Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 8, 1962

Our Samaria

Charles F. House, P.O. Box 541, San Luis, Arizona, U.S.A.

The greatest desire of every individual Christian and every congregation of the church of Christ in the world should be to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." But where should we as individuals and as congregations take the gospel? Where is all the world? Should we just confine the gospel to the four walls of our meeting house, and depend on people to come to the meeting house to get it? Just exactly where is "all the world?"

When Jesus gave this great commission to his people, you remember that he told them to start at Jerusalem, then move on to Judea, and then on to Samaria, and finally to go to the very four corners of the earth itself. Now we know that those to whom he spoke lived at Jerusalem which was in Judea. After Judea, the next area was Samaria, and if the apostles would just keep on preaching and keep on going, they would reach the four corners of the earth itself, thus encompassing the whole world.

Just imagine if you will the logic and wisdom in this method. What better plan could be used to spread the gospel? Your congregation right there where you are could be Jerusalem. The congregation round about you in your larger general area could be Judea. But then someone inquires: "Where is Samaria?" Well, why wouldn't Mexico be our Samaria, since it is the first region beyond Judea, and our great neighbor to the south?

Mexico, a nation of 38,000,000 souls; Mexico, a nation that is ripe and ready for the soul-saving gospel of Jesus Christ; Mexico, a country that is tired of and "fed up" with Catholicism a virgin field that is ready and willing to hear the good news of the restoration of New Testament Christianity. Yes, this nation of 38,000,000 souls is a great, willing, and ready-made field for the glad tidings of Jesus Christ. We have already learned through experience that the old idea that the Catholics would not listen to the gospel is not true. This idea has served the devil too long and too well. We know by experience by the spread of the gospel in Mexico, especially within the past few years, that the people there are receptive to the message, because there are congregations of Christ in Mexico today. I had the pleasure of visiting 33 of them within 13 states within the Republic of Mexico during 1961.

I think that perhaps the greatest advantage that Mexico affords for the spreading of the gospel to foreign fields (Our Samaria), is the opportunity we have of personally sharing in the work, and actually participating, by visitation right on the field itself, and by lending the preachers not only our financial support, but our personal encouragement as well. Mexico is at home, right in our own back yard. We don't have to travel over oceans to get there. This was one of the things that caused me personally to become interested in the Mexican work way back in 1954. We began our work of helping in our "Samaria" at Nueva Casas Grandes in the state of Chihuahua; then on to Tijuana, Baja California. Our brethren who were standing for the truth were unable tp support a gospel preacher right on the field of Tijuana, and our "liberal brethren" with plenty of money that they had begged and promoted won that battle away from us. But four years later, it was quite a different story at Tecate, just 29 miles to the east of TiJuana, which became our base of operations, extending on in to San Luis Sonora, and Sonoyta Sonora. In the meantime, the congregation at Ontario, California, built the meeting house for the Mexican brethren, from the ground up, at Nueva Casas Grandes, Chih., and have been supporting the preacher, who is now laboring in Chihuahua City, since 1955. Yet our liberal brethren say that we never do anything, and that we are opposed to preaching the gospel and doing good works' How untrue! Since we are not the promotin' and braggin' brethren, we just go on about the Lord's business as we are supposed to do without having to "shout to the world" about it. Due to the interest that Ontario had in Mexico over the years, many souls have been baptized into Christ.

By 1957 Chula Vista California had taken on the oversight of the work that Josue Espino and I had started at Tijuana in 1954, and 1955, and that the Mexican brethren in Los Angeles tried to keep alive for a year. So by 1957 it became known all over the brotherhood as "their work." A report received recently from Tijuana stated that they had had nearly 1000 additions. What that report failed to say, was how they had obtained this great membership. Where are the converts? They are not all in the services of the church. They haven't begun to fill the building that cost many thousands of dollars, that they begged and promoted from all over the brotherhood. They do have a large room filled with food and clothing that they use to get people to attend the services, which is passed out to all who come for it. I say these things with authority because Espino and Gomez and I have seen it. We have personally investigated at first hand, their unscriptural methods.

A personal dream and ambition of mine, which dates back in 1954 when I first became interested in Mexico, has been to see a gospel preacher and/or a congregation of the Lord's people in every border town on the U.S. — Mexico border from the Pacific Ocean to El Paso, Texas. This ambition is well on the road to being realized despite the efforts of the liberal brethren, with all the money they need, and their "buying" of converts with food and clothing, as contrasted with the method we have been using, in offering only the gospel, the power of God unto Salvation. This work has been done in the past, and will continue in the future without the aid of a missionary society, one man or otherwise, and without violating the local autonomy of any of the local congregations.

The reason for wanting to start congregations on the border of the U. S. and Mexico is two-fold: First of all, the work is close enough for the American brethren to visit and encourage the workers right on the field. (This is your job.) Secondly, as the work in Mexico grows along the border, and as it spreads down into the interior, it will eventually meet up with the work of the congregations within the interior and eventually, cover all of Mexico.

(This is our job, the workers, to see that it spreads all over Mexico.) Look at your map at the border towns along the U.S. — Mexico border. We notice first of all, Tijuana, out on the Pacific Ocean. Tijuana is now completely established (but at what a price, due to our procrastination and our failure to "catch the vision in Tecate, the next town to the east 29 miles, and the congregation that Bro. Santos Gomez, Bro. Espino, and I started in August, 1958, and where Bro. Gomez and I have been working together in the field, is also established, but on a scriptural basis. In the first two and a half years of the church's existence at this place, 14 members were added by baptism, four young men were trained to become gospel preachers, and two more congregations were started along the U. S. — Mexico border. But notice your map again. 85 miles east of Tecate is Mexicali. There is a church there, It is a liberal group and is Tijuana influenced, but plans are going forward whereby sometime within 1962 one of our conservative brethren will invade this stronghold with the truth of God's Word, and will locate here. Then still further east, on this U.S. — Mexico border is San Luis, Sonora. The preacher here was trained by Tecate. Then 84 miles south of Gila Bend, Arizona, and about 300 miles east of Tijuana, is Sonoyta, Sonora. The preacher here was also trained by the Tecate church. Incidentally, the preacher for the Tecate church, Bro. Santos Gomez, was trained by Bro. Espino, of whom we spoke earlier.

But notice your map again, there are still five more towns, namely: Sasabe, Nogales, Naco, Agua Prieta, and Las Palomas to be reached yet on this border before we reach El Paso, Texas. From 1954 until 1960, I worked in the Mexican work on a part time basis, as I was supporting myself at secular work. In 1960, I worked in the Mexican work full time with no support from the churches until Wilmington, California, started supporting us in December of that year. LaPuente, California at this time was helping a small amount on gasoline expenses, but when they asked my position on the issues, they promptly cut off my support. (See July 27, 1961 issue, Vol. 13, No. 12, Page 182 of the Gospel Guardian.) The article was entitled, "Why Was He Cut Off?" During the time that I've been in the work full time (One year on Dec. 1, 1961), the Lord has really blessed our efforts here on this border, in as much as we have been able to report 30 precious souls baptized into Christ, together with two meeting houses for two Mexican congregations on their way toward construction (at Tecate, B. C., and Sonoyta, Sonora), plus many opportunities to preach the gospel of Christ to a race of people steeped in ignorance and superstitution.

Rather than leave the impression that these brethren out here in the far west are the only ones working toward advancing the cause of. Christ in Mexico, I wish to name and have you recognize the following faithful preaching brethren: Mack Kercheville of El Paso, Texas; Glen Rogers, Don Atherton (Brother Atherton has passed away since the writing of this article), and Wayne Partain, of the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, together with Vernon Hawkins of Lordsburg, New Mexico, and Phil Morgan of Phoenix, Arizona, all of whom are standing for the truth and spreading the cause of Christ among the Mexican people within their areas of influence. We can add to this list the following congregations and their preachers who are presently supporting this work among the Mexican people: The 5th and 12th Street church, Yuma, Ariz., Ted Bollier, preacher; Seminole Drive at San Diego, Calif., Fred Amick, preacher; Northridge, Calif. church, Bob Melear, preacher; San Bernardino, Calif., Arthur Atkinson, Jr., preacher; Culver-Center church at Culver City, Calif., Ford Carpenter and Claude Worley, preachers; Canoga Park church in Canoga Park, Calif, M. W. Chaffin, preacher; Studebaker Road church at Long Beach, Calif., William S. Irvine, preacher; Montebello, Calif. church, Wright Randolph, preacher; Fallbrook, Calif. church; Humble, Texas church, Chas. E. Beaty, preacher; Vivion Rd. church, Kansas City, Missouri, O. C. Birdwell, Jr., preacher; Ontario, Calif. church, Ted Beever, preacher. And Floyd Thompson of Santa Ana, Calif.; Kenneth Shehi, presently living in Southgate Calif., but not preaching anywhere regularly, and George Welsh Tyler, of San Diego, Calif., have all helped generously.

Yes, my liberal brethren, the above mentioned congregations and individuals are very definitely going about the Master's business," but they are not "sounding the trumpet" about it. They are taking the gospel not only to "Jerusalem and Judea" but to "Our Samaria" as well. We would be glad to send our mimeographed monthly reports to all congregations and all individuals all over the country who are standing for the truth against the present day digression, if you would but write us and ask to be put on the mailing lists.