George Walker's Statement to the U.S. Government (1942)
In 1942, early worker George Walker was asked by the U.S. government to provide background information about the Two-by-Two group. Two by Twos had been seeking exemptions from military service, and previous interviews had yielded only vague information on Mr. Walker's part. The following letter was composed in response to the request for more detailed information.
Note that the letter's quality is poor, presumably due to its being copied at the lower resolution available for photostatic duplication technology available at that time. The document may also have deteriorated over the years, but with a little effort, you should be able to decipher most of the text (a transcript follows the images). Note also the "Christian Conventions" letterhead already in use at this time. Variations on this letterhead design are still in use (see below). This is the official name used in the United States for official correspondence (few Two-by-Two members have ever seen it). In Canada, similar names and letterhead is used, and other names have been taken in other nations.
When inklings of the official registration began to make it into the Two by Two rumor mill, a member decided to write to the Selective Service to disprove the story she had heard. She received a response in 1943, along with copies of the Walker letter and other materials attesting to the status. The Walker letter, as well as statements by other workers, has also been quoted in documents from other government departments. After confirmation of the registration, several members were expelled who raised questions about the official name taken by Walker, J. Carroll and other overseers around the globe. This tactic served to keep the issue under wraps and the "no-name" claim active, at least until the advent of the Internet. Even today, claims not to have taken any name continue to be made by workers and ordinary friends alike.
Transcript of the Letter dated March twenty-fourth, 1942
"In accordance with the suggestion made to us at our recent interview in the Office of the Director of Selective Service, Washington, D.C. that a further statement be submitted outlining, in greater detain than has hereto-fore been given, certain facts regarding the foundation, belief and activities of the Church we represented, as Ministers - this for the purpose of enabling the Local Draft Boards to correctly classify Ministers of this Church throughout the United States who are subject to the Selective Service Laws.
"We take this opportunity to state that during the closing years of the last century and the first years of this century a number of people in the British Isles and in America were exercised in heart and mind, through their study of the Scriptures, in regard to the methods of preaching and worship in the several churches of which they were then members. They were deeply concerned about spiritual things, and became fully convinced that there should be a return to the methods and purposes taught and carried out by Christ and His first disciples. This conviction led to frequent earnest conversa-tions and studies on the subject, which in turn led to religious meetings, and in due time a number of these people went forth to devote their lives to the preaching of the Gospel according to the teaching and example of Christ as given in the New Testament, i.e., 'two by two' and without salary or making appeals for financial assistance, putting implicit trust in God and His promise that as they 'sought first the Kingdom of God' their natural needs of food and raiment 'would be added to them'.
"As a result of this step, many people expressed their desire to be in fellowship with such preachers and this led to regular gatherings together of small assemblies in homes for worship and study of God's word. The reason for meeting in homes was primarily because it is scriptural, the Christians during the first centuries of the Christian era met regularly for worship in homes, which fact is also borne out and supported by church history. Thus after serious consideration, the leaders were confident that in their efforts to follow the early Christians they should form church gatherings in homes; therefore no church property or real estate has been acquired by purchase or otherwise, and for this reason incorporation and registration under a denominational name has not been necessary. The meetings continue to the present time in homes and are under the guidance of local Elders. Baptism by immersion and the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper is taught and practiced.
"In the year 1903 Ministers of this Christian body began their labors in the United States and in the year 1904 in Canada. In these and subsequent years through the preaching of the Gospel, assemblies were formed in homes as already described. In the year 1906 the first annual conventions were held in North America, and from this beginning the number of Ministers in North America has grown to over nine hundred - about equally divided between men and women; the assemblies for regular wor-ship to over three thousand; and the annual conventions to over one hundred.
"One Minister in each field is the Overseer for that field - to whom the other Ministers look for counsel and from whom they accept guidance. In most instances a State constitutes a field.
"Those who enter this Ministry must first establish very definitely their religious character and have fulfilled the other qualifications considered necessary. They must be upright and of high principle - having proven their ability to earn their living in an honorable way - and must have taken an active part in the Church meetings regularly attended. If and when they are consider-ed to have qualified, they are then appointed and assist an exper-ienced Minister in an evangelistic work and in ministering to assemblies of Christians. From the time of appointment, Ministers devote their entire time and talents to the work of the Ministry. If for sufficient reason anyone thus accepted later proves to be unworthy or unfit he cannot continue in this Ministry.
"At the annual Christian Conventions arranged at suitable times of the year in each State - and which practically one hundred percent of the members are present all matters pertaining to methods of work, doctrine, discipline of members, local elders, ministry, etc., are fully considered and settled.
"Definite fields of labor within each State are arranged for all Ministers by the Overseers to whom the Ministers are responsible. Names, addresses, and fields of labor in the Gospel of all Overseers and Ministers are available at any time.
"Overseers, who over a long period of years have devoted all their time to Evangelistic, Pastoral and other activities of Christian service, exercise - in fellowship with each other - a general supervision over the Ministry and membership in the United States.
"The undersigned is one of such Overseers, and would be glad to furnish any further information regarding the foregoing which may be considered to be helpful or desirable."
Handwritten signature: "George Walker"
Overseers and senior brothers continue to use stationery for official correspondence under the name "Christian Conventions" which closely resembles the letterhead first used by Jack Carroll and George Walker at least as far back as the 1930s.