Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 9, 1956


Yuba City, California January 20, 1956

Gospel Guardian Publishing Co.

Lufkin, Texas Dear Brethren:

As many have sent relief to the church here in Yuba City, not only from California but from several other states, some report should be forth coming from the church here.

At midnight or thereabout on the night of December 23, 1955 the levee gave way on the Yuba City side of the Feather River about one half mile from our home and the meeting house of the church. It had been raining for several days and the angry waters had been threatening to break through for about forty eight hours. When the break came at the now famous "Shanghi Bend" or Gum Tree Court on the west bank of the Feather River, water gushed in and covered an area of five square miles. Millions of dollars of damage was done and thousands had to flee the city for their lives. We were still in our home when the order came to evacuate for we had been assured (?) by the officials that we were safe in Yuba City. Marysville across the river one mile, had been evacuated into Yuba City the afternoon before, so when the order came to move out about fifteen thousand had to leave a once. I was amazing at the order that prevailed. Cars were lined up, bumper to bumper for thirty miles but not a single accident occurred.

We loaded a few things into our car for our small baby and nine year old son and began to move out. We were fortunate that we made it safely, many did not, for we could smell and hear the angry water as it came rolling in. It sounded more like a cyclone than it did water. And as one travels around and views the homes it struck it looks more like a cyclone hit them than it does that water did the damage. We spent two nights in the little community of Sutter City about ten miles out and on high ground and then we moved back into Marysville where we have been since waiting repair of the church home for the preacher.

On Sunday afternoon following the flood on Saturday morning I went back to the house but had to wear hip boots as the water was still three feet deep in our garage. I found that the water had gotten to within 18 inches of the ceiling and everything in the house was out of place and covered with "hog-pen muck." I carried out a few "Christmas" presents for our boy for he was pretty disappointed about his tree and presents as your little boys would have been, not that we go in too much for the day but we do have a little tree for the kids. We had placed the gifts on the highest place in the house but still some were water soaked. Anyway Jeffrey, our boy, remarked when I got back that he would have a little Christmas after all. I didn't tarry long in the house for fear of getting on a hot wire.

During the next week the water came up again and we could not get to our home for several days. When we did get in by digging and washing we managed to salvage quite a few things, but the little things, things which cannot be replaced, we could not save. The house was in pretty bad way and it will be a month or so before it will be livable again. We are very thankful that we all got out safely and could be together. Thus far about 35 known dead are accounted for.

About thirty families were in the flooded area, two families lost their homes including everything in them. We have estimated the loss of the church, including church property, and also property belonging to individuals to be around one hundred thousand dollars. It happened so quickly that very few got any clothing at all out to say nothing of any other belongings. The church building was not damaged as much as the place where the preacher lives, however all songs books were lost and all Bibles in the church building. Some church could do us a big favor by replacing these. My books were in the office at the church building and a number of them were soaked.

Churches in California and also in other states were quick to come to our aid. In just a few days supplies began to pour into Marysville by the truck loads, food, clothing, bedding of all kinds, and furniture. We set up a distribution center on the main street in Marysville and distributed hundreds of tons of these supplies to hundreds of families. Finally we were compelled to stop the churches from bringing in things, and now after we have closed down we have several hundred pounds of clothing, a lot of furniture that we must store some place until the families can get moved back into their homes and can use it.

May we use this means of expressing our sincere thanks to all who came to our aid during the disaster. If anyone should read this and did help but did not receive an acknowledgment we would like for you to know that it was not intentional on our part to overlook or miss sending you one. We have been swamped with work ever since the flood; receiving and replying to mail, trying to find displaced members; we were scattered like sheep for days, helping with the distribution, and trying to clean up our own place and save a few things, so if by chance we did not acknowledge your letter or your aid please forgive us and write to us and we will do our best to correct it.

It has been a trying time for the last month as the river threatened to flood again last weekend and we had to evacuate again, but now the rivers have calmed down, the sun has come out some and everyone has put on a different look. It was a hard nerve wracking month but we have a lot to be thankful for. We believe that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.

Thanks to the Gospel Guardian for running the announcement in the paper about our disaster. Some saw it and sent in help.

Sincerely, Walter J. Dobbs, Preacher Yuba City Church of Christ Yuba City, California

Further Plans For Northeastern Christian College, Philadelphia, Pa.

On January 21, the board of trustees of the proposed Northeastern Christian College and the advisory council met with other Christians to make further plans relating to the establishment of a Christian college here. The need of a Christian school to serve this area was emphasized by pointing out that approximately one-fourth of the U. S. population resides within a four hundred mile radius of Philadelphia. Other major cities within this area include Portland, Concord, Boston, Buffalo, New York City, Cleveland, Pittsburg, Baltimore, Washington, D. C., Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, and Charleston, West Virginia.

Liberal gifts and a loan amounting to more than $10,000 have made it possible to begin negotiations for obtaining an option on the site chosen — the historic Clothier estate, located in the lovely suburban community of Bryn Mawr.

About 45 persons were present for this important occasion, including many preaching brethren, among whom were Ellis Bedford, Burton Coffman, Douglas Greer, Ralph Graham, A. R. Holton, Rex Johnston, Carleton Saunders, John Scott, and Harold Thomas. Brother Thomas is president of the board of trustees.

Joe H. Morris, Route 6, Benton, Kentucky, Jan. 16: "We enjoyed a great year in 1955 in the Lord's work. Held 12 meetings, preached 475 sermons, taught 148 Bible lessons and conducted eight funerals. Forty-eight were baptized, 70 restored, and 18 identified. The work at Sharpe is very pleasant. When passing this way stop and worship with us. One baptized and three identified this year."

Cleo N. Blue, El Dorado, Kansas, Jan. 25: "January 1 of this year I began my fourth year with the church here. To date this month eight have obeyed the gospel and a new record as been set in attendance. Brother Judson Woodbridge of Mulvane, Kansas will conduct our spring meeting April 29-May 9."