Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 29, 1951
NUMBER 46, PAGE 1-3,15b

Facts Regarding The German Work

By The Elders, Broadway Church Of Christ, Lubbock, Texas

Although much information has been given on what is being done in the German mission efforts, some have asked questions which indicate that not everyone is thoroughly conversant with just what is being done and how it is done. Therefore, it is our purpose to restate the facts about the various phases of it. It is our constant desire to keep everyone who is interested fully informed on this matter.

Problems arise continually, and with God's help, we strive to meet and solve them to the best of our ability. We are deeply conscious of the need of wisdom in all matters and for it we constantly pray and invite the prayers of all the saints for this work that it may redound to the glory of God and the growth of his kingdom.

From the beginning of the planning for this work, the elders here have been extremely anxious to see that our part of the work is done in a scriptural manner. We recognize the autonomy of the local church, and we oppose anything that threatens it. It is our purpose at this time to describe the actual way the work is being done.

The elders here are interested not only in seeing the work progress in Germany, but throughout the whole world. No one who is actively engaged in the German work is in competition with any other evangelistic effort, but various ones have encouraged other mission efforts wherever opportunity affords. Our evangelists and some of our elders have spoken on many occasions in the interest of the work. In the past we have welcomed men to come here and speak in the interest of the work in Italy, Japan, Philippines, Mexico, Australia, England, the Northwestern States, the Northeastern States, and work among the colored people. The missionaries in Germany have cooperated with and helped the workers get started in Holland, Italy, Belgium and France. Brother Gatewood has made trips to other countries and written articles to encourage others to begin similar efforts in Palestine, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland.

We rejoice that many churches and thousands of individuals have become very active in doing what they can to obey the Lord's injunction, "Go teach all nations . . ." Their efforts are to be commended and their examples should serve to inspire others to good works. It is our hope that many more churches will embark on a mission program, sincerely striving to evangelize the whole world in this generation.

The Work Begins

Upon the granting of authority by General Lucius Clay, at that time the U. S. Military Governor of Germany, two evangelists entered Frankfurt on June 6, 1947, to begin the preaching of the pure gospel to the German people. These evangelists were Otis Gatewood, supported by this church, and Roy V. Palmer, supported by Culbertson Heights church in Oklahoma City in cooperation with other churches. The number of workers has increased from time to time until there are now 33 adult American missionaries including the wives, and also five full time native Germans. Of these 38 workers only three are under the direction of the elders at Broadway. Each of the others is directly responsible to a church in America (with the exception of one German who is fully supported by an individual in America). Not all of these churches were able to supply full support for a worker and others are sending funds to one church to be forwarded by them to the worker in Germany. The congregation arranged with the worker the amount of support, and he is under the direction of the elders of that congregation in the same respect as their local evangelist. In like manner it is their elders' responsibility to see that they teach the truth in its fullness and purity. The money for the support of the worker is sent direct to him by the church to whom he is responsible, and the elders at Broadway never handle that money. The worker reports directly to the elders overseeing his work and receives whatever instructions those elders deem wise to give him.

From the beginning we have encouraged more churches to assume full responsibility for sending to workers. Before brother Gatewood went to Europe, he traveled extensively over the country encouraging churches to do this. Frequently when a church expressed its desire to send money to us to help in the work, one of our number went to them to urge them to select and send a worker. This has been the plea in almost all issues of our bulletin, "Germany for Christ" (see especially May, 1950 issue) and many of the articles in the gospel papers over the past three and one-half years. Even now a number of workers who have prepared themselves for work in Germany, and are ready to go, need churches to send them to this field.

Charlotte Avenue church in Nashville, Tennessee, has shouldered the responsibility for the work in Mannheim, where a congregation has been established in the last few months. The Charlotte Avenue church is supporting Dieter Alten in Mannheim and have recently signed a contract leasing a building in which to carry on the work when extensive repairs and alterations can be completed. They will in other ways assist that young church until they are able to do without outside help. In like manner the church in Berkley, California, has taken the responsibility for the work in Hanau where they are supporting brother and sister Bob Helsten. We commend these churches in this and would like to see many other churches do the same thing in other cities.

The Bible Training Classes

It has been obvious to all that enough workers could not be sent from America to evangelize all of Germany. But the purpose has been to send enough evangelists from here to convert a large number of them and to train German workers who want to preach. Therefore, a daily Bible training program was started in November, 1948. The purpose of this project is to train preachers, Bible class teachers, and church leaders. Only the Bible and related subjects are taught.

The teachers in these daily Bible training classes are the workers who have been sent from America by various churches, and their support is thus provided as described above. These instructors do other work of preaching and teaching in addition to their teaching these young people. The young men who are training to preach the gospel devote full time to study and personal work. Therefore, it is necessary for some one to supply their board. Churches and individuals in America are paying for their support, which amounts to $40.00 per month for each student.

In addition to the support of the teachers and the students, there is a great variety of supplies and incidentals to be paid for, which is a necessary item in the efficient operation of this training program. These supplies and other incidental expenses have been provided with some of the funds sent to us for use in the German work, which we have forwarded on to Frankfurt.

On January 1, 1951, the first unit of the church building in Frankfurt (on which construction was started May 15) was completed, and the classrooms in it are being used during the day for the Bible training classes. These same rooms are also used each night to conduct night classes for different groups of people, and will be used on Sundays for the regular Sunday Bible classes. So truly this building will be used constantly for the teaching of God's holy word. An auditorium has been provided in the building for worship services. When the other unit of the building can be built, partitions will be put in the present auditorium so it can be used for additional classrooms.

Clothing And Food

Every one is familiar with the overwhelming response of Christians all over this country and Canada to the workers' pleas for food and clothing when that need was greatest. Churches and individuals mailed their packages directly to our brethren in Frankfurt for distribution by them. Food, was purchased, first the CARE packages, then later more economically in large truck loads from Holland. Only funds which were sent here marked for food were used for that purpose.

Approximately 30,000 of these packages have been received, valued at several hundred thousand dollars. Recently three large carloads of dried eggs and milk were received in Germany. This gift made it possible for the church in Frankfurt to supply daily supplementary rations to 15,000 undernourished school children in the city, as well as give these two basic foods to others in need. In addition to food and clothing, these people are receiving Bibles, tracts, and literature which have been made possible by liberal contributions from Christians.

Church Buildings

During these three and one-half years over 1,000 people have obeyed the gospel, and nine congregations have been established in six cities. All this has been accomplished without a building owned by the brethren. In cities where fifty percent of all buildings have been totally destroyed, it is very difficult for the work to continue to go forward until provisions are made to supply some church buildings. The workers in Germany desired to have brother Gatewood return to America and report on what has been done and to present the need to the churches over here, and we agreed to have him do so. Therefore, he is in this country now visiting churches in most every section, reporting on the work and seeking funds not only for the building in Frankfurt, but also for all the other congregations.

Meetings are being arranged and conducted where he is speaking in the following way. We have always contacted the elders to make appointments for brother Gatewood to speak. The elders of a church in each city where he has gone have made all arrangements for the meetings. If their own building was inadequate to accommodate the anticipated audience, those elders in some cases have rented a larger auditorium in the city. They have invited visitors from other congregations just as they would invite visitors from all the congregations nearby during a gospel meeting.

In no instance is any contribution taken unless it is the desire of the elders where the meeting is being conducted. As stated above, all matters in connection with these meetings are determined by the elders of the local church, and that includes whether or not a collection is taken and how it is to be handled. In actual practice it is observed that collections taken under these conditions for a work of this kind do not detract in the long run from the collections for the regular work of the church. Instead of detracting from the local program it has actually stimulated interest very much. Many churches have found their local work was greatly benefited by their taking an active part in the support of the work in Germany or other countries.

Another thing we would like to emphasize is that nothing new or unique is being done in connection with these meetings. Brethren have for years been going to churches and asking -for contributions for worthy causes in connection with the Lord's work. They have asked for cash contributions and for pledges over a period of time, both from the churches and from individuals.

Whether or not a collection is taken is determined by the elders of the church where the meetings are held, and also whether or not any pledges are to be asked for. And in case pledges are taken, the elders of the church visited decide if these are to be given to their own local congregation each month, or sent to Lubbock or directly to Frankfurt. The purpose envelopes are furnished as a matter of convenience to those who want to use them, and are now being supplied without the name of any church on them. Where the elders of the local congregation desire, they use these blank purpose envelopes so an individual can fill in the name of his congregation.

In any large audience there will be present people who are not having a part in this or perhaps any other such mission effort, but these individuals would like to contribute to it. When a special need arises, such as the burning of an orphanage, or a flood, or an outstanding opportunity in a mission field, brethren will give generously in addition to their regular contributions. Surely we are blessed in our giving to others (Acts 20:35; Luke 6:38). It is such giving that has made it possible for the work in Germany to go forward in such a fine way. Many brethren have observed that such meetings as these have been a means to further develop the grace of giving in thousands of Christians. Although the preaching of the gospel in foreign lands is saving thousands of souls, we are convinced that these efforts are the means of saving thousands of Christians in this country by arousing them to their obligation to render acceptable service to the Lord.

Another value of these reports is that they encourage the mission work of the church throughout the world. When brethren learn of the success of the gospel in Germany or anywhere else, it kindles their zeal for evangelizing the whole world.

We have seen the beneficial effects of mission work first hand in the congregation here. Many of the members have experienced the joy of giving more liberally as a result of that work. The Broadway church has always fully supported brother and sister Gatewood. We are also fully supporting Helen Baker, who is from this congregation. Members of the church here had given over $7,500.00 into a foreign mission fund by the close of the war, which has been invested in the German work. Also special collections have been taken at different times in which amounts from $2,200.00 to $15,000.00 have been given. So far this church has contributed approximately $65,000.00 to the German work. Thus this local church has more than provided all of the expenses incidental to the collection and forwarding of funds to Germany, so that every dollar contributed by those outside of this congregation is applied to the work in Germany. These facts are not given in a boastful spirit for we feel humbly our obligation to do more, and with the Lord's help we are determined to do more. We mention these figures to show how the giving has inspired greater sacrifices. The true Christian spirit does not demand any credit or glory—only the Lord's will be done. Let us all work while it is day and to God be the glory through the church.

The Use Of The Funds

The money that has been sent here by others is spent for such things as:

1. Food for relief (only that designated for food is thus spent.)

2. Bibles, tracts and literature.

3. Daily Bible training classes, including supplies and incidentals necessary to carry on this work.

4. German workers, such as office help, janitor work, etc.

5; Postage and office supplies.

6. Rent on buildings that are used to carry on the work (the missionaries rent their own living quarters.)

7. Erection of church buildings.

0f course any money that is designated for a particular purpose is used only for that need. All contributions are promptly acknowledged. Monthly reports of money expended from funds sent from America are furnished by brother J. C. Moore, Jr., the treasurer of the English speaking congregation in Frankfurt. These are given in three currencies as purchases are made with dollars, German marks, and Swiss francs.

We have always recognized that money can be sent in more than one way, and that it is scriptural to support the preaching of the gospel in these ways:

1. An individual Christian can send direct to the support of a gospel worker.

2. A church can send direct to a worker.

3. Several churches can combine their contributions sending by one person whom they have selected.

4. One church can send direct to another church to be expended in a particular work of the Lord.

We encourage Christians to help in any one of these scriptural ways. The address of one of the churches in Frankfurt has been widely publicized, and J. C. Moore, Jr., is the treasurer there. It has been demonstrated that it is often convenient to have an address in this country to which contributions can be sent, and we have offered our services in being responsible in this manner. One convenience of a local address is that it saves in the cost of sending small contributions to a foreign country. The postage on air mail to Germany is 15 cents (or 5 cents on regular mail with 30 day delivery) and on some small contributions our brethren in Frankfurt recently reported it cost 25 cents bank exchange on each. In some instances it might cost 30 cents to get a dollar contribution to Frankfurt. We have been combining smaller contributions and transferring the money to Frankfurt through the bank with practically no expense for we have arranged with a bank to handle this without charge.

The German members contribute to the support of their own local congregations and they are being taught their obligations in giving to the work of the Lord. Not any of the congregations are now fully self-supporting, yet, it is the goal of the workers to have them become so as soon as possible.


It is not our purpose, nor even our desire, to control any other church of Christ either here in America or in Germany, or anywhere else. Our relations to the church in Frankfurt are parallel to that of a church in this country with a church in a mission field in the United States where they have undertaken to establish the church, whether that mission be near at home or at the far parts of the nation We believe we are as familiar with the work in Frankfurt as many churches are with their mission work in this country. Some of us have visited it more than once. We can have mail in four days, a cable in a matter of minutes or talk by phone.

It is the purpose of all concerned to have independent self-supported churches with their own elders and deacons as soon as that is possible. Classes are being conducted for the purpose of training men to make elders, deacons song leaders, also develop Bible class teachers. While the churches are still without elders, their own congregational affairs, including the handling of their local funds are conducted by the men of the congregation, meeting with the evangelist who works with it, in the same manner that churches in this country do that do not have elders. In no sense are we elders of a church in Germany. We are only engaged in helping each of the four churches in Frankfurt and others in Germany as independent entities.

The work in Germany is not just the work of Broadway, but the work of many churches. We appreciate all that has been done by these churches in America in the spirit of unity and love, cooperating according to the New Testament. We stand opposed to all human organizations which undertake the work of the church. Many churches cooperating on a scriptural basis are showing the world effectively that there can be cooperation without a missionary society. The best way to stay clear of human societies is for the church of the Lord zealously to abound in the work assigned to it by the Lord. Paul admonishes Christians to be "always abounding in the work of the Lord." (I Cor. 15:20) Webster says to abound means: To be or have in abundance. We believe every church of the Lord should do its utmost to carry out the great commission, "Go teach all nations . . . ," and also that it should abound in this as in any other good works.