Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 4, 1953
NUMBER 5, PAGE 10-13

A Report On Efforts To Aid The Work In Germany

By The Elders, Broadway Church Of Christ, Lubbock, Texas

May 5, 1953 We are happy to report that the kingdom is spreading in Germany, that dozens of independent churches of the Lord in America are supporting and supervising their evangelists in that land, and that there have been thirteen German and nine English speaking congregations established since the war. The Lord be praised for the power which the gospel has had in Germany. We are deeply grateful for having had the privilege of encouraging brethren to go to Germany, and churches to send them, and to help furnish tools for them.

We are constantly endeavoring to keep the brotherhood advised of what is being done in the German mission efforts. We publish and distribute "Germany for Christ," which is a report on the progress of the work. About two years ago the elders here published a complete detail of how the work was being done in a statement entitled "Facts Regarding the Work in Germany," to which attention is again called. (If you would like a copy of it, write us.) However, since unfounded accusations have recently been made, it seems expedient that this further statement be made at this time.

First, let us state emphatically that we have had absolutely nothing to do with the recall of any missionary from Germany. As elders of one local congregation, we have supported and supervised the work of three workers in Germany who have been perfectly willing to accept our supervision and advice. Although one of our workers returned from Germany, it was strictly a voluntary action and without any unpleasantness whatsoever. Other American congregations have supported and supervised other workers in Germany, and the overwhelming majority of those workers have accepted the supervision of the elders without question. One or two, we understand, have rebelled against their elders, and those elders, in proper action which we believe all Christians will acknowledge correct, have asked the workers involved to come home. We elders at Broadway had no knowledge whatever of any such action until it was announced, but we do stand firmly on the scriptural right and duty of the elders to exercise such authority.

What is the nature of the Bible training school conducted in Frankfurt? This seems to be the real basis of criticism that has most recently developed. What is being done in Frankfurt is to train men to become preachers, elders, leaders, to lead singing, and young women to become Bible class teachers. Also training is offered to any person who has a desire to study the Bible intensively each day to better prepare himself for work in the Lord's kingdom. It is not a college in the sense of our Christian colleges in this country. If a person there needs further academic training, he can enroll in the University of Frankfurt, which is just across the street from the church building in Frankfurt. Some have done this, while studying the Bible with our brethren. This is strictly a Bible training program for service. The brethren in and near Frankfurt teach these classes, in addition to their regular work as evangelists.

Some have made the argument that each church should train its own preachers. Certainly we agree that any church should be encouraged to do all it can to train preachers, but to say that one congregation cannot have such a Bible training program and allow any from other congregations to attend this training is to make a law where God did not make one. One or two have not only opposed these Bible training classes, but in order to be consistent have recently come out in opposition to Christian colleges as they exist in the States. This question of Christian colleges was thoroughly discussed and largely settled years ago by those who answered Daniel Sommer's arguments.

To further correct certain false impressions and statements that have been circulated, we will state that we do not have the oversight of the work in Germany, nor of the workers in Germany! The Broadway congregation at this time is supporting and supervising Brother and Sister Otis Gatewood, and no others in Germany. We supported Sister Helen Baker, a registered nurse, for four years in Germany, but she has now returned to the U. S. We will soon send another preacher from our own congregation.

Neither does Brother Gatewood have the general oversight of the work! He is only one of several preachers who have gone to Germany because they are interested in preaching God's word to that nation, according to Christ's commission, and they are all on an equal plane in the same way as are all the preachers for the different congregations in any American city. Each church which sends a worker to Germany makes the decision as to who is sent, where he works, and all other matters pertaining to the work of their evangelist in Germany. It is the intention of the Broadway church and we feel sure the same is true of all the other churches who are sponsoring any of the work in Germany, and also the workers over there, to so train and teach those Christians to qualify themselves as elders, preachers, leaders, and Bible class teachers, and also to contribute, so each congregation can become self-supporting as soon as that is possible. The workers would then move on to other fields.

Each of the congregations in Germany has its own business meetings, works out its budget, spends the funds from its collections, and handles all its own congregational affairs. The Broadway church has accepted a special obligation of helping the four congregations in Frankfurt until they are able to carry on their own work and become self-supporting. A different church in America has assumed a similar obligation in regard to each of the other congregations in Germany. A list of the other German congregations and the American church that sponsors it follows:

Hanau, Bob Helsten, evangelist, Berkeley (California) Church.

Mannheim, Dieter Alten, evangelist, Charlotte Avenue Church, Nashville.

Heidelberg, Richard Walker, evangelist, Herring Avenue Church, Waco.

Heppenheim, Fred Casmir, evangelist, Lewisburg (Tennessee) Church.

Wisebaden, Loyd Collier, evangelist, Twelfth and Drexel Streets Church, Oklahoma City.

Karlsruhe, Reiner Kallus, evangelist, St. Elmo Church, Chattanooga, Grove Avenue Church, San Antonio.

Stuttgart, John P. Hadley, evangelist, Pasadena (Texas) Church.

Munich (downtown), Jack Nadeau, evangelist, Skillman Avenue Church, Dallas.

Munich, Laim, Bob Hare, evangelist, Marietta (Ohio) Church.

Augsburg, Ted Nadeau, evangelist, Slaton (Texas) Church.

In each instance the American church is supporting their evangelist, who works with the above congregation (or, in some cases other churches help supply the support). Money for use of individual congregations for such items as expenses beyond what the German congregation can pay is sent directly to that congregation by the various sponsoring churches in America, or by others. Each of these efforts is as wholly independent of the Broadway Church as is any church of the Lord in any city. We believe in the autonomy of each congregation of the Lord's people, whether it consist of a dozen members, or of hundreds.

Other workers not listed above, and their sponsoring church follows:

Weldon Bennett, Jackson Avenue Church, Memphis. Russel Artist, Gladewater (Texas) Church.

Don Finto, Lamesa (Texas) Church.

Hugh Mingle, Strathmoor Church, Detroit.

Keith Coleman, Walnut Street Church, Sherman, Texas.

H. L. Sehug, Lampasas (Texas) Church.

Roy Palmer, Culbertson Heights Church, Oklahoma City. (To return from America in June.)

Irene Johnson, Sixteenth and Decatur Streets Church, Washington, D. C.

Georgia Carver, Tenth and Broad Streets Church, Wichita Falls.

Betty Raemer, Waxahachie. (Texas) Church.

Max Watson, no sponsoring church.

Dick Smith, no sponsoring church.

Other full-time German workers:

Hans Nowak, Central Church, Nashville.

Rudi Walzbuck, Seymour (Texas) Church.

Dieter Fritsche, Central Church, Denison, Texas.

Gunther Rockstrau, English congregation, Wiesbaden, Germany.

Klaus Goebels, English congregation, Frankfurt, Germany.

Otto Miller, English congregation, Munich, Germany. H. Breighaupt, German congregation (Westend), Frankfurt, Germany.

Gottfried Reichel, Harris and Irving Streets Church, San Angelo, Texas. (To return from America Sept. I.)

Rene Chenaux-Repond, Fox and Lake Streets Church, Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Brother Kneist, a Christian brother in Utah.

Dieter Goebels, Springfield (Tennessee) Church. Margaret Dunn Goebels, Haldeman Avenue Church, Louisville, Kentucky.

Marjorie Rogers Casmir, Columbus (Ohio) Church, 28 East Seventh Avenue.

Many other churches are helping these supply support for a worker. Still a larger number are contributing liberally to supply these workers with tools to do a better job, such as buildings, tracts, Bibles, tents, paying for tent meetings, supporting the training program of training preachers, etc.

Although money may be sent to a missionary, if you send a check to Germany with a 15 airmail stamp, it still takes about three weeks to get credit for it there. The check must clear your bank before the German bank gives the church credit. If one sends an International money order a fee is deducted and the church receives German money. Often the brethren need American money. We can transfer any amount of money for immediate credit through the bank here in one day with no cost but a telegraph fee. Then, too, money contributed in the United States to a church is a deductible item on the income tax report. Money sent by an individual to any church or individual outside the U. S. is not legally deductible.

Most of the money sent to us is sent to be used on a certain project or building. Appeals are made for a given need such as purchase of a tent, buildings, etc. Certainly in all instances the contributors have a choice in saying how their funds are used. Some is sent with instructions to be used where we see the need is greatest, but all money is sent for use in Germany. Raising money to supply these buildings (in many cases), tracts, literature, tents, etc., has been undertaken by the Broadway Church. For money not designated for a certain use, someone must decide how it is spent and for what purpose. When a group of elders undertake any project, whether the funds are contributed solely by the local congregation or others participate also, such as an effort to establish a church in a neighboring city and erect a building, conducting an orphan home, etc., certainly they assume the obligation of wisely supervising the expenditure of all funds contributed for such a project. Thus we have accepted the responsibility of forwarding funds which are earmarked for a specific work and of seeing that these funds are used wisely in harmony with the wishes of the contributors. When funds are not earmarked, but are given to be used where they are most needed in Germany, we have accepted the responsibility of using them in supplying the tools for the workers as listed above. When another tent is needed, or more literature, if the money is available, we authorize the expenditure of the money. If money is not available, we may make appeals for contributions for that given purpose.

In our supervision in the supplying of these things for the use of the workers, we do not decide such details as who will use a tent that has been provided on a given date, what tract will be printed, how many, or what printer will do the work. We have asked some of the brethren over there to make the decisions about details in providing these things which are made available to every worker in Germany. Sometimes an individual has been asked to look after such details. From time to time certain men have been sought out for the benefit of advice from the men on the field to give counsel on such problems as erection of buildings, publishing of tracts, work of the Bible training school in Frankfurt. Their function has been to give advice and consultation, not to control funds and not to oversee any missionary or church. Any such group is temporary in nature. For example, two of the men who are now serving in this capacity are moving to other cities to work and so this particular group as such is automatically being dissolved by their moves.

We do not believe that it is right or proper to set up a committee in Germany or some other country to act as a board to receive and disperse funds sent to them. We believe that the local church is God's organization for carrying out the great commission. We believe that independent, autonomous churches of Christ may cooperate without in any way losing their autonomy. It is clear that the churches did so cooperate in collecting money over a long period of time to be taken to help the poor saints in Judea. (2 Cor. 8 and 9.)

As stated previously, the support of every worker is supplied by (sometimes with the help of others) and sent to him by his sponsoring church. Also, the various needs for ordinary expenses above what the German congregation is able to contribute is supplied by the various churches in this country. We have no more connection with such funds than we do with the funds of any one of the thousands of churches in America. But who gets the use of the tracts and tents? Every worker in Germany does, either American or German. All anyone has to do is to ask for tracts, and all that are needed are supplied for the asking (if the money is available to print what is needed). To be sure no one is to prevent any one of the workers from printing any tract he chooses in any quantity desired, nor to purchase a tent for their exclusive use. Some do print bulletins and other literature. We are only anxious to help through encouraging Christians everywhere to be generous in their giving so as to supply the things to make the missionaries' work more effective, when we are able and such help is desired.

Many in this country have printed tracts in large quantities which are sold to churches for distribution, at a cost much lower than anyone could print smaller quantities for their use only. In Germany tracts are supplied to each worker without cost to them, made possible by contributions of Christians in America who are interested in teaching a nation of people through the printed word whom they have never seen.

What should be the relationship between an evangelist and his elders? Do elders have any obligation to oversee the work of an evangelist they support? Certainly an evangelist should be accountable to the elders of the church that supports him, whether he be in the same city or five thousand miles away. With airmail, cable, and telephone facilities, elders may oversee an evangelist who is working several thousand miles away, the same as if he were only twenty-five miles distant. When an evangelist refuses to submit to the elders and denies they have anything to say or do about what he does, where does that place him? Does that not place him above the elders, or bishops?

Let us further consider where such false teaching leads to. An evangelist could (and some have) depart from the true doctrine, engage in practices, and teach contrary to doctrine the elders would permit at home. If the evangelist does not acknowledge his responsibility to the elders, who is there to recall him? Elders who are truly shepherds under the Great Shepherd will not allow departures in doctrine or in practice of an evangelist they support, whether he be working with the home congregation or in some distant city.

We have always maintained that money can be sent directly to a field or sent through some church. But let us consider what it can lead to "require" or "demand" that all money be sent direct. In the first place it is unscriptural to "require" or "demand" that all funds must be sent directly to an individual in the field, since we have examples in the New Testament of funds being sent in other ways. In the second place it is unwise for any one man to be responsible for large sums of money, to spend as he desires, without supervision or consultation (the Lord knew best in setting a plurality of elders over a church). If a man should be successful in raising considerable amounts, it immediately places him under suspicion and criticism, and a good and honorable man may thus be ruined, as far as his usefulness is concerned. Brother Gatewood did not want to accept the responsibility for all the money that was contributed. In this he was following the example of Paul. Even though he was an apostle, he would not accept a similar responsibility in handling the funds contributed by the churches to be sent to Jerusalem, but others were selected to travel with them "for we take thought for things honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men." (2 Cor. 8:21)

We wish to state further that every dollar sent to Broadway Church is sent to Germany without one dollar being taken out to pay any kind of expense, such as travel expense for Brother Gatewood in raising money, printing of reports, postage, secretary's salary, etc. All such expenses are paid by the Broadway Church, so every dollar sent to us is forwarded on to Germany. The Broadway Church is interested in mission work everywhere and has been active in encouraging others to do more. As for ourselves, we are supporting missionaries in the U. S. as well as in Germany. Without any desire to appear to be boastful, for we, too, are falling short of our own capabilities, our 1953 budget calls for $100,000 to be contributed by members of Broadway Church for work outside our own congregation, for mission work, for orphan homes, and for benevolence. Of this amount $18,200 is to be spent in the German work for salaries of the missionaries we send, the above expenses, and the balance to apply on a building over there. Our total investment in the German work to date is about $100,000. So we are not asking others to support something we ourselves are not supporting liberally.

To be sure, great things have been done by the Lord through the brethren working in Germany in less than six years, when compared to our past accomplishments. But just how big are they? Some may say we should not try to do such big things, we should be content with establishing another congregation occasionally, and baptizing a few people each month. Christians now living have the opportunity, the money, and the talent to carry the Gospel of Christ into all nations in the next twenty-five years, if we put these to full use, coupled with zeal. But suppose we of today are content to use only a small amount of our resources, establish the church in a few new places as we go along, and thus take another one hundred or five hundred years to do as Christ commands in preaching to every nation, then who is responsible for the loss of multiplied millions of people who would go into eternity unsaved, but who might have accepted Christ if they had only had a chance? Let no one be guilty of inferring that anything "too big" is being done, when we stop to consider our potentials, and also the scope of Christ's commission.

We solicit the prayers of brethren everywhere for the work in Germany and for all the workers and churches who are helping to further the cause in that country. We are determined to press on in this work which the Lord is greatly blessing. To God be all the glory in the church. It is our earnest desire that multiplied thousands of Germans will obey the gospel and many hundreds of churches will be established in our time!