This article originally appeared in the March 5, 1955 issue of Evangel.
CAME TO the Publishing House in March of 1925, which will be thirty years ago in March, to work in the bookkeeping department, a small room about 12 by 15 feet that was shared with the Editor and Publisher, J. S. Llewellyn, who was also the Business Manager. The furniture in this room, the best I can remember, consisted of two desks, one or two letter files, a steel vault, a typewriter, two card index files for the charge accounts, three chairs, and a coal stove.
After a couple of years, the bookkeeping department was moved upstairs to a room about the same size, thus giving the Editor and Publisher more room, as well as the bookkeeper. Later, they gave me one helper.
The books were kept as follows: We had a loose-leaf book that was ruled to keep the different accounts separate. This was a good system, but the mail orders were booked in the old-time bound ledgers. One day we used one book, and the next day we sent that same book to the mailing department for the orders to be filled. On that particular day, we booked the orders in another ledger, thus exchanging books every day. We had no invoices; therefore, the customers did not receive any kind of bill with their orders. They received only a statement at the appointed time we had to mail them. This part of the system I did not like; therefore, I had a talk with the Business Manager, and I explained how much better I thought it would be to have the printers make us some invoices-one color for the book orders and another color for Sunday School literature, etc. On these we could write the orders in duplicate form, file the original, fill the order by the duplicate, and mail it to the customer along with the merchandise. He agreed. They were printed, and I had the happy privilege of writing the first invoice ever mailed out by the Church of God Publishing House.
At that time, the Publishing House bookkeeping department had to keep books for the following departments: The Publishing House, Orphanage, Home Missions, Foreign Missions, General Indebtedness, Sunday School Tithes, Bible Training School, and when added a little later, the Home Supply Store, which was purchased for the Orphanage. In fact, we kept books for all the departments except the Tithes of Tithes.
Finally, we purchased a Burrough’s bookkeeping machine, which made the work much better, and the General Secretary-Treasurer took over the Home and Foreign Missions funds. This helped a lot. Today these funds are kept by the various departments.
In 1934 we moved into a new building on Montgomery Avenue, which is now used for the sales department. The new bookkeeping department had nice hardwood floors and was so much larger and had so much more filing space that we just didn’t have words to express how happy and thankful we were. But look at the bookkeeping department now. We have a regular little army of employees for the much larger department.
I don’t think that we can give to any one man the credit for the growth and expansion of the Publishing House or the Church. You on the field have helped to make this possible.
In 1925 we did not have much money on which to operate. A few years before, we had been left with only a few hundred dollars, but the companies from which we purchased paper were very good to us, though at times we had to make notes for the paper we purchased in carload lots, but the Lord helped us. The companies from which we purchased books, etc., were wonderful. I don’t remember our being unable to purchase anything we needed.
We had to operate on such a close margin that the Business Manager made me wait until the Assembly was half over before I could close the books for the year. This was in order to include the Assembly sales in the annual report so that it would not seem so bad. Then, that meant that I had to work until midnight or later for several nights to get the books closed and a special report typed to be read to the Assembly.
As the years went by, the Lord was wonderful. Bless His name! Very often we would hear the Business Manager in the prayer room praying and groaning before the Lord, and at night our General Overseer, F. J. Lee, and General Secretary-Treasurer, E. J. Boehmer, would go to the prayer room and pray for the needs of the Church. Sometimes I wonder if Brother Lee could return, if he would even recognize the Church.
The prayer room did not look like this prayer room, with its electric organ, piano, and nice pews. Although it was just a small room with a bare floor, a few chairs, no piano, no organ, the Lord met us there. Bless His name.
Well do I remember the morning when I had a severe cold and was so hoarse that I could speak only in a whisper, and I could hardly do that. (That was the way colds used to serve me.) Without my asking for prayer, Brother Lee said, “We are going to pray for Sister Munn this morning; she needs help.” They prayed for me and, bless His wonderful name, God healed me that morning. I have never had a cold like that one from that day to this. Truly He is the fairest of ten thousand, and He is altogether lovely. He’s the Bright and Morning Star of my soul. I love Him tonight with all my heart, and I want to go all the way with Him. Bless His name.