For nearly six years it was my good fortune to conduct in Portland, Oregon, a daily radio program called "The Quiet Hour." From the very first program our people stood by with their prayers and co-operation. Altogether, with their gifts and those from the general listening public, the program was self-supporting in every way. Before my recent transfer to another conference* I presented thirteen half-hour broadcasts a week. We had been able to increase more and more the amount of literature and printed sermons that we gave to our audience.
Full-page Sermon in Newspaper.—Realizing that even radio does not touch all homes, we purchased space, with radio funds, in the Portland Sunday papers, both the Journal and the Oregonian, which have a total circulation of about a million. There were four full-page sermons printed, each article containing about six thousand words.
Our first subject was "Temperance," and the second was on "The Work and Belief of Seventh-day Adventists," with special attention given to the Sabbath question. Following this, our third article dealt with the common objections brought against the Sabbath and the law of God. The title of this sermon was "A Tragic Theological Blunder."
On Easter Sunday we had another full-page sermon titled "The Risen Christ as King Will Soon Return." In this we endeavored to show how fulfilled prophecy proves the divinity of Jesus, the inspiration of the Bible, and the imminent return of Christ. There was much comment on these articles, and some were baptized as a result of an awakened interest. Some might think that the cost ($425 a page in each paper) was prohibitive, but it averaged only about $3 a thousand delivered to the homes of the people. Where can we get cheaper circulation of the message in printed form than this ? It is my opinion that we ought to see to it that every daily paper occasionally carries the advent message.
Sabbath Book to Protestant Ministers.—Another venture that may be of interest was the sending of Elder Andreasen's new book The Sabbath to all the Protestant ministers in the city of Portland. In securing their names from the secretary of the local Ministerial Association, I frankly told him I planned to send all the ministers a fine book on the Sabbath question, that I wanted them to see the subject as we look at it, and that I was sure they would understand us and our viewpoint much better after reading this book. We received some excellent letters of appreciation.
"Signs" to a Thousand Businessmen.—Another recent venture was made in conjunction with the Tabernacle Church, where I was pastor. We sent Signs of the Times to a thousand businessmen in Portland for one year. We chose the ministers, morticians, dentists, and attorneys.
Gift Books and Subscriptions.—Aside from this method of distributing literature, each month we sent a book to all sustaining members of our radio audience, following the gift-book plan. We sent out from a thousand to fifteen hundred gift books a month. These books were both inspirational and doctrinal, usually chosen from the Crisis series. One month, in co-operation with the Southern Publishing Association, we offered a seven-month subscription to The Watchman Magazine to each one sending in an offering, with the understanding with the publishing house that their follow-up service be put in operation. Eleven hundred subscriptions resulted.
"Quiet Hour Echoes."—Our regular medium of communication with our radio audience was our own monthly publication, Quiet Hour Echoes. Early in our radio ministry we discovered the need of a printed communication to go out with our correspondence. At first we mimeographed a letter, giving some choice gems of poetry and quotations, and stating our needs, faith, and ambitions. However, it was not long until we started printing a four-page folder, 7 by 9 inches, which we sent out free to all who wrote in. Each issue carried a Bible study or a sermonet. The mailing list reached about nine thousand. This involved considerable expense. So we decided to enlarge the paper and put it on a subscription basis—to save postage. Fifteen months ago we launched the subscription idea, using an eight-page paper, the size of our union conference papers. We soon had 6,000 paid subscriptions.
The little paper made good advertising, and it proved a medium for answering questions and giving the message in a way in which it cannot be given over the air.
Needless to say, it required a tremendous amount of work to foster these various details, together with the sermon preparation, correspondence, and raising money. But on the other hand it all helped in soul winning, and proved most fascinating and fruitful.
Some were fearful that this extensive missionary program would affect the activities of the churches a-long other regular lines. Such was not the case. The Tabernacle Church may be cited as a good example. During 1942 and 1943 the membership and attendance grew steadily until seating became a real problem, and the tithes and offerings of the church lacked only a few hundred dollars of doubling the previous year's record. I found that our people are eager to get behind and lift. Our business as leaders is to provide methods for finishing the work that will challenge their faith, loyalty, and sacrifice.