At the San Francisco General Conference of 1941, two new secretaries were added to the headquarters Ministerial Association staff. R. A. Anderson, formerly dean of the theological department of La Sierra College, joined us to foster evangelism and a more effectual field training for our theological students; and Louise C. Kleuser, Educational and Missionary Volunteer secretary of the Greater New York Conference, came to us to lead out in the development of more efficient Bible instructors in the field and to develop more adequate classroom training for this neglected work.
During the ensuing five years God has signally blessed in these two lines of service through field institutes, college contacts, and in teaching these special lines in our Theological Seminary. This latter provision, it might be added, was one of the comprehensive aspects of the authorizing General Conference action of 1941. Overseas field work, however, was largely out during the war years, and local Association work abroad could not go forward materially in some of the divisions during the time of world upheaval. In fact, only one Association visit from headquarters was made during this period, following cessation of hostilities—that of R. A. Anderson to Australasia.
The Takoma Park General Conference of 1946 witnessed the launching of aggressive plans and appointments for Ministerial Association secretaries for overseas divisions, as capable men were elected or appointed to care for expanding Association interests throughout the world field. The personnel of our overseas secretaries appears on page 18 of this issue. Well-balanced divisional Advisory Councils have been appointed as well, in nearly all divisions, and the prospects of advance are bright with promise.
As the world field is again reopened and calls for visitation are piling up, the Association requested the nominating committee of the 1946 General Conference Session to add two more associates to our General Conference Association staff, not only to help meet the increasing calls from North America for representation at worker meetings and institutes, and for 'counsel in ministerial and Bible instructor field -training and practice in our colleges, but to enable us to answer these various overseas calls for extensive help. Sympathetic action was taken by the Session, looking toward two additional associate secretaries to be appointed, after careful study, by the Minority Committee.
The General Conference Committee has accordingly completed its study of the need, and formally called Melvin K. Eckenroth, evangelist of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and George E. Vandeman, field training instructor at Emmanuel Missionary College, Berrien Springs, Michigan. These calls have both been extended and accepted—that of Elder Eckenroth to become effective in March, and that of Elder Vandeman to become effective in June, at the close of the current school year. Broader and stronger service to the world field is contemplated by these actions.
We welcome these junior associates into the fellowship of the Association staff and into enlarged service in the cause. We purpose to make our work more effectual in all lines, both in office and field—through THE MINISTRY, the annual Ministerial Reading Course, research findings, and field work at the home base, overseas, and teaching at the Seminary, where all secretaries will carry periodic responsibility. More visitation of individual evangelistic efforts will be possible for counsel and for brief help, more regular contacts with the colleges in America and overseas, more frequent participation in worker meetings at home and abroad can now be carried out. That our workers may actually see our headquarters Association staff, photographs of the personnel are here reproduced.
Your Association staff is grateful for the constant stream of letters expressing strong moral support and appreciation for service already rendered. We take these as a mandate and a challenge to move forward more aggressively than ever in the high task to which we have been called in service to you, our world worker group. May God's choicest blessings attend each of you through 1947.
L. E. F.