The Georgia-Cumberland Conference has put into operation a most comprehensive plan for building up a listening audience for the Voice of Prophecy. There are three station outlets in the conference for the Voice of Prophecy, all of small wattage—Atlanta and Albany in Georgia and Chattanooga in Tennessee. These stations do not reach out far beyond their city limits. By launching the Bible School of the Air with the Voice of Prophecy, we are making a supreme effort, not only to get the largest listening audience possible, but to reinforce the appeal for enrollment in the Bible School of the Air. To do this, it was decided to visit every home in the three cities in our conference which have broadcasting stations. It is a gigantic task, for there are more than a hundred thousand homes in these three cities.
The city of Atlanta might be an example of the program carried on in all three cities. First, we decided that among the better class there would be many who would not respond to a knock at the door. Because of maids and other servants, the literature would not fall into the proper hands. These sections of the city were surveyed, and blocked off on a large map. Under the direction of two of our brethren and with the use of a city directory, the volunteer workers were able to address envelopes to every home in these sections. The mailing cost is one cent for each envelope, by special permit.
Three pieces of material were placed in the envelopes and also distributed to each home; namely: (1) Present Truth Leaflet No. 1, with the invitation to listen to the Voice of Prophecy on Sunday evening, giving the station and time in red across the front, also a regional radio log; (2) a circular furnished by the Voice of Prophecy, describing the course given by the coast-to-coast Bible Correspondence School of the Air; (3) a postcard with the Voice of Prophecy address on the front, and an enrollment blank which could easily be filled out. This procedure simplified matters and secured a large number of enrollments. As the church paid the return postage on these postcards, we could send a postcard which required no return postage.
After this better-homes territory had been taken care of by our mailing plan, the rest of the city was divided among the three churches (two white and one colored). Each of these sections was subdivided into about twenty sections of twelve blocks each, and these were given to band leaders, who were assigned a number of helpers.
At the same time that all this work of mailing and distributing was going on we placed a good-sized advertisement on the radio page of each Sunday paper. At the bottom of the advertisement appeared an enrollment blank.
This brought in more than 250 responses. Each Sunday in the future we plan to put a small advertisement in the Sunday papers so tha the Voice of Prophecy will be continually before the people as they look at their radio columns.
The final results have no,t been counted, but to date thousands of enrollments have come in as a result of the mailing work, the house-to-house distribution, and the newspaper advertisement. We believe that this is the most thorough and definite coverage of a city ever attempted in this conference. There is hardly a home in the city which has been overlooked. The other two cities are being covered in like manner.
At the suggestion of our conference president, plans are now in progress for the summer program. This program will be to visit fifteen or twenty cities in the conference which do not have Seventh-day Adventist churches.
Most of these cities have a population of ten thousand or more. It is proposed that we get a carload of workers and go from city to city, reaching every home. In this way, the larger cities will be covered. We believe that if our work is confined within the city limits, it will be easier to follow up. Those who finish the- radio correspondence course will be visited by paid or volunteer Bible workers.
Each church in the conference is now planning to cover its community, even though the broadcast is not too plainly heard. The Voice of Prophecy is furnishing us four special fifteen-minute broadcast transcriptions, ending with an appeal for enrollments in the Bible School of the Air. These would be used for four days over local stations, as our people go from house to house securing enrollments.
The cost of the program, the tracts, the postage, and other items has not been in excess of fifteen hundred dollars for the first 115,000 homes. Help has been willingly given by our people. We felt that this was one of the most logical and definite ways to give the message, as it had within itself the advantage of a follow-up plan which assured results.