Voice Magazine launched in 1953
Voice Magazine is a regular publication by FGB, each one filled with genuine life stories of ordinary men and their experience of our extraordinary God. Voice Magazine was first published in the USA in 1953, and below you can read that very first issue reproduced with the original pictures.
The First Voice Magazine
Section 1 – A Message of Light & Truth & Love – Thomas R. Nickel
Section 2 – How the Fellowship came into being – Demos Shakarian
Section 3 – God’s contract with us – G. H. Montgomery
Section 4 – A dream comes true – Lee Braxton
Section 5 – Testimony of Hugh S.Graham – Hugh S. Graham
Section 6 – Fellowship Inspires Full Gospel Holy Ghost Rallies
Section 7 – Our Doctrinal Statement
When we were chosen as Editor and Publisher of the Full Gospel Men’s Voice Magazine, we accepted the call not as an honour bestowed by men but as a privilege entrusted by God to help carry the Message of Light and Truth and Love to the Millions who yet have not heard the Gospel.
This call carries with it not only a privilege but also a definite opportunity so great we do not want to minimise it by considering it a duty or responsibility or obligation. We accept this opportunity with the assurance that Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, will work with us and in us and through us to see that the Full Gospel Message goes forth and that it shall help further the extension of His Kingdom and help hasten His return.
The privilege and opportunity represented by the Full Gospel Men’s Voice is not alone ours but is shared by every member of the Full Gospel Businessmen If each member feels the importance and urgency of this privilege and opportunity, and acts accordingly, then this Message of Light and Truth and Love will go into all the world as a witness of what God has done for us and what He will do for every person who will yield to Him through Christ, His Son and our Redeemer.
This undertaking will require time and thought and effort; it will require finances and prayer. Here, let us repeat the concluding part of our Radio Broadcast from Los Angeles on January 3rd:
“We want you to pray that the Voice will be used not only to promote the work of the Fellowship, but also of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and that everyone who reads it may, in some way, be benefited, through the Lord!”
Demos D. Shakarian is President of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. (His son Richard is now President since Demos went home to the Lord in 1993) He is co-owner, with his father, of Reliance Dairy Farms, the largest dairy in the world. His real estate activities are of major proportions. Truly, he is the Founder of our Fellowship. He resides at Downey, California.
As a Business Man I am thankful for the blessings, joy, and peace the Lord has given me in my life and I have wanted other men also to share in these things that God would have them enjoy. I have seen too many Business Men that have succeeded materially, but have failed God and have lost all interest in the work of the Lord, which should be, naturally, their first interest.
I was born and raised in Pentecost, and the Pentecostal experience runs back in our family over seventy-five years. In 1940 I made a complete consecration unto the Lord and sponsored my first revival meeting in a tent that seated only 300 people, yet in that campaign 67 were filled with the Holy Ghost. Since then I have sponsored several mighty big campaigns. In the past 12 years over a million people have attended these great revival meetings.
I have always felt that if one man could invest his efforts and cause so many people to become interested in the Gospel, what would happen if we could muster a force of Business Men across the nation, and around the world, unitedly working for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ?
In 1948, the first Full Gospel Youth Rally was instituted and I was one of the Directors and also Financial Chairman. I called a hundred Business Men together at Knott’s Berry Farm for dinner. When the challenge was made, $5,200 was laid on the table. I saw the power of organised Full Gospel Businessmen. There was enough money left over to go on to the Hollywood Bowl, where an overflow crowd of more than 22,000 attended.
Following many other successful meetings, I was privileged to help organise and to work with the great Oral Roberts campaign at Los Angeles in the fall of 1951. Over 200,000 people came in 16 days, 4,000 were saved, and many thousands were healed by the miracle-working power of God.
During this time of close association with Oral Roberts, I told him about the tremendous burden the Lord has laid on my heart for a Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. He told me it was essential we should start and assured me he would do all in his power to help.
So in October 1951, during his campaign, as Chairman, I called the first meeting of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International at Clifton’s Cafeteria Upper Room, where we now hold our Breakfast-Broadcast every Saturday morning. About 200 Full Gospel Business Men attended and Oral Roberts was the speaker.
His following campaign was at Fresno. There we met with around 150 Full Gospel Business Men. With myself as Chairman, Oral Roberts again challenged the Men to go forth. Five men were appointed as Directors: Myself as President; Lee Braxton, Whiteville, North Carolina, Vice-President; George Gardner, Binghamton, New York, Vice-President; Miner Arganbright, La Crescenta, California, Vice-President; and Earl Draper, Fresno, California, Secretary-Treasurer.
Again, in Phoenix, Arizona, we met in January, 1952, with over one hundred Full Gospel Business Men.
Following this meeting, we engaged Paul B. Fischer, a Christian attorney who has had great experience in corporation organisational work, and he and I worked many days together. Finally we started reading our Documents to Pastors, Evangelists and Business Men. We kept working on our basic Documents until we felt we had the very finest Articles of Incorporation, By-laws, Constitution and Doctrinal Statement humanly possible to devise.
On November 22, 1952, came the signing of the Articles of Incorporation with a marvellous Ceremony at Clifton’s Upper Room. All of the International Officers were present except Lee Braxton, who signed the Document later. The room was packed and the Spirit of God certainly stamped approval upon our efforts. As Earl Draper, Secretary-Treasurer, read the Doctrinal Statement, suddenly the Glory of God seemed to enter into the room, all started praising God, and Great rejoicing came forth. Following this, the Articles of Incorporation were signed, and G.H. Montgomery, Associate Editor of Healing Waters Magazine, Tulsa, Oklahoma, delivered a marvellous Dedicatory Message.
The first official act of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International was to select Thomas R. Nickel as Editor and Publisher, authorising him to create and maintain an official publication, “Full Gospel Men’s Voice.” We thank Monte Vista Christian School, Watsonville, California, and especially Robert O. Price, President; Donald R. Price, Principal and Thomas R. Nickel, Editor and Publisher of the Monte Vista Messenger, for making the facilities of the Monte Vista Press available for our use.
We thank Oral Roberts, and his Associate Editor, G.H. Montgomery, for the support given us in Healing Waters Magazine; we thank Gordon Lindsay and his staff for their support in the Voice of Healing Magazine; and we thank all the faithful workers at the Los Angeles Breakfast-Broadcast and at the Full Gospel Holy Ghost Rallies. The continued help of these and the additional assistance of all others whom the Lord raises up is earnestly solicited and will be gratefully appreciated. Above all, we thank the Lord for His Guidance and for His Providing as we go forward in His Name.
G.H. Montgomery is Associate Editor of Healing Waters Magazine, Tulsa, Oklahoma. He delivered the following message at the signing of the Articles of Incorporation.
I greet you at this breakfast meeting in the name of Jesus. It is a wonderful experience to be here. I have been sitting here this morning thinking about the various types of programs that I have heard come from this area of Los Angeles. I have heard many things come over the radio from this area, but I have never heard anything just like this, and I was thinking about how wonderful it would be if this business men’s breakfast could be sent out across the nation by way of radio.
One of the most impressive things that I have witnessed this morning has been the signing of your Articles of Incorporation of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. As you were signing that document the thought occurred to me, this is a contract, and those who are signing the document and those who subscribe to it by their vote are under moral and legal obligations to keep that contract.
Then I thought of another contract that was signed between two parties about four thousand years ago. The contract was between God and Abraham and it involves certain responsibilities and obligations on the part of both parties. God was the party of the first part, and this is what he agreed to do according to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, at the time of the birth of John. Zacharias, speaking under the anointing of the Holy Ghost, said, “The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life” (Luke 1:73-75).
That was God’s contract with Abraham, and Zacharias says that it applied to him and to his people. I say that it applies to us, inasmuch as we through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are also the children of faithful Abraham. In other words, we have adopted the constitution as our own, and that brings us into the covenant with God and faithful Abraham.
Now what does this contract mean? First of all, it means that we are to be delivered from our enemies and from the hand of all that hate us. Who are our enemies? The apostle Paul declares that, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.” Our enemies, primarily, are not enemies of flesh and blood. They are spiritual forces, or afflictions brought on us by the power of spiritual forces. Here are the five major enemies that we must face and fight in this world.
First there is sin. It is the enemy of all human kind. Sin separates between us and God, and because of that it is the greatest enemy that we have in this world. But we are told in the Bible that Jesus Christ was manifest that He might destroy the works of the devil. Christ died that we might be delivered from sin.
Second, there is sickness. It is an enemy. It keeps us from being at our best for God.
Third, there is fear. Fear hath torment. Whosoever feareth is not made perfect in love, for perfect love casteth out all fear. Think of the many things that you have wanted to do for God and have been hindered by fear. You wanted to pray an hour a day, but you were afraid that you couldn’t get your work done and do that much praying. You wanted to pay your tithes to support the work of God, but, you were afraid you couldn’t pay one-tenth to God and then live on the other nine-tenths. That time God told you to speak to somebody about his soul, you wanted to do it, but you were afraid that you might offend him or that he might think that you were crazy. Fear has kept us all from doing God’s will at one time or another. Fear is an enemy. Christ came to deliver us from fear.
Fourth, there is poverty. I say that poverty is an enemy. It is not a blessing as many of us have been taught to believe. Poverty keeps us from obeying God as we want to obey Him. It keeps us from going forward with missionary programs, from building churches, launching revival campaigns, and keeping the men of God in the field where they should be. Poverty is of the devil. I think I can prove that to you, because the devil is spoken of as the god of this world and this world is the only place where poverty is known. There is no devil in Heaven, and there is no poverty there. Heaven has streets that are gold, walls that are jasper, gates that are pearl. Heaven speaks of bounty and wealth on every hand. There is no devil in Heaven. Therefore, there is no poverty in Heaven. Poverty belongs to this world alone, and since the devil rules the world, the devil is bound to be the author of poverty. Paul exhorts us to remember the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who though He was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor that we through his poverty might be made rich. When we take full advantage of the provisions of God’s grace as manifested through our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall have everything that we need in this world.
The fifth and the last foe is death. The Bible declares that the last enemy to be destroyed is death. Yet there is destruction of death. In the very article of death, God will destroy its force. “Death hath no power over the blood bought one.” Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it ceases to be a monster and becomes a doorway through which we enter into eternal life. And we know that when Jesus comes and we are caught up from this world without dying, we shall bypass the gesture of death.
Since the Bible makes it plain that the last enemy to be destroyed is death, the question naturally arises, When are the other enemies to be destroyed? The answer is obvious, in this life, sometime before death, of course. The enemies –sin, sickness, fear, poverty’ are to be destroyed by the power of God here in this life. It is our privilege, taking advantage of the contract that God signed in our behalf, to claim victory over all these enemies in this life, that we might be able to serve God without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
There are many who will say, “But I know Christians who are weak and who periodically fail God, and I know Christians who are sick, and I know Christians who are fearful, and I know Christians who are poor.”
So do I. Bu t when I look at them I say to myself, “There are Christians who are not using their faith, who are not taking full advantage of the contract God signed with Abraham in their behalf, a contract that Jesus Christ, God’s blessed Son, came into this world to implement, to set in motion and make effective in our behalf.”
My friends, God is a good God, and He will keep His word with you. Believe Him, take His promises as fully yours. Claim your possessions in Christ Jesus. You remember that the king of Israel once said to His people, “Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still and take it not.” This is the situation of thousands of Christians today. They have something that God has given them, but they do not claim it as their own. Therefore, they are unable to enjoy the benefits of it. Let us this day reach out and possess our possessions through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lee Braxton is Vice-President of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International; Mayor of Whiteville, North Carolina; Chairman of the Board, First National Bank; President of Braxton Enterprises; Vice-President Radio Station WENC; President Citizens Auto Finance Company; Owner Columbus Finance Company; Vice-President Braxton-Warren Company; President Braxton Motor Sales, Inc. President Braxton Auto Parts, Inc.; Chairman Public Library Board; Chairman Columbus County Development Committee; Member Legislative Committee, “North Carolina League of Municipalities; Member Executive Committee, 279th District Rotary International; National Director Oral Roberts Coast-to-Coast Radio Broadcast; Director Whiteville Merchants Association and Chamber of Commerce; Director North Carolina Merchants Association.
In October 1951 about two hundred businessmen and guests met for breakfast in Los Angeles to discuss the organisation of a Fellowship of Full Gospel business and professional men. Then a month later another meeting was held in Fresno, California at which time our name was adopted and officers elected.
What is the motive and purpose behind this organisation? You might ask are we not already over organised in America today? Will this organisation duplicate any other? How will we function? These are logical questions and have been considered, also many more, and I’m sure some of the answers will be found along the way as we fulfill our mission and get more experience on the firing line.
Business and professional men are needed to help extend Christ’s kingdom. Too long many of us have been busy making our own success in life, and in many cases we have not been given the opportunity to serve our church or the cause of Christianity in the way we could serve best, and we hope to do this through the Fellowship.
Business men need the fellowship of other business men. They speak each other’s language, and while this is not a social organisation, I feel it will serve a good purpose in providing an opportunity for fellowship between those of like faith and similar economic standing.
There is strength in unity and numbers, and many times a business man’s advice and influence is needed, and more valuable than any contribution he might make in the terms of money. I think we should make this point clear in the beginning that this is not a money-raising, or giving organisation, while some of both may be done in a proper manner as circumstances may dictate, but this is not the primary purpose.
I’ll give an example where our organisation might have rendered a valuable service to our cause. A Full Gospel Church has been denied a building permit for a place of worship, and it appears that it is based on prejudice against the Full Gospel. This is too much of a fight for a small struggling congregation. However, we must remember this restraining order, if allowed to go uncontested, might soon spread into persecution of other Full Gospel congregations, that cannot defend themselves. Our organisation, with our experienced men and legal advisers, could pretty soon straighten a thing like this out, and other matters which might effect and hinder the Full Gospel in general.
There will be many opportunities for our organisation to render valuable service. It might be in foreign mission fields, it might be educational or financial, but I’m sure an open door awaits us to do our part in the upbuilding of God’s kingdom and the spread of The Full Gospel.
R.W. Culpepper is Co-founder and Co-director of the Full Gospel Holy Ghost Rally, is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Breakfast-Broadcast, and is Pastor of the Garvey Assembly of God, South San Gabriel, California.
The Full Gospel Holy Ghost Rallies are very closely interwoven with the Full Gospel Men’s Fellowship Breakfast-Broadcast which is held every Saturday morning at Clifton’s Cafeteria, 648 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. After attending the Breakfast Broadcast on Saturday morning October 18, 1952, Reverends Clifford Andrews, S.E. Bowler, R.L. Davis and R.W. Culpepper, met together and discussed their desire for an interdenominational, Full Gospel Holy Ghost Rally. It was unanimously agreed that it should be held on Saturday night in order that it would not conflict with any Full Gospel church services in view of the fact that very few, if any, are held on Saturday night.
It was further agreed that there would be no projects promoted and that all offerings received in the rallies would be used for the sole purpose of promoting the Full Gospel Holy Ghost Rally and paying the speaker. The meetings would be interdenominational in nature and all reputable Full Gospel churches and ministers, regardless of their church affiliation, would be invited to participate, and that this rally would promote and encourage all business men and ministers to attend and enjoy the blessings that God is so richly bestowing upon the Full Gospel Men’s Fellowship Breakfast-Broadcast, of which Demos Shakarian is chairman.
God’s sanction of this Fellowship was proven by the copious showers of blessings that have rested on each Fellowship meeting, conducted the first Saturday night of each month. Souls have been saved and filled with the Holy Ghost, the sick have been healed, and all are edified.
The interest and fervor and far-reaching effect of these rallies have grown until it was deemed necessary to secure the full time assistance of Rev. O.C. Harms, Pastor of Colonial Tabernacle and President of the California Evangelistic Association, and Demos Shakarian, Chairman of the Full Gospel Men’s Fellowship Breakfast-Broadcast, as additional directors of the rallies, making a total of six directors at this time, Reverends Andrew, Bowler, Davis and Culpepper being the other four. This group serves as an Advisory Committee for the Breakfast-Broadcast.
Thus far, three rallies have been held: Full Gospel Tabernacle, Pastor Clifford Andrews, Bellflower; Assembly of God, Pastor R.L. Davis, Covina; Garvey Assembly of God. Pastor R.W. Culpepper, South San Gabriel. The fourth rally is to be February 7 at Full Gospel Assembly, Pastor S.E. Bowler, Bell Gardens. The fifth rally is to be held Saturday night, March 7, at Colonial Tabernacle, 1800 East Anaheim, Long Beach, with Pastor O.C. Harms.
Hugh Graham is Vice-President of The Cal-U-Nite Corporation, manufacturers of Mineral Fertilizers, Salt Lake City, Utah, and is owner of Bear Valley Stone Sales Company, distributors of Split Face Building Stone, Altadena, California.
Praise the Lord. I thank God that I have accepted Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as my Lord and Saviour. I cannot begin to write the words to express the joy and happiness I experienced when I learned of Jesus’ love for me. Through His marvellous grace, He poured out His Spirit upon me. He appeared to me in a cloud filling the tabernacle and wrapped His loving arms around me as He bestowed the precious gift of speaking in other tongues.
I am not just a Christian businessman, I am one of the sons of God through Jesus Christ. I am ambassador to the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace, praise His Holy Name. I have crossed over Jordan and I am dwelling in Canaan’s land.
Neighbour, it is my prayer this minute that God will reveal Himself to you in the person of His Wonderful Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are a sinner, accept Him now as your Saviour.
Brother, if you know Him through the precious blood of the Lamb, come all the way. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. God is calling out people for His Name’s sake, and I pray that you may be found among that number.
- We believe in one God, Maker of all things, and being in Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- We believe that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, became incarnate, was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man.
- We believe the Bible, in its entirety to be the inspired Word of God and the only infallible rule of faith and conduct.
- We believe in the resurrection of the dead, the eternal happiness of the saved and the eternal punishment of the lost.
- We believe in personal salvation of believers, through the blood of Christ.
- We believe in sanctification by the blood of Christ; in personal holiness of heart and life, and in separation from the world.
- We believe in divine healing, through faith, and that healing is included in the Atonement.
- We believe in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, accompanied by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance (Acts 2:4), as distinct from the New Birth; and in the nine gifts of the Spirit, listed in I Corinthians 12, as now available to believers.
- We believe in the Christian’s hope, the imminent personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- We believe in intensive world evangelism and missionary work in accordance with the Great Commission, with signs following.
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