Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 4, 1954

Facts You Need To Know


As the discussion concerning "Herald of Truth" goes on apace, we are grateful that brethren are for the most part keeping their heads and refraining from the heated, excited, and generally unprofitable atmosphere which has accompanied some discussions of the past. Perhaps there is an exception here and there, but for the most part we sense a deadly seriousness, and a quiet, restrained determination to investigate the matter in the full light of God's truth. We believe it may help some to give a few facts relative to the project. This should help in getting the full picture.

1. Brother P. S. Kendrick, a member of the College Church of Christ, has served as treasurer of the Herald of Truth from the beginning of Highland Avenue's sponsorship of it until Brother Glenn Wallace's articles precipitated a nationwide inquiry into the arrangement.

2. The elders of the Highland Church have informed a number of people (including this writer) that Brother Kendrick was being removed from his position only because of the criticism being made, and not because they had any doubt or question at all as to the scripturalness of his serving. The change was purely one of expediency and policy; and the Highland elders insist that this be clearly understood as their reason for the change.

3. Brother Orville MacDonald of Dallas, Texas, is the publicity agent through whom the Herald of Truth makes arrangements with the radio network. If the TV program develops as outlined, and if Brother MacDonald receives the usual fifteen percent fee of advertising agencies, he will receive approximately $200,000.00 per year for his services. While this sum will come to him from the radio and TV networks, it is figured in by the networks as a part of the price charged for the Herald of Truth program, and could be eliminated if the contract were negotiated on the basis of working directly with the networks and without an agent. While the networks prefer to work through an agent, they have no set policy of refusing to negotiate directly. And in contracts of this magnitude informed sources tell us that it is not at all unusual for direct negotiations to be had rather than agency negotiations.

4. Brother James Walter Nichols and Brother James D. Willeford are each paid 3150.00 per week throughout the year. Each of them works for six months in the year in preparing the 18-minute weekly sermonette, and then spends the other six months in study and in promoting the Herald of Truth project among the churches. In previous years. while receiving only $100.00 per week, they have retained all monies paid to them in gospel meetings. But since their salaries have been increased, the Highland elders have requested them to hold no gospel meetings at all; but to devote all their time to the Herald of Truth, either in study or in promotion work. Brother Nichols reported to this writer that in the gospel meetings he held last year his expenses ran $1300.00 MORE than the insignificant support he received from the meetings.

5. Brother E. R. Harper, preacher for the Highland Church, was invited by this writer to submit a series of articles "in defense of Herald of Truth." He declined to do so, saying he was going to stay "strictly out of any controversy" over this matter — although he himself was fully convinced the arrangement was scriptural. When reminded that many brethren had accepted Herald of Truth because of their confidence in him, and that in view of the extremely serious question now being raised as to its scripturalness he had a moral obligation to defend the project, Brother Harper replied flatly, "I will not defend it!"

6. Several of the stations carrying the program in Texas and other southern states are "bonus" stations — that is, they carry the program at no additional charge to the client in view of the magnitude of the work and the number of other stations on which paid programs are carried. Even with all these bonus stations not counted, however, Texas still has more paid stations, we believe, than any other state.

7. Individual contributions, rather than church contributions, make up an appreciable percentage of the support for Herald of Truth. Exact figures apparently have not been compiled, but estimates run from ten percent to fifteen percent of the total. The promotion costs for the TV "pilot film" were paid from these individual contributions rather than from monies contributed to the Herald of Truth by churches. Churches had sent their contributions for the radio work, and it would have obviously been a misappropriation of funds to have used that money in promoting some other work; but many of the individuals sent their money with instructions to "use as you see fit." The Highland elders informed this writer that there were more than enough individual contributions of this sort to off-set the cost of the TV film. Criticism of them therefore on the ground of appropriating money for one purpose which was sent to them for another purpose would not be fair. — F.Y.T.