Dear Fellow Ministers:
Greetings from Pasadena! The gorgeous weather continues here with the snow-capped mountains sparkling under the sun and absolutely clear weather throughout the basin. We are all well here, and things are beginning to settle back to normal — at least a little bit.
I was able to talk to Mr. Armstrong the other day, and he is doing well and is now completely over his cold and sore throat. The response to his recent letter has been excellent, and the money is beginning to roll in to Tucson almost in normal amounts. So we appreciate the response of all of you and the brethren to his letter! Christ is certainly seeing us through this unusual trial, and we will come out of it stronger and more committed than ever.
Reports in the news media are now beginning to be slanted more for us than against us. Even outsiders here in the southern California area are rallying to our side, and the local Chamber of Commerce and other groups have expressed their wish publicly that our work remain in this area as we have been fine neighbors, they say. I will try to see to it that we reproduce a recent clipping from the Star-News to this effect.
Many of you may have heard that a suit was introduced in Federal Court at Tyler, Texas by Tom Grede and 100 other Milwaukee brethren to block the transfer of the proceeds from the Big Sandy sale from coming to the receiver. The federal judge there ruled in our favor and is holding these funds in a special escrow-type account until it can be turned over "to the rightful owner." So we are grateful for that and again, THANKS to these Milwaukee brethren and all of our brethren across the country who have been rallying so magnificently during the present crisis!
Another bit of good news is that Mr. Larry Salyer has been appointed as Area Coordinator of the Charlotte area to replace Mr. Burk McNair who is now here on our headquarter's team. As most of you know, Larry was an outstanding leader of the student body at Big Sandy, Texas during his college years and has been an outstanding example in the field ministry ever since. So our heartiest congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Larry Salyer and their family! And I sincerely hope, fellows, that all of us can be genuinely happy and encouraging toward one another when one in Christ's body is honored-realizing it comes from Him, and that there are plenty; of other opportunities which are going to open up in Christ's work in the near future for everyone who is truly prepared.
The absolute FLOOD of phone calls and letters keeps pouring in upon us here on the headquarter's Pastoral Administration team. It has been too much for us to handle, and some of us are not only losing sleep but also getting cauliflower ears from talking on the phone all day. Yesterday, Sunday, I tried to stay home for the first time in a month in order to get a little bit of rest and time with my family. However, I had to handle between 20 and 30 phone calls from all over the world — sometimes asking the one party who called to wait a few minutes so I could finish with the previous conversation on the other college phone they installed and then simply shifting ears for a few minutes in order to talk to the second person. My wife and children feel they are being "deserted." But I was able to sneak in a long walk in the beautiful sunshine with my wife — and at least enjoy that, plus a big breakfast of hotcakes and eggs before the phone calls started rolling in.
So please, please, forgive us if Dennis, Raymond, Burk, or I do not get back to you on every phone call, memo or letter as we should. It has just been too much at times and the "phone memo" slips have piled up on my desk so that after awhile I just try to keep moving ahead with the immediate emergencies and pretend that they are not there.
To alleviate this problem, at least through the present crisis, I have received Mr. Herbert Armstrong's permission to take the following steps in managing this situation.
I am hereby appointing Mr. Dennis Luker, Mr. Burk McNair, and Mr. Raymond McNair as Acting Regional Advisers to handle all normal phone calls, reports and problems from their specific areas of the U.S.
As he did for some years in the recent past, Burk will be handling the areas of Mr. Elbert Atlas, Mr. Larry Salyer, Mr. Guy Englehart and Mr. Ed Smith. So all of you Area Coordinators and you fellows in those areas, please direct all of your phone calls, letters and so forth through Burk from now on, and he will communicate them to me and our headquarter's team. Because all of us meet together for at least an hour or two nearly every day, each of these men does know what is going on and will be able to give you answers to your problems-often on the spot. Burk will remain as Area Coordinator of the headquarter's area in addition to coordinating the information and activities in this northeastern area as well. Obviously, this may have to be modified if the Regional Adviser status becomes permanent.
Next, Mr. Raymond McNair will be in like manner coordinating all information and activities from the areas of Mr. Dennis Pyle, Mr. Tony Hammer, and Mr. Paul Flatt. So all of you coordinators and ministers in those areas, please write or call Raymond McNair from now on. Mr. McNair will continue as Deputy Chancellor of Ambassador College, but is now very ably assisted in this by Acting Dean, Leon Walker, who can hold the fort just fine until this crisis is over.
Next, the areas of Dean Blackwell, Carl McNair, Ron Kelly and Norman Smith should now report through Mr. Dennis Luker as outlined above. In addition, Mr. Luker will continue as my Senior Advisor full-time in Pastoral Administration, and he will be coordinating the ministerial services area for the U.S. and the International areas as well.
Frankly, the above structuring is only a logical step in management and will help all of you, not just me, to facilitate the flow of information and to get your requests acted upon here at headquarters. Please give these men your total cooperation, your support and your prayers!
But does this leave me anything to do? Yes indeed! For I will now not only work with and through these three men in regard to the U.S. field ministry, but will continue to work directly with Mr. Les McCullough, Mr. Frank Brown, Mr. Dean Wilson, and all the other International Directors. In addition, I need time for planning for the worldwide ministry and all its aspects, for writing for this Pastor's Report, for The Worldwide News, The Good News, The Plain Truth and so on, etc. Also, I will need to interface with and have some input into Y.O.U., Y.E.S., and other such activities. In addition to that, I still plan to see my wife and children from time to time!
So we do need your prayers fellows! But overall, the "vibes" are good, and we are receiving a lot of enthusiastic support from ministers and brethren around the world.
So let's rally to the cause of Jesus Christ as never before, fellow ministers. As so many of us had to do in the early years of the Work, let's prepare and be willing to "tighten our belts" for a few months if need be in order to get the work done. If each of us does his part with faith and enthusiasm, God will see us through.
With Christian Love,
Roderick C. Meredith