Press release of January 31, 1974

Redwood Valley, California… January 31, 1974

In offering $300 to each of the bereaved families of the people recently slain in San Francisco, Peoples Temple Christian Church, under the leadership of Pastor Jim Jones, expressed:

    “We wish to show our love and concern and help them through this time of grief, though our own budget is limited at this time. As an interracial group, we are revolted by such actions.

    “The Black members of our church governing boards felt it especially essential at this time for interracial groups to do at least something positive even if they can only do it in a small way, to show their disdain for such barbarity which only serves to further divide this great American nation on racial lines.

    “Even if this was not a conspiracy to create division in our republic, it certainly serve those in the horrifying manner. It is these kinds of senseless, violent, anarchistic fax that could lead to racial wars and riots and subsequent takeovers by “big brother” demagogic type of government… just in the name of maintaining order. People simply will not and should not tolerate this heinous violence. One of our own temples was burned down by those who propagate hate.”

Peoples Temple is pastored by Rev. Jim Jones who, with his wife Marceline, in addition to their natural born has adopted seven children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds – two of whom were fathered by servicemen overseas and two were found in a state of extreme malnutrition. Now, all of these children are excelling in school and very happily living together.

Peoples Temple is part of the 1.4 million member Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination and is one of the largest protestant congregations in California. More commonly known as Peoples Temple, it is respected for its social service ministry. Its facilities include rest and care homes for many senior citizens. It is now sponsoring the education of over 100 young college students, and church supported dormitories for both members and non-members of the faith. It maintains a community center with an indoor swimming pool open to all people including churches and civic organizations, without charge. They provide the largest animal refuge center in Northern California where stray, sick and unwanted animals are cared for, immunized and neutered by veterinarians. In this way and with proper placement in good homes, animals are not left to needless suffering. Peoples Temple also provides a host of services to the communities where its largest memberships reside, including all of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Peoples Temple has 3 locations: In San Francisco at 1859 Geary Boulevard; in Los Angeles at 1366 South Alvarado; and in Redwood Valley where many of the Temple facilities have been established to serve the public.