David Hulme's 'Vision'
John Meakin, UK minister and writer for the Church of God, an International Community (COGIC), resigned in September 2008, following undisclosed 'differences of opinion' with its president, David Hulme. After discussing rejoining the United Church of God, who were unable to offer him a salary (all United's UK ministers are unpaid), he joined the Living Church of God.
The number of LCG's congregations in the UK soon increased from 7 to 15, prompting Douglas Winnail, Director of Church Administration, to declare in May 2009: "It is certainly encouraging to see the Church growth in that area of the world—especially in light of social trends that seem to be moving in an increasingly secular and anti-Christian direction." All these new congregations were, however, in areas where COGIC had congregations.
Some indication of the unhappiness of John Meakin and ex-COGIC members can be garnered from studying David Hulme's church and personal websites.
♦ There is no attempt to preach the gospel to the world (Mark 16:15), even within the church's quarterly Vision magazine, which is the public's only access to the church's teachings. In the Fall 2011 issue, a reader writes: "I have seen a recurrent theme presented and most recently stated .... that the church today as we know it bears very little resemblance to the church Jesus established. I have read this same basic statement many times .... I have yet to read any solid definition of how the church today should look and act according to Vision's writers."
♦ Contact with members of other church groups is actively discouraged.
Only church members and other financial supporters can gain access to the church web site.
♦ David Hulme promotes himself, and not the church, posting his personal profile on various websites dedicated to business professionals. David Hulme's profile on Linkedin (shown below in red) lists his recent work experience as:
1977 — 1979
Circulation Manager (Africa) of Quest Magazine
(Writing & Editing Industry)
David Hulme added this entry in 2010. Although Quest was owned by the Worldwide Church of God, TIME magazine described it as: "nonetheless thoroughly secular. [Herbert] Armstrong gave editorial control to Robert Shnayerson, 55, a former TIME senior editor and Harper's editor in chief, who dedicated the magazine to what he called 'the pursuit of excellence' in fields as diverse as mountain climbing and genetic research."
1986 — 1995
Vice-President of Ambassador Foundation
(Non-Profit Organization, Management industry)
Supervision of Ambassador Auditorium's performing arts program
This foundation was also a secular part of the Worldwide Church of God.
David Hulme's highest profile role was as a presenter of the church's religious TV program, The World Tomorrow, but he seems not to want to admit having worked for this church.
Joseph Tkach, leader of the Worldwide Church of God after the death of Herbert Armstrong in 1986, soon began to transform its fundamental doctrines.
David Hulme was a leading advocate for the doctrinal changes, as the Director of Public Relations. However, growing opposition to these changes by the majority of members, and their desire for a new church that would retain the former doctrines, prompted him to attend the conference that would form the United Church of God in 1995. Despite the leadership being informed that David Hulme had confirmedhis belief in the
“threeness when it came to the trinity and to the nature of God” (audio - 8 minutes in), he was elected as United's first President.
1995 — 1998
President of the United Church of God.
Again, he prefers not to have a church association in his personal profile.
In 1998 he was removed as President by United's Council of Elders for excessive and unauthorized spending, which had plunged United into serious debt.
He then left United, drawing away many members to his new church, the Church of God, an International Community, where he would have the full control that he felt he ought to have had as President of United.
But is it a church? Not according to his personal profile.
1998 - Present
President of Vision Media
(Writing & Editing)
♦ He changed this entry in 2010 to Marketing and Advertising - but has reverted to Writing & Editing.
Although the very large outlay necessary to publish the lavish quarterly journal Vision is provided by the tithes and offerings of members and other financial supporters of COGIC, David Hulme considers Vision to be his magazine - his personal website link in the Linkedin profile page will take you to the Vision magazine website.
1990 — 2003
Education: University of Southern California
MA, Ph.D International Relations
Specialized in Middle East and Foreign Policy
♦ His earlier education at the Worldwide Church of God's Ambassador College in Bricket Wood, England, is not mentioned.
♦ The web site www.vision.org proclaims as its purpose: "Vision examines the historical and philosophical origins of current social issues and explores ways to restore peace of mind to our daily lives."
Vision Foundation International was launched in 2010, ostensibly with the mission to assist communities in developing countries to find practical solutions "to improve their physical, mental and spiritual resources, by supporting sustainable humanitarian and educational programs."
However, Vision Foundation International states that donations will be used for:
♦ providing support for Vision Media Publishing, which publishes the international quarterly journal Vision—Insights and New Horizons;
♦ providing support to Vision Media Productions, an independent TV production company, to produce documentaries on historical, social and environmental issues;
♦ providing funding for documentaries which examine the historical and philosophical origins of current issues;
♦ supporting and producing conferences which examine complex issues from a cross-disciplinary viewpoint by bringing together scholars and experts from various fields of study.
In response to unrest within the church membership, the number of biblical articles in Vision magazine were gradually been increased to being a majority by 2013, when there also appeared an acknowledgement that the magazine is funded by a church.
These changes were, however, insufficient to dissuade a number of ministers in the USA from leaving to establish The Father's Call in early January 2014. These included Brian Orchard, Steve Andrews, Bill Hutchison, Cliff Veal, Marshall Stiver, Matt King, Ted Budge, Peter Nathan, Bob Rodzaj, Stephen Elliott.
In his resignation letter to David Hulme on 28 December 2013, Stephen Elliott wrote: “In the Feast film, the media team told us that we must find words that the world will like so they will listen to us. Jesus said that the world would hate us and not listen to our word, just as it hated Him and did not hear His word - but that was the commission He gave His disciples (John 15:18-20). Seeking to be accepted by the world is seeking to become friends with the world, and scripture says that makes us God’s enemy (James 4:4).
In August I mentioned to you that the fruit of this organization is bad. Our membership has declined, not grown. After 15 years and an estimated expense for Vision of $3+ million dollars for salaries, advertising, publishing, design, shipping, PR, video, travel and whatever, there has been no fruit from Vision or the Vision website. The only new members, other than children of members, have come because of a personal relationship with a member - not because of Vision.”
David Hulme decided to cancel the high cost print edition, and restrict publication to on-line, beginning with the Winter 2016 issue.
Several years ago David Hulme produced and distributed on DVD two 2-hour videos, but now only the occasional short video is uploaded onto YouTube.