Public relations release (February 1, 1974)

PEOPLES TEMPLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: AN EXTRAORDINARY MINISTRY OF HUMAN SERVICES INSPIRED BY THE EXAMPLE OF PASTOR JIM JONES

Through many programs designed to relieve human suffering and bring health and well-being to the disadvantaged, Peoples Temple has reached out to help persons all over the world. Food and supplies have been sent to help needy persons facing disease and starvation both at home and abroad – including the Sub-Sahara region of Africa, Biafra, Bangladesh, Appalachia, and Indian reservations everywhere. Peoples Temple has also contributed funds and assistance to many Catholic, Protestant and Jewish social service programs, as well as aiding Soviet Jewish refugees in Eastern Europe.

Various kinds of support have been given to all kinds of humanitarian concerns and charities representing a host of efforts toward common goals. One of Pastor Jones’ biggest concerns is medical care and he has directed that funds be sent regularly to support medical research. Also legal services are available for those who need them.

Peoples Temple provides emergency assistance in practically every kind of human crisis situation where immediate help is required. When a family has been burned out of their home or has been about to lose it due to hardship, Peoples Temple responded. A community center has been built for use by all people, no matter what race or religion, agency or organization they may belong to. Wherever possible, members of Peoples Temple meet the demands of others by contributing their own physical labor. This was done most recently when Temple members organized a team to paint a local public elementary and junior high school, saving the school district thousands of dollars.

Pastor Jim Jones has drawn together people of all races and creeds to work as a united “family” for the good of humanity. Unfortunately, there are elements in our society which attempt to propagate hate and are unable to appreciate people who do not simply preach, but endeavor to practice brotherhood and equality. Despite this, Peoples Temple remains a peace-loving group, which even transferred its funds to the Bank of America when Board Chairman Louis Lundborg announced his opposition to United States military involvement in Southeast Asia. It is the fervent desire of Pastor Jones and Peoples Temple members to help establish a society where hate and violence do not exist, and where, instead, a cooperative spirit of harmony and brotherhood prevails.

(page 2)

PEOPLES TEMPLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH TAKES LEAD IN ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP, RESPECT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND CONCERN FOR OTHERS.

Peoples Temple started a fund several years ago to assist the families of policemen who were killed by senseless acts of violence. “We are utterly horrified by this move to murder police all over this nation,” Reverend Jim Jones told the San Francisco Chronicle. Since then Peoples Temple has sent funds to the families of slain policeman all over the nation on countless occasions.

Pastor Jim Jones, who has served as Grand Jury Foreman, and as a highly respected member of the regional Juvenile Justice Commission, feels the necessity of sound law enforcement to serve and protect our communities today and in the future. Local officials have consistently commended Pastor Jones’ congregations for being exceptionally law-abiding. The Pastor’s emphasis upon respect for law enforcement has resulted in a remarkable record for Peoples Temple members in helping many persons to become rehabilitated and successfully reintegrated into the mainstream of society. The Temple’s program also has been an effective instrument for bringing scores of youth off hard-line drugs and guiding them to a life of productive citizenship. Some of them are now working in law enforcement around the state.

Inspired by Pastor Jones’ example, the Peoples Temple congregation voted long ago to make substantial contributions, amounting to thousands of dollars, for law enforcement programs and for equipment that the Police Department budgets did not allow for. For example, in Los Angeles, Peoples Temple has frequently contributed to community relations programs and offered his church annex to the Ramparts Division for holding Basic Car Plan meetings. In San Francisco, support has been given to the Drug Provision Program and a contribution made to the Police Summer Youth Fishing Program. In Ukiah, Peoples Temple has supported the Police Drug Abuse Program, purchased reserve officers’ uniforms, financed a public address system in the Mendocino County Jail, and donated to the California Highway Patrol for its Drunk Driving Prevention Program. The Temple also helped to put out a booklet on junior citizenship entitled, “Laws for Ukiah Youth,” which was circulated in all area public schools.

Pastor Jim Jones and the members of Peoples Temple Christian Church wish to:

    EXPRESS THEIR DEEP APPRECIATION to the Law Enforcement personnel of California – especially in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Ukiah areas – who practice with valor the Equal Enforcement of the Laws, and

    PROMISE THEIR CONTINUING SUPPORT of vital, unheralded work in protecting the Constitutional Liberties of our American citizens, and

    PLEDGE THEIR CONTINUED PARTICIPATION in Drug Abuse Prevention efforts, Reserve Officer Programs, Community Relations work, and in rendering assistance to families of policeman slain in the line of duty.

(page 3)

FOLLOWING ARE BRIEF STATEMENTS ABOUT THE MINISTRY OF PEOPLES TEMPLE AS OTHERS SEE IT:

“Peoples Temple is a caring community of people of all races and classes. They bear the mark of compassion and justice – compassion for the hungry and jobless, lonely and disturbed, and also for the earth and her offspring.”

… Dr. John Moore, Dist. Superintendent of the
United Methodist Church for
Oakland and the East Bay, Calif. (March 2, 1973)

“Peoples Temple Christian Church Supports First Amendment” is the title of extended remarks in which a prominent Congressman states, “I would like to commend the Rev. James W. Jones, who is pastor of the church, and every member of his congregation for this outstanding demonstration of their commitment to the principles on which this country was founded.”

… Congressional Record (May, 1973)

“The Inter American Press Association, we all know, operate strictly on dues paid by members and does not solicit outside contributions for its main task of defending and promoting freedom of information in the Americas. Recently, however, we received an unsolicited contribution that moved us deeply. We accepted it with gratitude and full appreciation of the high principles that moved the donors. The donation… came from the congregation of the Peoples Temple Christian Church, of Redwood Valley, California, whose pastor, the Rev. James W. Jones, has sparked a campaign in defense of the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

…IAPA News, Feb-March 1973, Inter American Press Association, in article entitled, “Church Donation Aids Fight For Press Freedom.”…

“Pastor Jim Jones teaches Christianity, brotherly love, kindness, and willingness to help friends in need at all times. He teaches all of these things to his members, and insists that they live this type of life every minute of every day. One of his favorite expressions is: ‘We are our brother’s keeper.’ This idea coincides with his teachings completely.”

… J. Bruce Massey, M.D. (Physician and Surgeon) and letter “To Whom It May Concern,” dated July 17, 1973…

“(Progress in meeting) the needs of people… is perhaps seen most radically in the seven-day-a-week program of the Peoples Temple with its team of teachers and lawyers, to mention just a few, who strive in the name of Christ, to serve their fellow men.”

… Dr. Elmer Schmitt, President of the Ukiah Ministerial Association

Originally posted on May 21st, 2013.

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