Brother Witness Lee began 1961 in the month of January by giving a conference to the church in Taipei, Taiwan, in which he released messages on the vision of the church, and by holding a series of meetings with the elders and the co-workers, in which he spoke on being in one work under one leadership. After the conference, during four days of service meetings, he conducted two prayer meetings with the laying on of hands for the co-workers. From the end of January until the first part of April, Brother Lee held various meetings with co-workers and serving ones in the districts of the church in Taipei on various subjects related to coordination, the priesthood, prayer, changing the way of meeting, and how to lead the young people. On February 6 through 18 he held a conference for university students and high-school graduates over the winter school break. A summary of the contents of this conference is included in Church News in volume 1 of this set, but there is no detailed record of his speaking in this conference. On March 12 through 14 he conducted a three-day conference in Taipei and gave messages on the priesthood and God's building. These messages, along with a number of other messages, are included in volume 2 of this set in the section entitled The Priesthood and God's Building. At the beginning of April, Brother K. H. Weigh visited Taiwan and had private times of fellowship with Brother Lee. On April 11 Brother Lee traveled to the Philippines. During his time there he held a training for young brothers and sisters in Baguio on April 14 through 28. In this training he spoke on life and building in the book of Ezekiel, from Ezekiel 1, 37, and 47. On April 30 through May 19 he gave messages in Manila on the priesthood and prayer. At that time a spiritual storm was brewing in Manila in which the leading co-workers rebelled against Brother Lee's leadership in the work. On May 20 he traveled from the Philippines to Hong Kong and stayed for one week. During that time, beginning on May 21 he conducted a conference concerning the ministry of the priesthood. After his time in Hong Kong, Brother Lee returned to Taipei on May 27. In June Brother Lee gave a series of messages in Taipei on the subject of the exercise of the spirit and the building of God. On August 3 through 19, in the morning he held a conference in Taipei on Ezekiel, and in the evening he spoke on how God becomes man's enjoyment. At the end of October he traveled to Manila and remained there until the middle of December. At the end of November and the beginning of December, he held another conference in Manila on the book of Ezekiel. There is no record of his speaking in this conference. The messages on Ezekiel given in Taipei in 1961, along with another series of messages on Ezekiel given in 1971 in Los Angeles, California, are included in the Life-study of Ezekiel and are not included in The Collected Works of Witness Lee. During his time in Manila he also conducted a study on the book of Galatians and gave messages on various other topics. There is no record of his speaking on these occasions. He departed from Manila on December 14 for the United States. Brother Lee remained in the United States from the middle of December 1961 through the entire year of 1962. He stayed mainly in New York City until March 1962, at which time he moved to Seattle, Washington. While he was in New York City, he held a series of special conferences on the weekends. During the same period of time, he also visited Washington, D.C., for two days on January 6 and 7 and San Francisco, California, for three days beginning on February 16. There is no record of his speaking in Washington, D.C. After moving to Seattle in March, Brother Lee visited the San Francisco Bay Area and held meetings on two occasions, in April and July. On August 31 through September 3 he conducted a conference in Los Angeles. More than thirty brothers and sisters from San Francisco and Sacramento, California, joined the conference. The subject of the conference was the experience of Christ for the building up of the church. On the last day of the conference many renewed their consecration to the Lord. During the time when Brother Lee was residing in Seattle, he met privately with a few Chinese students from the Far East together with twenty or thirty other Christians. On November 11 the saints in Seattle began to break bread. Although conferences had been planned in which he would speak in Taiwan, prior to these conferences Brother Lee received a clear leading from the Lord to not return to Taiwan but remain in the United States and begin the work of the Lord's recovery there. This was a significant turn in the move of the Lord in His recovery on the whole earth, especially in the spread of the recovery to the Western world. Around the third week in November, Brother Lee traveled from Seattle to San Francisco and Sacramento. After spending three days in Sacramento, he traveled to Los Angeles at the end of the month. There is no record of his speaking in Sacramento. Beginning on December 22, Brother Lee conducted a ten-day conference on the all-inclusive Christ. This was the first major conference after the Lord initiated His recovery in the United States. The attendees at this conference included an American brother from New York City; three responsible brothers from Louisville, Kentucky; one sister from near Chicago, Illinois; five or six Caucasian brothers and sisters and two Chinese saints from Sacramento; more than twenty from San Francisco; plus the local saints and some Caucasian visitors. During this conference Brother Lee conducted four meetings each day, starting at 6:30 A.M. The second morning meetings and the evening meetings were on the subject of the all-inclusive Christ. The first morning meetings and the times of fellowship in the afternoon were on miscellaneous topics. The conference ended on the last day of the year and was followed by fasting and prayer that lasted past 1:30 the next morning. The Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1961-1962, volume 1, contains messages given and letters and personal notes written by Brother Witness Lee from November 26, 1960, through September 17, 1961. Historical information concerning Brother Lee's travels and the content of his ministry during this period can be found in the general preface that appears at the beginning of this volume. The contents of this volume are divided into eight sections, as follows: 1. Six issues of the periodical Church News published on January 22 through September 17, 1961. These issues contain letters and reports written from November 26, 1960, through August 23, 1961. They are included in this volume under the same title. 2. A set of personal notes written from December 31, 1960, through an unknown date in 1961. Most of the notes are undated. These notes are included in this volume under the title Witness Lee's Personal Notes. 3. A message given in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1961. The date of the speaking is unknown. This message is included in this volume under the title A Strong Spirit and a Good Deposit. 4. Six messages given in Taipei, Taiwan, on January 10 through 31, 1961. These messages were previously published in a book entitled The Blueprint and the Ground for the Building Up of the Church and are included in this volume under the same title. 5. Ten messages given in Taipei, Taiwan, on January 15 through 24, 1961. These messages were previously published in a book entitled The Vision of the Building of the Church and are included in this volume under the same title. 6. Thirteen messages given in Taipei, Taiwan, on January 25 through April 11, 1961. These messages are included in this volume under the title Coordination in Service. 7. Sixteen messages given in Taipei, Taiwan, on January 31 through April 10, 1961. These messages are included in this volume under the title Exercising the Spirit in Prayer for the Priesthood. 8. Five messages given in Taipei, Taiwan. Messages 1 through 3 were spoken on February 15 through April 8, 1961. The dates for Messages 4 and 5 are unknown. These messages are included in this volume under the title Words concerning the Young People.
Born in 1905 in northern China, Witness Lee was raised in a Christian family and educated in English-speaking schools. At the age of 19 he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and consecrated himself to preach the gospel. Early in his service, Witness Lee met Watchman Nee and began to labor together with him. In 1949 Witness Lee was sent by Watchman Nee to Taiwan to ensure that the things delivered to them by the Lord would be preserved. In 1962 Witness Lee came to the United States and began to minister here. He ministered in weekly conferences, delivering several thousand spoken messages until 1997. He gave his last public conference in February 1997 at the age of 91. His major work, Life-Study of the Bible, comprises over 25,000 pages of commentary on every book of the Bible from the perspective of the believers' enjoyment and experience of God's divine life in Christ through the Spirit.