Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 23, 1953

A Special Appeal

Johnny Ramsey, Neenah, Wisconsin

The church of the Lord in Neenah, Wisconsin, is in need of some help. In order to be as concise as possible, I'll list the important matters by points. There are many incidents of sacrifice and devotion to the cause that will not appear in this report. Briefly, let me set forth this appeal:

(1) The congregation in Neenah is just three years old. That is, it was established in November of 1949.

(2) The congregation numbers 24 members.

(3) The average contribution, over a six-month's span of time, is $80.00 a week. The lowest was $52.00 — the highest $123.00. Just last Lord's day the contribution was $113.00. These brethren are liberal!

(4) We own two excellent lots on the main street of town in a desirable section. The price of these lots was $3,000.

(5) At the present time the congregation here meets in a voting precinct house. It will seat, at the most, 60 people. Because of its usage as a voting place about three or four times a year, it is somewhat of stigma in the minds of the people when we announce this as our place of meeting — especially in this section where Catholicism runs rampant and the church of Jesus is virtually unknown.

(6) The brethren here are desirous of building a very modest meeting place. In fact, one of the men who is a building contractor drew up the plans for the proposed building. They have been submitted to the Industrial Commission of Wisconsin. Just last Friday we received an official "O.K." from that office. The plans have been approved.

(7) The building is to be 32 x 47 feet. It is to be of concrete block construction. This brother in Christ, who is a builder, has given a bid for $15,000. The congregation is going to do the finish work and we already have some excellent pews to put in the building when it is completed.

(8) The congregation here is doing all within its power to make the building a reality. In fact, above and beyond the regular contribution of $80 a week, they have purposed to raise $1,000 by the end of April. This will be done by brethren who are willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ. There are only seven or eight wage-earners in the congregation. This $1,000 will pay for the heating unit for the building.

(9) Now, here is the place we need help. Because of the fact that the church of Christ is virtually unknown up here, the banks are not willing to loan us much, if any money. Because of some outside help ($75 per month — plus $100 to $150 per month if the building plans materialize), and the liberal giving here, we could pay back at the rate of $250 to $325 per month. But brethren, we are stymied on our efforts because we can't seem to find a bank in these parts to loan it to us.

(10) So, this is our appeal . . . Is there a brother or sister in Christ who would loan us this money on a pure business like basis — (5 or 6 percent interest)? We would have no trouble at all, Lord willing, to meet the monthly payments. Our problem is getting the initial loan. Or, is there a brother who is in the banking business who could help us on this great undertaking. Or, is there a congregation in the South that could help us in some way. We are not asking for a gift — every penny will be repaid. We just need help in the initial loan.

(11) We do not intend to ask for anything that we can supply ourselves; however, this particular need is beyond our capabilities to provide. Also, if these brethren were not doing their very best and were not willing to go "all out" to make it a reality, I would not make this appeal.

This building is a dire need in this area. Neenah is the hub-city in this area (the Fox River Valley) of 300,000 people. This is a very densely populated section. There is also a small congregation of seven Christians in Green Bay, 40 miles from here; so this makes 30 New Testament Christians in an area of 300,000 people, and only one full-time evangelist. So, brethren, you can see the force of this appeal. We need a building to add stability to the work; we want the people up here to know we have come to stay.

Let us hear from you soon if you are able to help us in this endeavor. It is our prayer to begin building by May 1st. If you would like to inquire further please write: The Church of Christ, Box 109, Neenah, Wisconsin. We beseech the prayers of all.