Member News

July 2023 Member Letter

July 13, 2023

Dear Brethren,

By now you have probably seen the July 6 edition of In Accord, with Clyde Kilough’s Media update. In this program he provided the latest statistics from Media—the most encouraging I recall seeing since we began 12 years ago! I won’t repeat all that he presented, but I want to draw your attention to some of the statistics. Two of our booklets—Change Your Life and The Book of Revelation—have now surpassed 100,000 downloads. Both of these booklets have been available for years, but six months ago, they were averaging just a few hundred downloads per month, with total downloads of 50,000 and 30,000 respectively. In the past six months, however, the number of downloads for each has more than doubled to over 100,000! Another unexpected increase has been in the number of new people who have contacted the Church during this same six-month period. Our personal correspondence area has seen the number of messages per month double!

As a result of this great response, we are now working to develop more ads with a goal of producing a short ad for each of our booklets over the coming months. And keep in mind that we still haven’t launched our new Life, Hope & Truth video program. Based on our recent experience, we expect our numbers will increase even more once it is available. We are just not sure by how much.

As we get geared up for the new program, we have hired three new people in Media to help manage the workload. Two of our new hires in Media are part-time—Katherine King and Elena Salyer. The third new employee, Tatiana Wright, will be full-time. She will be working with our personal correspondence, which primarily consists of questions and requests submitted by email and our website forms. With just six months of advertising, our current personnel found that it was very difficult to keep up, even with more help from the ministry. All three of our new employees are welcome additions and will provide much needed help in our Media department!

In advertising, part of planning for the future is being able to predict with some degree of accuracy what the results will be. While we always hope for a good response when we place an ad, I believe it is fair to say that no one predicted the volume of responses we received from these recent ads. With more advertising and a new video program on the horizon, predicting the future has become even more difficult. How many responses will we receive in the next six months? How effective will the new video program be and how many responses will it produce? The success of the recent ads has caused us to focus on these questions, keeping in mind that our goal must always be to fulfill God’s will. Where are we in the fulfillment of prophecy? How should our message reflect an end-time warning? And are we pleasing God with our efforts?

In considering these questions, I have reflected on my lifetime of association with the Church of God. My family began attending a congregation of the Radio Church of God more than 60 years ago in January of 1962. From the beginning, the messages we heard were heavily prophetic, filled with predictions of the soon-coming return of Jesus Christ to establish His government, the Kingdom of God on earth. Our beliefs in the Kingdom of God and the resurrection of the saints, require a rejection of the commonly held view that people go to heaven or hell when they die. We are at odds with 99 percent of those who profess Christianity, because we believe in the resurrections—the first (at Christ’s return) for the saints, the righteous; the second (after the Millennium) for those who never knew the truth, or never responded to God’s calling; and the third for those who reject God, the incorrigibly wicked, who will be destroyed in the lake of fire. God’s plan calls for a resurrection for everyone, but each in his own order (1 Corinthians 15:21-23).

While it is easy to get discouraged when major prophetic events fail to materialize according to our timetable, we must recognize that we are now living in a time that more closely resembles the prophecies of the end time—certainly more than any other period in my lifetime. Corruption, immorality, promotion of sexual perversion, proliferation of pornography, slavery and human sex trafficking, abortions, the random taking of human lives, wars and violence—all are traits of a decaying society that exist everywhere we look. This year (2023) alone, there have been mass shootings in virtually every major city in the United States. According to, in 2021 there were 690 mass shootings (defined as at least four people shot, not counting the perpetrator). That was a new record—and substantially more than any previous year. This year there have already been 365 mass shootings and 22,000 people killed by gun violence, so that trend is not slowing down. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. 

In preparing my Feast sermon for this year, I discovered the website Transparency International (, which ranks 180 countries and territories based on their perceived levels of public sector corruption. More than two-thirds of the 180 countries scored below 50 on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The countries listed as the most corrupt won’t surprise you—Somalia, South Sudan, Venezuela, Libya, Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala and Kenya. Even the United States, with a score of 69, doesn’t come off well in this list. Corruption in government, religion and immorality have always existed, but today is different. There are no apologies or desire to change course. Corruption is accepted, and society openly celebrates sinful lifestyles as normal. We seem to be at the point described in Noah’s day: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Genesis 6:11-12).

In the midst of all this evil, I see the fulfillment of the parable of the sower and the seed as found in Matthew 13:18-23. We are sowing the seed of God’s truth along with a warning message to multiple thousands each month. From the parable, we know that some seed will fall on good ground and take root. Those in this category will need help as they respond to the gospel message, and that help will come from the Church built by Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18), which is committed to caring for those God may call anywhere in the world. 

I believe that we are truly in the position that Christ described in John 4:35 and Matthew 9:37-38—the fields are white for harvest, but the laborers are few. We are told to pray the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers into His harvest. Now is certainly the time to pray for open doors to spread the gospel and to pray that more laborers be sent into the harvest. It is an exciting time, but it is also a dangerous and frightening time, like nothing we have ever seen before. In contrast to the darkness of this world, our message is one of hope in the coming Kingdom of God, along with a cry for repentance—the same message Jesus Christ brought almost 2,000 years ago (Mark 1:15)!

Sincerely, your brother in Christ,

Jim Franks