"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.VI No.X Pg.8-10a
May 1944

Review Of Jorgenson's Defense Of The Janes Will

Cecil B. Douthitt

The Will of the late Don Carlos Janes has been printed in full in some of the papers, and many of the brethren are familiar with its content. The Will speaks for itself; it reveals clearly the heart and character of its testator, and the spirit which governed his life and conduct.

While Don Carlos Janes lived and was in good health I wrote an article in the Bible Banner of December 1941, in which I tried to tell the brethren that Janes was keeping the money which the contributors intended for the missionaries. Some of the premillennialists of Louisville became rather indignant at what I had said, but so far as I know nobody made investigation to determine whether I was telling the truth or not. After the Will was published in the papers, I decided to say nothing more about the Janes-one-man-missionary-society, believing that no one would ever rise up in defense of Brother Janes' money-getting and money-keeping methods as revealed in, the Will. I did not believe that even Jorgenson would every try to defend Janes and his Will. But Jorgenson surprised me, and caused me to change my mind regarding my saying nothing further about the matter. He has an article of defense of the Janes Will in the Firm Foundation of May 2, 1944, under the heading: "The Truth About Brother Janes, His Money And His Will-By One Who Ought To Know."

This insinuation that others have not told the truth about Brother Janes and his Will is characteristic of Elmer Leon Jorgenson. He is running true to Jorgenson form. This is the same Jorgenson that tried to stab us in the back by writing a letter to a Louisville broadcasting station, in which he tried to get us off the air. A photostatic copy of that letter has appeared in the Bible Banner. This is the same Jorgenson that withdrew from C. A. Taylor, Rubel, and others and split the Highland Church, because these men objected to Jorgenson's sermons on Premillennialism.

Since Brother Jorgenson has brought up this matter of truth-telling concerning Brother Janes, his money and his Will, it is time to look at his article and see how much truth he tells, if any.

I. Appraisal Of The Janes Estate

He says the "Janes estate has been appraised, roughly at $40,000." Is that the truth "about Brother Janes, his money and his Will"? No. The Janes estate "has been appraised, roughly at" $74,000.00. That $40,000 is only what he left in a fund which he called the "Church or Estate Fund." The Janes estate was composed of at least eight "funds," the "Mission Homes Fund," "Cold Drafts Fund," "Current Missionary Funds," "Church Tent Fund," "Church or Estate Fund," "Religious Literature Fund," "Missionary Tract Fund," and Stenographers Fund." All these funds belong to the Janes estate, according to the Will. Of course, they never should have become a part of the Janes estate in the first place; but they did. If they are not a part of the Janes estate, what right did Janes have to dispose of them along with the rest of his estate? What right did he have to make Jorgenson the administrator of them, if they did not belong to his estate?

Nothing is said in Janes' Will, or in Jorgenson's defense, about the "Sewing Machine Fund." A few years ago Brother Janes traveled over several states collecting money to buy somebody a sewing machine. Since Brother Jorgenson calls himself "one who ought to know," perhaps he knows about the "Sewing Machine Fund," and it will be interesting to hear him tell how much Brother Janes collected for the "Sewing Machine Fund." It will be more interesting to hear him tell how much was paid for the sewing machine. It will be most interesting to hear him tell who got the sewing machine. It will be mostest interesting to hear him tell whether or not the "Sewing Machine Fund" was "blended" with the "Church or Estate Fund." According to Janes Will, Item VI, Brother Janes was great on blending funds, when they had "accomplished the purposes." Maybe the "Sewing Machine Fund" "accomplished the purposes" and was just "blended" with something else. If these funds did not belong to the Janes estate, what right did he have to "blend" them? Whose funds was he blending?"

Jorgenson says Brother Janes "inherited rather heavily" from his parents. He did not tell us how heavily, but he did say it "increased." In the Will this inheritance, plus the increase, is called the "Church or Estate Fund." Given eight funds, with the power to "blend," it is easy to make any one of them increase. This fund contained more than half the Janes estate.


Brother Jorgenson says, "Brother Janes did not leave gifts for the promotion of Premillennialism,' in the present, common, connotation of that term." Is that the "truth about Brother Janes, his money and his Will"? Let's look at the Will: "I will that the residue of my estate, when the foregoing ends have been met, shall be used by my Executors for the publication and distribution, by sale or gift, or by both sales and gifts, of the material, which I have gathered on the imminent, personal, premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth to reign gloriously where once He suffered great pain and dishonor when "He was despised and rejected of men' " (Janes Will, Item IV).

Now there is the gift "for the promotion of premillennialism." It is the "present, common, connotation of that term" too, because the imminent, personal premillennial coming of the Lord to earth is the theory held by every premillennialist on earth. The Russellites, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Adventists, R. H. Boll, E. L. Jorgenson and all other Premillennialists use the term in the same "present, common, connotation." By "premillennialism" they all mean the "imminent, personal, premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth to reign gloriously." If they didn't mean that, they would not be premillennialists.

Brother Janes stated in Item IV of his Will that he was "fully assured that the premillennial view of the Lord's coming advent is the scriptural orthodox teaching of the church from the days of the apostles" and he proceeded in the same paragraph of his Will to make provision "for the establishment of this doctrine," after his death. He says in his Will that he had gathered "a great deal of pertinent material" on premillennialism, and we know he had plenty of money to have it published while he lived. Why did he wait till he could no longer feel the touch of the money and draw interest on it before turning it loose, even for premillennialism, which he loved almost as well as money?

Brother Jorgenson says he is going to "publish the choicest part of the material which Brother Janes had gathered, and he is going to "publish it in such a clean and Christian spirit that none can justly take offense." If he does, he will have to leave out that letter to the Louisville radio station, in which he tried to corral the Louisville ministerial association to help him put us off the air. I am anxious to see that material which Brother Janes had gathered on premillennialism. Brother Jorgenson thinks everybody will be too "confounded and ashamed" to refute it, because of the "great and good and honorable" names appended thereto. But whether Brother Jorgenson knows it or not, there are some who are not too "confounded and ashamed" to expose error, regardless of whose name is "appended" to it.

Iii. Jorgenson's Share

"Brother Janes left no money in his will: only much hard work and a great opportunity to glorify our savior," says Jorgenson. Is that the "truth about Brother Janes, his money and his Will, by one who ought to know"? Let's look at the Will: it speaks for itself: "I hereby name, constitute and appoint Elmer Leon Jorgenson, and his wife, Irene Doty Jorgenson, and the survivor of them, as the Executor and/or Executrix of this my Will, and direct that they be permitted to qualify as such without giving of any surety on their bond, and that they be recompensed from my estate for their services as such Executor and Executrix" (Janes Will, Item IX). Janes not only directed in his will that Jorgenson be "recompensed from my estate," he also gave Jorgenson the authority to set the amount of his compensation. With the exception of the very small portion of the estate which must be used for the purposes stipulated in the Will, Jorgenson has authority, according to the terms of the Will, to take all the rest of the estate for his compensation, if he wants to do so. That is more than Janes left in his Will for any of the missionaries for whom the contributors thought he was collecting the money. Yet Jorgenson says, "Brother Janes left me no money in his will"? I would rather have what he left Jorgenson "in his will" than to have what he left any of the missionaries "in his will."


The following appears in the Jorgenson article: "By natural birth, Brother Janes was, perhaps, a bargain driver, and close by grace--for God did much for him--he be came a great giver; not a tither, but more nearly (as the books show) a double tither. In him, the natural and the spiritual, the old man and the new, strangely persisted in financial matters." Brother Janes spent his time in writing to individuals and churches and traveling over the country collecting money, all of which, the contributors thought, would go to the missionaries. But instead of becoming a ten-times-tither and giving all that money to the missionaries, Brother Janes became just a double-tither, gave 20% and kept 80%, according to Jorgenson. That battle between the "natural" and the "spiritual," between the "old man and the new" in Brother Janes, was a very one-sided war. The "old man" was four times as strong as the "new." The "old man" got 80% of the booty, and the "new" got 20%. It was by grace that the "spiritual' got the 20%. When the war was over "the old man." or "natural," had $74,000.00, and if they "new," or "spiritual," ever gets any of that, it will be by the grace of Elmer Leon Jorgenson.

Brother Janes did not let the missionaries keep all their 20% of the Janes collections. The "spiritual' had to pay some of that 20% back to the "natural" in the form of "small monthly rental." Notice this from the Jorgenson article:

"Years ago, Brother Janes and Brother McCaleb raised a large missionary Homes Fund' to build suitable homes for missionaries then on the field. The fund was thus used; and the missionaries paid back, by agreement, the amount advanced, in small monthly rental. It was to be a circulating fund, to build missionary homes; but when the number of outgoing missionaries was reduced, and many of them returned because of war, Brother Janes, as treasurer, found himself with these funds on his hands."

Now isn't that a strange co-incidence! That Brother Janes would ever have these funds back "on his hands," when by agreement, he was to get every penny of it back "in small monthly rental"! The donors gave that money to build missionaries' homes; why was Janes charging them rent on their own houses? Oh, "it was to be a circulating fund." But where did it circulate? Right back into the hands of the "natural." What did the "old man," or "natural," do with it when it circulated back into his hands "by agreement"? Build more missionary homes? No, Jorgenson says Brother Janes put it on interest. What did he do with the accumulated interest? He had it on his hands when he died, and Jorgenson says "not one account has been lost." When was this money collected for missionary homes? Jorgenson says "years ago." What was the amount collected? Jorgenson says it was "large." In Item VI of the Janes Will, Brother Janes says this "Missionary Homes Fund" "long ago accomplished the purposes" and he intended to "blend" it with some other fund. But he added: "In the event I should die or should not actually blend these two Funds into one Trust Fund before my death, I direct the same shall be blended and combined into one Fund after my death." Here some facts stare us in the face: "years ago" Brother Janes collected a "large" sum of money with which to build missionary homes. When homes were provided with a part of this money, he made the missionaries agree to pay every penny back in the form of "small monthly rental," which they did. Brother Janes got all this money back, according to Jorgenson, and drew interest on it till he died. He states in his Will that this Fund had "long ago accomplished the purposes," and it was his intention to blend it with something else; if it is not "blended" before his death, he wants Jorgenson to "blend" it after his death. Here is a Fund given by brethren to build homes for the missionaries; every penny of it is here, not "one account has been lost." But the Fund is going to be "blended," and if any homes are ever built for missionaries, somebody else will have to raise the Fund; for this Fund is going to be "blended."

V. "Hoard"

Jorgenson says: "Someone, perhaps hastily, used the hated word hoard' concerning the missionary money which he handled." What other word expresses more accurately the Janes method of handling missionary money? He had $74,000.00 on his hands at the time of his death, and at least $34,000.00, perhaps more, was "missionary money." But Jorgenson claims that Janes did not "hoard" the missionary money, because at the time of his death he only had "a small working balance" of about $1700 in "checking account" - "hardly more than might come in a few days' mail." Maybe that is all he had in "checking account," but Jorgenson himself says, in the article under review, that the rest of it was in savings banks and loaned out "in interest-bearing notes." Then, according to Jorgenson, a man is not "hoarding," if he puts his money in a savings bank or loans it out at 5% interest; in order to "hoard" he must have it in "checking account." That's a rather strange idea of the term "hoard."

Jorgenson adds that this "missionary money" in "checking account" is no more than Janes might receive in a few days' mail, and thereby would have us believe that Janes did not "hoard" even the $1700 in "checking account." Is that the truth about "Brother Janes, his money and his Will"? Let's look at the Will: "For some years I have had in my hands certain Foreign Missionary Trust Funds" (Janes Will, Item V). Jorgenson says "few days;" Janes says "some years." Just a slight discrepancy, unless " few days" and "some years" are synonymous, and I hardly think they are.

Brother Jorgenson is Executor of the Janes Will. He controls money given by people who did not intend for Brother Janes to "blend" it, and keep $34,000.00 unblended. Instead of trying to defend the Janes method of handling missionary money, Brother Jorgenson should find as many of the contributors as he can, blend all that money into one Fund, and send the whole blended amount back to them with an apology. That is the honorable thing to do. It is not honorable to take that money or any part of it and publish a mess of premillennial bosh, which some of the donors of that money do not believe. If I had ever given Brother Janes one dollar for missionary purposes, I now would demand that Jorgenson blend that dollar with 5% interest and give me back the whole blended amount.