To whom this concerns:

I have been a member of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries for over 43 years, having had a true conversion experience at this Ministry in 1970. During the early years of this Ministry, the new converts who came out of lives of drug addiction and crime were fed, clothed, and housed by donations from various churches, grocery stores, and others whose hearts God had touched. As time went on and the Ministry grew in population, there was a great need for more properties with living facilities to house all the new members. Many couples were getting married and starting families. The brothers and sisters went to work in the fields of Bakersfield, CA, to pay for an apartment building and other properties on which the new converts lived. I labored in the fields hoeing cotton, tying up grape vines, and packing pears in a packing facility. The money we earned was used to pay for food, housing, clothing, and eventually for TV broadcasts which featured our zealous choir and orchestra, and also testimonies of the new converts, and a powerful message brought by Susan Alamo.

In 1974 some of the church operation was moved to the Ft. Smith, Alma, Dyer, Arkansas area where businesses were opened and used as workshops to rehabilitate new converts, and to help pay for the needs of the Ministry. We opened a restaurant and grocery store which enabled us to get our food at a wholesale price; we opened a clothing store and two gas stations which also helped bring our costs down for the things they provided. The properties we purchased were used by the church members and for the church members. Tony Alamo never swam in our pools nor lived in the hundreds of houses and apartments we bought. He didn’t ride in the trucks or vans we bought for our families and for the use of the working brothers and sisters. He did not get taught in our schools. We wore the clothes and ate the food we worked for. We bought printing presses to print the Gospel literature to evangelize the USA and many foreign countries. We paid for the paper and shipping for the literature to go out all over the world. We paid for the gas in our vans and buses to go to the streets to witness to multitudes of people.

I always knew what a great and powerful work of God this Ministry is, and I have worked with my hands to pay for the properties and other things we all needed to carry on this magnificent work. I worked for one year at J.C. Penney’s in Fort Smith, AR, doing clothing alterations. I tithed every paycheck to help in the Ministry. I have also worked within our clothing manufacturing facilities for several years. I have worked as a cashier at two of our Alma businesses. I have done quite a bit of babysitting after I had my own children. This helped other moms who worked elsewhere in the Ministry. For two years when I was away from this Ministry living near Little Rock and supporting myself, I faithfully tithed to this church. My husband tithed $5000.00 (which was his inheritance) to this Ministry while we lived on Ministry property. I knew the money we worked for was given to pay for our own needs, and to pay for the outreach to people who were lost and needed the same Savior we came to know, Jesus. Our church has sent ambassadors over to Africa and India to help with the needs of those people.

I knew, and we all knew, that Tony Alamo did not own our churches and homes and businesses. We loved and respected him as our pastor and sought guidance from him. That is why we were able to be financially successful. But we are the ones who worked for and used the properties which are now being taken away. Tony did not use the 4th St. warehouse, he did not live in the 3 houses, he rarely preached in the Windsor church, he never used the Windsor gym, and he didn’t use the 16th St. restaurant. All these have been judged as being owned by Tony Alamo and that is a damned lie!

Debra Ondrisek