Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 23, 1967
NUMBER 8, PAGE 15b-16a

Priming The Pump

Paul K. Williams

"You Are Invited... G. L C. C. RALLY" read the invitation. The double-header features Mrs. Helen Young speaking to a luncheon rally (over 400 tickets reserved at $2.50 each) and Mid McKnight speaking on how personal work can help the campaign that same evening at the Northeast Church of Christ building. It says that they are "Appearing In Behalf OF GREATER INDIANA CAMPAIGN FOR CHIIST."

This is a sample of the preliminary ballyhoo in this extremely well-organized effort. The publicity build-up began in January. Still three months before the actual Campaign itself, the efforts were reaching a fever pitch. Banquets were being held in strategic locations over the state, with Bill Carpenter, Jr. delivering rousing perorations to the assembled groups to give money for the Campaign and to get people to Clowes Hall Auditorium July 3-8. Organizing meetings were being held regularly, with some eighteen different areas of work laid out with different people in charge of each, and usually a committee working in each. Student participation (a number of Harding College students were scheduled to come to Indianapolis to work in the Campaign), Promotion and Advertising, Worship, Responses, Financial, Counseling and Follow-Up are a few of the "Responsibilities" listed on the organization sheet. Besides the G. I. C. C. RALLY for March 31 there were scheduled a Junior-Senior Banquet on May 26 (sponsored by North Central Church of Christ), a Ladies' Lectureship on June 13 (also sponsored by North Central Church of Christ, and judging from the location it must be a banquet), and an Indiana Youth Rally on June 17-18 at the Fountain Square Church of Christ. (Both these congregations are in Indianapolis.)

Besides the State Director (Wm. J. Carpenter, Jr.) there are regional directors. The state has been divided into at least nine regions with a Director appointed for each. In each region there has been or will be a banquet with Bill Carpenter speaking. It was said at the beginning of the campaign for the Campaign that every family in the state would be contacted with publicity for the July 3-8 Clowes Hall extravaganza.

The reason for the selection of Clowes (pronounced "clues") Hall is an interesting one. Clowes Hall is a brand-new, $3,000,000 luxury auditorium on the campus of Butler University. It seats 2500 people in plush red seats and is the home of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. It is evident from what Bill Carpenter has said at the organizing sessions that the main reason for choosing Clowes Hall is its prestige value. They anticipate that it will actually be too small and are even now making plans for closed circuit TV to other places to accommodate the expected crowds. Another auditorium, seating many more people, is available, probably at less cost. But they are giving no consideration to it and are featuring a huge picture of Clowes Hall on their posters and other advertising material.

Besides the speaker, Jimmy Allen, they feature pictures of Pat and Nick Boone, listed as Song Directors for the Campaign. Brother Earl West, preacher for the 10th and Franklin Road Church of Christ (the sponsoring church for the Campaign) stated that it will "enhance our reputation to use Pat Boone." The entire proceedings are to be filmed in color in order to "put the church in a new light." The films may be used on local television in the place of the Herald of Truth.

These moves are well-calculated and deliberately planned, for Bro. Carpenter says that this campaign is designed to change the image of the church. He states that Indiana is one of the four richest states in the union as far as the church is concerned. He wants everyone to know it, so the fanciest auditorium, the best-known song director, etc. are being chosen. One photographer has been assigned to photograph the people entering Clowes Hall, and he has been specifically directed to concentrate on the ones in mink coats getting out of their Cadillac's.

The amount of money that they are trying to raise from all the churches of Christ in the state of Indiana is $15,000. I personally doubt that this will be enough and anticipate that they will try to raise more than this (and succeed). According to the "Jimmy Allen Campaign Financial Report" of February 28, 1967, Bill Carpenter, the State Director, is being paid $800 per month. He is a busy man and certainly earns that money, as overseeing all those committees, planning all the details, raising the money by speaking to dozens of congregations, etc. is a big job. But I thought it interesting that for six months before the campaign there must be a paid state director in order for there to be a six day meeting in Indianapolis! This means that one-third (nearly $5, 000) of the announced $15, 000 goal will be paid to the money raiser! (As an item of interest, the report showed that $4050 had been contributed by 10 churches as of the first part of March and all but $40 had been spent.)

The publicity also emphasizes the fact that this is a "unified effort" of churches of Christ. One of the express purposes of the Campaign is to bring about unity of the churches of Christ in Indiana. What it is actually doing, of course, is to further widen the breach between the digressive, liberal brethren and those who are concerned about following the New Testament. They seem to think that organization is the way to unity. And they are certainly organized. It would be difficult to see how any denomination could be more organized. But whatever unity may be effected by the Campaign will be a unity outside of the authority of Christ. The unity God enjoins upon us is unity in Christ — in his teaching. This Campaign is showing a total disregard for the teaching of God on the subject of the organization and mission of the church. Even in the guise of seeking lost souls there is an evident desire to please the world through worldly means. The whole thing is so brazen an attempt to be in every respect like the denominations that anyone with a respect for the Scriptures can have nothing to do with it.

-412 Lawndale Drive, Plainfield, Indiana 46168