Herbert W Armstrong – Fast and Prays at the Beach

August 21 1944 Co-Worker Letter

August 21, 1944 Eugene, Oregon

Dear Friend and Co-Worker:

Mrs. Armstrong and I have just returned from two weeks complete rest at the beach, where we spent eleven days in fasting and prayer. We had both been hitting a pretty hard pace, and sometimes one just has to stop and take time out and recuperate. We return now, greatly refreshed and renewed, not only in body, but in mind and spirit, for the heavy tasks that lie ahead.

Our office staff is preparing another BULLETIN. With it I plan to include, this time, a special full article I hope will prove of real interest and profitable and helpful to our co-workers. However, there is more work involved in getting out an issue of The BULLETIN than our co-workers probably realize, and it will be two weeks or more before it can be mailed.

In the meantime, I find that there has been a serious slackening in money received the past week or so, and this suddenly brings on a very serious condition in the work. I have to send out several hundred dollars every week to keep this great work going, and this week we just don’t have it to send out.

Consequently, since the situation is too serious to wait until the BULLETIN is out, I am sending this short letter today to just a few of our loyal co-workers on the Pacific Coast only, to acquaint you with the situation and ask all of you who possibly can to come to the rescue by return mail to tide us over. We need several hundred dollars by return mail, and there is not time to get letters to the other parts of the country and back.

I have just learned of the possibility of securing a good night time on a station in Mexico, on the border–a station of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND WATTS POWER–twice as powerful as the biggest stations in the United States–twice the power of our super-power station, WOAI, which is 50,000 watts, the largest power permitted in the United States. I am leaving for Hollywood next Sunday after the broadcast from Portland, and so now I plan to contact this station and see if we can arrange to secure a good night time on it. It will cover the whole North-American continent, perhaps even better than WOAI–tho that is the best United States station for this purpose. If God opens the way, it will virtually double our total listening audience! And the cost is comparatively low.

To our Southern California co-workers let me say that I want to arrange for about four weeks of every-day broadcasting while there if I can work it out, bringing you a new, fresh series of messages utterly different from anything you ever heard before, yet basically fundamental to understanding of the Bible, of redemption, of God’s plan, and of the purpose and significance of God’s people ISRAEL. You’ll want to listen in EVERY DAY, because you can’t afford to miss a single one of these vital subjects. Each forms a necessary link in a wonderful chain.

You dear co-workers have stood with me so loyally, and have never failed God’s work when a real need has arisen. God PROMISES to supply every need–but He does it thru those servants of His whose hearts are willing, and whom He can use. This is a real serious, and URGENT situation. I would even appreciate it if you’d send your tithe or offering, as liberal as you possibly can spare, by air-mail if you live farther away than Portland. We must never let up in our battle to proclaim in great power the true GOSPEL of the Kingdom, and the prophetic warning Message to ISRAEL for this hour. God bless you for YOUR part in His glorious work!

In haste,


8 Replies to “Herbert W Armstrong – Fast and Prays at the Beach”

    1. Another story where Herb and Loma are off on vacation while the sheep toil in order to support them.

      Remember, not all current members have seen this stuff. They have no idea who and what HWA was except for what their church spoon feeds them.

  1. Interestingly enough, I didn’t know the effectiveness of “clear channel” radio stations until I began listening to a little Japanese 6 transistor radio while I was in high school. After bed time, I’d listen to these 50,000 watt stations which were allowed by the FCC to turn up their power after sunset. I ended up starting a club in high school, based on listening to stations like WABC New York, WBZ Boston, CKLW Windsor-Detroit, WLS Chicago, etc. Even the cool people didn’t know that you could get these stations over night, or that there were regional hits, where a different set of songs might make the Top Ten in Boston than Top Ten in Chicago. I was also one of the first people to discover the emerging “underground” FM stations that played alternative hits and album cuts. At Ambassador College, I listened to Wolfman Jack on XERB, Monterrey Mexico, and to B. Mitchell Reed on KPPC, FM. This was like a transition period in Southern California between American Grafitti, and the hippie era.

    It does not surprise me in the least that HWA would exploit the powerhouse late night AM radio staions of the day. We have to remember that he called his church the “Radio Church of God” for a reason. Armstrongism was built as a function of the lowly car radio in those days. That’s the way in which he locked people in, and entrapped them. There was nothing on the air that served as a rebuttal or second opinion. Once captivated, highway hypnosis or not, you were trapped!


  2. HWA’s messages topics may have been “utterly different” but his co-worker letters have the same theme. In later years, his recuperative became more expensive and urgent requests more demanding.
    BB, I joined a DX club when I was in high school. It was great when I lived in the country and could string up large antennas, including my great “beer can antenna”. But moving to a first-floor apartment in the city ended all that, except for a few years of CB in the car.

  3. Sounds like fun, Hoss. Later on, when FM ruled, I got to hear stations in the outlying areas of So Cal that you couldn’t get in L.A., or the San Gabriel Valley. Radio Shack helped out with that! They had signal amplifiers that you could hook to an antenna for your stereo or even TV set. I picked up KNAC, Long Beach, which had a weak signal but was unique in that they specialized in the so-called hair bands of the late ’80s and the early pre-grunge ’90s. Also picked up the audio of some Palm Springs TV station that had a Stevie Ray Vaughan concert.

    But, that was nothing compared to my CBer friends who could occasionally “shoot skip” and talk to people in Florida on their base units, even without a “foot warmer” (linear amplifier).

    HWA arrogantly said that God allowed invention of radio so he could get his gospel out. But, I believe Argent had it more nearly correct in their anthem “God Gave Rock n Roll to You”.


  4. When I was on summer vacation 50 years ago, I was searching for a station to listen to and heard GTA for the first time. Then back to school, I started DX listening, and GTA seemed to be on everywhere! There was one station that played old HWA programs on once each week, introduced by the announcer as “Dr Armstrong”.
    From the East, Pacific coast stations were hard to receive, but one night, working with my beer can antenna, I got KNX long enough to get a station ID. Coincidentally, a few years earlier, my favorite morning show host, Rege Cordic on KDKA, was hired by KNX to lift the ratings after Bob Crane left. But he couldn’t do it — LA was too sophisticated for Pittsburgh humor!

  5. That’s interesting! I never picked up any West Coast stations on the East Coast or vice versa. And, I attributed that to the Rockies. But, I do remember the announcer who called the Armstrongs “Dr.” Armstrong. Of course, as a teenager, I was not hungering or thirsting for the words of HWA or GTA, because I held them accountable for all of the crap I was having to endure in my life. So, I twirled the dial to find more of the forbidden pleasures of rock n roll!

    You mention Rege Cordic. During my tenure at Ambassador College, we had a former radio personality as the student body president, Joe Bauer. Joe knew Rege from his own past radio career, and invited him to come to AC and address the students in one of the regular forums. Early in his address, I got the impression that Cordic apparently played the same type of pre-rock music as did KMPC in Los Angeles, for which there was apparently still a sizable audience amongst the WWII generation, so I was pretty much tuned out. But, most of the students ate it up. After all, he played the “approved” sound track of AC, as did Joe Bauer with the Ambassador Big Band, which was like being forced to listen to Lawrence Welk.

    Later on, in the real world, when Saturday Night Live exploded into the public’s consciousness, Ray Charles was one of the guests. Dan Ackroyd played the part of the leader of a squeeky clean harmony group called the “Young Caucasians” who idolized Ray Charles and begged him to sing his classic song “What Did I Say” (sic). That skit pretty much typified the whole fake cool Republican hipster thing, and I remember thinking how well the “Young Caucasians” would have fit in at AC.


  6. I don’t really remember what genre of music Rege played, but you’re probably correct. Like the other guys at the school bus stop, I was only interested in his recurring gags. One of his best local jokes was his regular Fort Duquesne Bridge traffic report – due to legal issues, for 6 years, the bridge stopped halfway across the Allegheny River, “the bridge to nowhere”.

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