The exhibits in the Ministerial Association booth must be intensely interesting, for every time we have passed this way there has been a crowd of ministers gathered within, most of them eagerly examining the various displays, while a few are carrying on earnest discussion over some Point, or pausing to renew old friendships. But just now two or three are leaving, after hasty glances at innocent though apparently offending timepieces, so let us step in and try to discover the reason for the popularity of this small booth here on the second floor corridor of the Auditorium, between the booths of the Home Missionary Department and the Bureau of Home Missions.
The walls at the side and the back are almost solidly covered with groupngs of printed matter fastened in place by thumb tacks. But our attention is first attracted by the large canvas at the back, on which is printed a lifelike representation of the image of Daniel 2, the work of Peter J. Rennings of Salem, Oreg. Beneath that is a chart about 36 x 42 inches in size, on which is portrayed one of the prophetic symbols of Daniel 7. A large electric light is fastened behind the canvas, making the ferocious beast stand out in a striking way. This is one of a series of four charts exhibited by Mr. C. B. Haining, of Glendale, Calif., who is also the painter of a large picture covering considerable wall space in the corridor in front of the booth, portraying Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. This is designed for use as a background for the rostrum of tent or hall, or for camp meeting. That neat display of impressive colored song slides in the left corner has been placed there by Mr. Fries of Oakland, Calif.
Suppose we start now, in our inspection, with this table standing in the center of the booth. Isn't that an attractively arranged poster provided by Mr. T. K. Martin of Takoma Park? It represents the various cuts furnished through the "'Evangelistic Cut Service," and these are free circulars giving full particulars concerning this service. Mr. Brant, of Mountain View, Calif., has placed these folding prophetic charts here, and they are obviously of special interest to Bible workers who need such a compact and neat arrangement. Notice these bound volumes of The Ministry for 1928 and 1929, and the loose-leaf binder containing the 1930 issues to date. It would appear that the leaflets of the Ministerial Association Series have attracted the attention of many visitors, for only a few copies are left. And now a few studious persons find much of interest in the mimeographed Bible lessons prepared by Elder T. G. Bunch for use in his classes at the College of Medical Evangelists. "I wonder if I can get a set of these," we hear someone say. He soon finds the slip fastened to the inside of the cover, on which he reads these words, "If you wish further information concerning these, sign your name here." And he proceeds to follow directions.
The bookcase here near the front contains the English Ministerial Reading Course library as built up from the beginning year of 1914, including the books of the current year, 1930. It is a worth-while library of sixty-three volumes, and each yearly set is conveniently labeled with the Credit Card issued for that year A poster on top of the case asks the pertinent question, "Have you enrolled?" As we look closer, we find a copy of the Reading Course Certificate which is given upon the completion of four yearly courses. And on one shelf there are some of the books used in the Ministerial Reading Courses selected by the various divisions for those workers who do not read English.
On this table against the right wall is an exhibit of mimeographed material issued by the Ministerial Association branch offices in the Far East and in South America. The Far Eastern Division Ministerial Association is fostering a training course for native workers which is quite fully explained in copies of the various blanks and credit cards used in its promotion.
But what are all these folders and posters so securely fastened to the walls? We conclude that they have been furnished for this exhibit by many pastors and evangelists, and doubtless represent their most effective endeavors in advertising and other forms of publicity. Here are announcements for evangelistic meetings, some for a series and some for a single meeting. Here are "stickers" for automobile windows. Those oddly shaped, brightly colored bits of cardboard with strings attached or holes at the top, are used for fastening to doorknobs, on the theory that the person who takes the trouble to detach one will doubtless read the announcement thereon. Some of the larger posters there, with the colored lettering, are samples of those used in evangelistic efforts in South Africa in work for the English colonials. We also find some advertising material from Australia and from Spanish-speaking countries.
Pastors find much of interest in these church bulletins, some printed, some mimeographed, and in other material furnished by fellow pastors. And evangelists' notebooks carry away many an effective idea for advertising or newspaper copy which they have found displayed here. Some men apparently spend hours conning over the newspaper clippings grouped at this left side of the booth, which includes a very complete series as used by Elder C. T. Everson in one of his large efforts, and they seem to be adding to their treasures in the form of new and gripping sermon titles, puzzling over how this or that subject is developed and smiling triumphantly as they get the idea and find it good. Not a few are exerting real will power to keep from carrying away with them some particularly pleasing bit of advertising which would be suggestive to them in their work. However, several of our leading evangelists have brought with them sets of announcements and handbills, which they are generously giving to those who desire them, and the recipients seem very appreciative.
We have been trying to discover just what is the center of interest in that left corner. There, one man moves away and seats himself in a rocking chair, so we edge closer. Here is a table, and on it a number of large loose-leaf volumes, and we catch the title, "'Evangelist's Guide." We examine one, and find that it contains samples of advertising as used by various evangelists; another has sermon titles and sermon outlines; still another contains numerous photographs and drawings of blackboard advertising, book displays, rostrum arrangements for hall and tent, etc. Now this one is marked "Vol. IX," and we see only seven volumes here. Where are the other two? Oh, yes, the man sitting in this rocker nearby has one, and is hurriedly copying something-from it. Over there on the settee is an evangelist who has another of the volumes, and he appears very enthusiastic as he explains to his wife just what he would like to have her copy for him from it. Surely Mr. J. Lowell Butler, of San Fernando, Calif., would be gratified could he see such evidences of genuine interest in and appreciation of the material he has so carefully and effectively compiled, and which he has so courteously lent to the Association for the benefit of evangelical workers attending the General Conference.
Really, while at first glance this booth is not so attractive as are many of the other booths on this second floor corridor, we have become quite enthusiastic over the intensely practical and helpful nature of the displays. Its utility has been abundantly proved. We must hurry now if we find front seats in the gallery of the arena for this next meeting. But here is a sermon outline of which we should like a copy. Perhaps after the meeting we may be allowed to use that typewriter back there in the corner long enough to make a copy for our notebook. Shall we go now?
Mary G. Paul.