texas, five years ago. At that time our brethren -- only about one-fourth as many of us as now -- were able to contribute to this fund so that we could make payments of $18,000 per month while building that tabernacle.
As near as I remember without checking exact figures, we had about 4,000 brethren in attendance at the first Festival in the new tabernacle four years ago last October. Then, for the 1959 Festival, we had to enlarge the tabernacle 50% to its present size, and that fall some 5,500 attended. The next year, 1960, attendance went up to 7,100, and we had outgrown the big tabernacle. Last year, the brethren of the West Coast went to Squaw Valley -- some 3,100 -- and again some 6,200 attended at Gladewater. This year, 8,000 tried to jam in at Gladewater, and over 5,000 at Squaw Valley. Now we have outgrown both places.
So, you see, our membership today in the United States and Canada is four times, or more, larger than it was when we were able to keep this PROPERTY FUND at $18,000 per month. On that basis -- since times are even better -- and wages, salaries and incomes keep going up, as well as the cost of things -- we certainly ought to be able to raise our PROPERTY FUND to $72,000 per month now.
Yet, for this past year, it has been averaging just barely over $20,000 per month, and the past two months has dropped to an average of $15,000.
Now let me tell you WHY this is the most serious problem in the entire work at this time.
We receive four times as many letters from radio listeners and others as we did some five years ago. At that time we had some ten to fourteen men trying to crowd into the one small Mail- Receiving room available in our Administration Building. Then they moved into what seemed then a much larger room in our new Press Building. Today that is outgrown. Today the mail-opening and mail-reading staff is 58. In two more years it will expand to about 100. WHERE WILL WE PUT THEM?
About five years ago our Printing Department consisted of two small Davidson duplicator offset presses, in one comparatively small room in the Administration Building. When, about that time, our new Press Building opened up, they moved to a much larger room, installing two larger Miehle presses, beside other new equipment. Soon that was outgrown, and the Offset division of the Printing Department moved, in an expanded operation, into a small old vacant building we had purchased across the street. Now that is outgrown, and we have had to rent a warehouse two or three blocks away from the campus as temporary quarters. A new much larger offset press is being installed.
At the time we moved into our new Press Building, we had one or two men in the Letter-Answering Department. Today there are 17 men who are ordained ministers, ministerial assistants or advanced students in that Department. They are equipped with dictaphones and typewriters, to give personal reply to many of the more than 100,000 letters we receive every month. In an adjoining office we have crowded 20 women secretaries, who type the letters these ministers dictate.
This gives you just a slight idea of how we are expanding in EVERY DEPARTMENT. We are now in SERIOUS NEED of adding on to the Press Building an addition that will give us three times our present floor space.
At the same time, enrollment in our colleges is increasing at the same rate. We now have over 400 under graduate students on the Pasadena campus, and 111 at the college in England, and a third Ambassador College is being planned, God willing, to be opened next September on our 1,000-acre grounds at Big Sandy, Texas.
Fourteen months ago I wrote you that, in desperation, I was giving the "green light" to proceed with three necessary building projects. One was the executive office suite, built on the third floor of the Library building. That has been completed, and after all these years I do now have an office to work in. A second was the conversion of old cow barns into a new girls' dormitory in England, and converting the old electric light plant into a new dining hall. We were greatly slowed up on that project -- but the girls' dorm is now completed, and work is proceeding on the dining hall at Bricket Wood, England.
The third project I had approved for immediate construction was the SORELY NEEDED new dining hall here at Pasadena. It had to be entirely sidetracked. Our larger number of students, far more crowded than before, are now having to continue eating under very unsatisfactory conditions on first floor Mayfair, and now in two shifts. Let me tell you why.
Beginning about February, and on through March and April this year, a number of properties within the area of our planned campus, but not yet acquired, were put on the market. They were all vital. Failure to acquire them, or allowing them to be purchased by others who would establish commercial business within our campus, would have ruined the college. Most of these properties were in commercial business or manufacturing zones. All demanded cash.
At the time we had about $140,000 in the special Property Fund, allocated for starting construction on the new dining hall. The properties we were forced suddenly to buy totalled more than $400,000. We were able to borrow on these new properties, but were forced to use the entire amount of funds in the special Property Fund not only as of last March, but up to the present, to prevent losing these vital properties. Loss or any one would have been fatal to the planned college campus.
The Property Fund, as of now, is therefore virtually depleted.
Now look quickly at present imperative needs.
We have outgrown the Press Building, which handles all the vast mail response from The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast -- sends out tons and tons of free literature to many hundreds of thousands of people. Yet we do not -- because we cannot -- plan to expand this building space during 1963; but we must, during 1964!
Ambassador College, Pasadena, now has no auditorium, or place to hold forums and assemblies. We have totally outgrown our temporary assembly hall. The students have been forced to hold these assemblies out of doors, at the serious risk of catching colds or pneumonia.
We have entirely outgrown our present small Administration Building. A new one must be erected as soon as possible. We need, and soon MUST have, additional class rooms.
We MUST start the new dining hall, which can double for auditorium and even social purposes, just as soon as possible during 1963. We cannot start construction until we have at least $250,000 in this special Property Fund for that purpose. This MUST be accumulated before the middle of 1963.
In other words, WE MUST, BEGINNING RIGHT NOW, PUT $50,000 per month INTO THAT SPECIAL FUND, for the dining hall, beside other construction just as urgent!
But now look at the needs for the NEW COLLEGE at Big Sandy, Texas. WHY do we need it? This summer and fall we were forced to turn down three of every four students who sought admission! A few years ago, we set a limit on enrollment at Ambassador of 225 students. We felt that to accept more would destroy the college program. From the first, we have contended against this mass assembly-line system in modern colleges and universities.
But we already have gone past 400 students -- beside the graduate school -- and we believe, now, that we may continue at about this number, without lowering standards. So we have reached our limit, at Pasadena.
Yet we cannot stop GROWTH. God's Work starts, through men, the very smallest but GROWS to become the biggest. If we stop GROWING we shall no longer be GOD'S Work. Therefore, we are forced either to stop or open a new college. We already have a thousand acres of ground in Texas. We already have more than a million dollars in buildings and equipment there. We have enough teachers -- faculty members with high degrees -- on the college payroll who by doubling up can be transferred to Big Sandy, without increasing the payroll.
The first year in the new college there, the students will have to really "rough it!" They will have to room in some of the steel booths in our "Booth City." They will have to go out-doors, even in coldest weather and rain or snow, to toilet facilities. We are planning one new small building of about four or five class- rooms. THAT IS ALL. It will cost about $75,000 or $85,000. BUT THAT MUST BE BUILT BEFORE NEXT SEPTEMBER.
Building it will prevent spending several times that amount at Pasadena during the same period!
BRETHREN! God's Work is growing. The regular operating expenditures automatically keep increasing 30% a year. The income keeps increasing 30% a year -- but that goes for OPERATIONAL EXPENDITURES -- and for PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD! It does not provide for these imperative new building operations. WE MUST PROVIDE FOR THESE BY THIS SPECIAL BUILDING FUND.
That means extra special offerings, OVER AND ABOVE tithes and regular offerings for operational expenses and the Gospel Work.
This is going to have to continue for some years to come. If we are, truly, GOD'S PEOPLE, we will make whatever sacrifice is necessary, tighten our belt, and FILL THIS QUOTA!
Last year in October I asked for $35,000 a month in special offerings for this fund. We fell more than $10,000 per month short. This year, if we do as well as we did five years ago -- with four times as many of us -- we can provide $72,000 per month just as easily as we then put in $18,000 per month.
Brethren, I have no alternative than to ASK YOU TO DO JUST THAT! We must set our goal for $72,000 per month for 1963 -- and then still more during 1964, because then there will be still more of us!
I know some of you balked and rebelled against the idea of a pledge. I explained it was NOT a vow -- but a conditioned pledge. Nevertheless, I won't even use the word "pledge" this year. But I do have to ask you for a STATEMENT OF INTENTION.
I have to ask EVERY MEMBER -- or head of every household -- to sign one. If, for any reason, your income is cut off, or reduced, so it becomes impossible to continue it, just drop us an explanation and we will understand. This statement of intention does not bind you in such circumstances. It is just what it says, a statement of INTENTION -- of what you intend to do AS LONG AS ABLE, and CONDITIONED ON ABILITY. That does not bind anyone for what you might become unable to do.
But WE NEED TO KNOW APPROXIMATELY WHAT TOTAL WE MAY RELY ON, that we may plan accordingly.
REMEMBER, what I wrote a year ago. If 1963 is your third tithe year, please explain that on your card which is enclosed. If this leaves you unable to contribute anything during this third tithe year, please explain this. Or, if you can undertake to send in a smaller amount, give us your statement of intention, and EXPLAIN it is your third tithe year. But those of you who had a third tithe year last year ought to be able to contribute more generously in 1963 to this special fund.
Wives of non-member husbands: as explained last year, DO NOT ANTAGONIZE your husbands. Where the husband is WILLING, whether a full or half amount, give us your intention to undertake that amount, and explain the circumstances in few words. If
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