Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 28, 1963
NUMBER 13, PAGE 8-9b

Concerning The Church In Green Bay, Wisconsin

Ronald A. Glass

Green Bay, Wisconsin Dear brother Tant:

You do not know me, and I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting you. But I received recently a note from brother Charles House, who works with the Mexican brethren, in response to a note and bulletin I had sent him; and he suggested that I write you a brief summary of our situation here in Green Bay — in the hope that some of the readers of the Gospel Guardian might be interested enough to help us in a difficult time.

The small congregation has never been able as yet to support a gospel preacher, and various men have been supported here, either in whole or in part, for several years by the 21st and Eisenhower congregation in Odessa, Texas.

The situation with preachers has been rather distressing, as the turn-over was rapid; the work is hard and difficult, and most of the men sent by the Odessa congregation became discouraged, or otherwise proved unsatisfactory. The man immediately preceding me was dismissed because of questionable things as to his honest and general moral character. This was a severe blow to the little congregation at Green Bay, and they were all disheartened and discouraged. I was living and working in a nearby town, but worshipping with the Green Bay brethren. When the congregation was without a regular preacher, it was decided that the various men in the church would take turns about preaching; and that the church would be very slow and careful in selecting the next preacher. They were agreed that they would take their time and make thorough investigation before employing the next man, since the many rapid changes had been a serious detriment, and they all desired that the next preacher remain for a much longer time than had been the case with the predecessors.

Since I had done a good deal of preaching in previous years, it soon developed that more and more of the task in Green Bay was given to me. Finally, in December 1962, the Green Bay church had a business meeting, and the brethren unanimously asked me to give up my secular work and move to Green Bay, and devote all my time to the work of the church. They were quite aware of my conviction concerning the all-sufficiency of the church, and knew that I opposed any organization being formed, or supported, to do the work God had assigned to the congregation. The brethren were well satisfied with my preaching, my work, and my manner of life. They felt that we could all work together in peace and harmony for furtherance of the truth in this area.

Upon their urgent appeal, I quit my secular work last December, and moved to Green Bay. However, after we had already moved, the brethren in Odessa suggested that the Green Bay brethren and I work together first on a four-month "trial period," so that there could be full confidence that we were in harmony, and "wouldn't turn out like the last preacher had." This was perfectly agreeable both to me and to the Green Bay group, so we made that arrangement. The work began to grow immediately. We began to have Bible classes in some of the homes, and interest and attendance grew markedly. We thought everything was fine, and every member seemed to be happy and working with zeal and enthusiasm.

Then the 21st and Eisenhower congregation wrote and sent me a list of questions on "the issues," which I answered to the best of my ability, telling them exactly what I had expressed to the little congregation in Green Bay. Very shortly after receiving my letter the brethren in Odessa wrote the Green Bay church that they were convinced I was an "anti," and because of that they were terminating their support to me.

This was a serious blow, but the Green Bay brethren were agreed in wanting me to continue to work with them, and to try to raise support from other sources. Then came the next blow! Brethren from the nearby Appleton (Wisconsin) congregation (which work is also supported by 21st and Eisenhower) began to urge the Green Bay brethren to dismiss me, saying that unity between the two congregations could not exist until I was gone Finally three men of the Green Bay congregation were won over to this point of view, and were assured that once I was dismissed, the 21st and Eisenhower congregation would be glad to support any "non-anti" preacher whom Green Bay might select. These three men systematically visited every member of the Green Bay church with this appeal. It was obvious that a vicious wedge was being driven and brethren were being aroused to alienation and discord. In view of this situation, and with my support being cut off, I told the brethren I would no longer preach for them.

Almost immediately a number of the most faithful and consecrated families began to meet in their homes; and pleaded with me to stay and continue to help them. Seeing their zeal and their willingness to stand for the truth, I agreed to remain. We have rented a Conference Room in the Brown County Arena, and are now meeting three times each week. We are having an average of 35 in attendance, and the little group is united and zealous. But I am still trying to raise support which will be enough to permit me to stay. There are only three people in our group with regular incomes, the others being children, or women whose husbands are not members.

As this is being written we have word that the 21st and Eisenhower congregation is sending a man here within the next three weeks to work with the liberal group. We do not know who he is, only that he is from Texas, in his 40's, and has four children; and that not a single member of the group for whom he is going to work has ever heard him or even heard of him! (Evidently, such is not necessary if the sponsoring church recommends him).

At present I am receiving $235.00 per month, of which the little church here is paying $50.00. This is a very meager wage on which to attempt the support of a man with three children. I am anxious to stay here and help a faithful church to develop in this city. The pressures both from denominational people and from our own liberal brethren will be terrific. But I am confident a sound church can grow. Are there any readers of the Gospel Guardian who can help at all?

Faithfully, Ronald A. Glass

109 Woodlawn Avenue Green Bay, Wisconsin

(Editor's Note: As brother Glass says in his letter, we are unacquainted with each other. But the appeal sounds worthy. If any brother, or congregation is in position to make investigation, and help if impressed with the worthiness of the appeal, we urge you to do so.)