"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of truth." — (Psalm 60:4)
"Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them." — (Isaiah 13:2)
Devoted To The Defense Of The Church Against All Errors And Innovations
Vol.IV No.X Pg.7b
May 1942

Northern Arizona

On October 17th I came to the Verde Valley of Northern Arizona, to work with the few Christians living in this district. About twenty members have been meeting for some time in the American Legion Hall in Cottonwood. Cottonwood is one of tri-cities. Jerome and Clarkdale being the other two. Jerome is the home of Phelps-Dodge Copper mine, Clarkdale, located at the foot of the mountain, two thousand feet below, is the location of the smelter. Cottonwood is where the people do most of their trading, and is the best location of the three for a church building. Since my arrival, we have had almost 100 per cent attendance at the morning services and about forty at the evening services 7:30 Sunday evenings. The radio station is located in Jerome, and so far as I know it is the only radio station in the northern half of this state. I am sure there is not another gospel preacher on the air in all the country from Phoenix to Salt Lake City. Only one other preacher in the northern two thirds of the state—Mack Kercheville, at Winslow, and he is doing a splendid work there. Within reach of our broadcast there are at least three towns of perhaps five thousand population each, that would be fine places for preachers to do some good work. Prescott, the county seat of the county in which I live, Yavapai county, has wonderful opportunities, and there are already about twenty members there. Some of them are meeting in homes, but the outlook is not very bright for them unless some one comes to their aid to preach the gospel, and work with them. They come over to Cottonwood occasionally for the Sunday night services (32 miles) and have asked me to preach some for them. I intend to do that as soon as I can, but feel that most of my time should be spent here until things are on better footing. Flagstaff, and Williams also offer similar opportunities. They are both good towns and both have a few members meeting in homes. At least Flagstaff has, I am not sure about Williams.

Of course the brethren are not financially strong enough in any of these places to assume the responsibility of paying a preacher enough to live on. He would have to be supported mostly from elsewhere. I find the people willing to do what they can here in the Verde Valley, and I'm confident that sentiment prevails generally, among those who are meeting for worship. As usual, there are some in all these places that have quit trying. They were "go-getters" back "home," but when they came west and found the sledding rough, no nice building already paid for and the work already being carried on by an efficient leadership, they thought it a fine chance to "retire" from service and rest on their laurels (?) and so did. We have some good talent here. Brother Curtis, a schoolteacher in Clarksdale, is a song leader, and several of the men can be depended upon to take the lead. We are fortunate in that respect. They have assumed all local expenses, such as rent on the hall, radio programs (two each week) and advertising. Since I came we have purchased two lots in a fine location, and they have raised enough money, that by the time the deed is ready, we will be able to pay cash for the lots. My support is coming from churches in Texas. We are aware that this is not the only field that needs gospel preaching, but if any of you preachers are interested in the work in the west, and can get some financial support, we welcome you to this section.

Luther Blackmon

-Box 781, Jerome, Arizona.