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Church of God News


The Journal : News of the Churches of God

The latest issue of the Journal - January 31 is now available on-line.

The two leading articles are about the life and teaching of Ron Dart.
Ian Boyne (Pastor of CGI, Jamaica) writes:
When his death was announced on the leading anti-Church of God blog (Banned by HWA), there was an outpouring of respect for his life and regret over his death expressed by visitors to the blog. Some of those guys on that blog can be crude, callous and cryptic, but Ron Dart was spared their vitriol, and not because of any polite notion that one must not speak evil of the dead. Those guys hold no such scruples.

It was his (Ron Dart’s) fascinating three-part series on church government, given in 1978, that led my WCG pastor to kick me out of the church. I had given him the tapes and asked him to refute them. Instead he came to my house on Friday night and commanded me not to return.

The article by Alan Ruth (BibleStudy.org) and Journal editor Dixon Cartwright recalls a question-and-answer session at the Church of God Big Sandy in 2000. Mr. Dart said he believed the WCG made a double mistake in the ’50s. It happened when they switched the church governance to an authoritarian, top-down structure and when they brought in the doctrines of exclusivism”.
Mr. Dart said that he had fond memories of attending Ambassador College beginning in 1958. The college in those years exuded a culture of service, an aura of humility. So where did AC and the WCG go wrong, someone asked.

It was when men left the college and went out into the field and got into a hierarchical structure, where they had to compete. That’s where it happened. You create an organizational structure where ministers compete and it’s headed for disaster”.

Richard Nickels writes, in his History of the Seventh Day Church of God
In the spring of 1998, however, United’s leader, David Hulme, led about 1,000 members out of United to form his own Church of God, Monrovia, California, group. Hulme felt United was too loosely organized, and needed more top down authority, rather than being governed by ministerial committees.

Shortly thereafter, almost to demonstrate that United did have Church Government, Dave Havir, pastor of the largest United congregation, in Big Sandy, Texas, was thrown out of United because he was too independent.

(The Big Sandy church board refused to accept the new pastor, reinstated David Havir, and separated from the UCG.)

United Church of God

Festival of Tabernacles in Italy “A Tuscany Four-Day Pre-feast Cultural Tour in Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano is being offered to the Brethren who can attend the Atonement Day with us at the Feast of Tabernacles site (Sabaudia, near Rome). This tour will be confirmed only if there will be at least 20 applicants. The bus will depart to Tuscany on the morning after Atonement Day, and the group will be returning on time to the Feast of Tabernacles site (detailed information will be emailed to the applicants).”

Church of God a Worldwide Association

Jim Franks has reported on the visit by the top four members of COGWA’s Administration - Jim Franks, President: Doug Horchak, Ministerial Services Operation Manager: Clyde Kilough, Media Operation Manager: and Britton Taylor, Church Treasurer & Financial Operation Manager, to the Living Church of God’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. He reports that:
• He received a surprise phone call from Roderick Meredith in November - which had been prompted by a call that he had received from Les McCullough.
• Two days of meetings were arranged - Monday/Tuesday, January 18th/19th.
• All agreed that the primary goal was to open the door of communications - to simply sit and talk. They discussed their common heritage, history and how they came into being, and agreed that going forward they should treat one another as brothers, and build trust between the two organizations.
• They did not discuss specific actions.
• At this point no follow up meetings are being planned.
• It was not a secretive trip - the ministry, staff and board of directors were informed of it beforehand. After they returned from Charlotte on Friday, January 22nd, he sent an announcement about the visit to all the elders, giving them permission to share the information with anyone who enquired.
His report raises several questions:
Why did Les McCullough phone Roderick Meredith?
Why would LCG’s Gerald Weston fly in from the UK “to simply sit and talk”, and why would two days of meetings be scheduled for such a purpose?

(Doug Winnails LCG report describes the meetings as “an opportunity to communicate openly about a number of mutual concerns.”)
Why did the COGWA group not leave for home until Friday?
LCG held a Living University Board meeting on Thursday, and a Church Board meeting on Friday.
Was the COGWA group waiting to be apprised of the outcome of these meetings?

Whatever mutual concerns were discussed, no specific actions were agreed. Gerald Weston is known to be an opponent of any co-operation with another church - but is it likely that, when he takes over the leadership in August, Roderick Meredith will hand over total control and step away completely?

Living Church of God

Doug Winnail has provided an update of last week’s meetings with COGWA.
“Here in Charlotte, Dr. Meredith has conducted a number of meetings. Mr. Gerald Weston has also been in Charlotte for these meetings. On Monday and Tuesday, we had a visit from several administrators from Church of God, a Worldwide Association. On Thursday, we had a Living University Board meeting, and on Friday a Church Board meeting ...
Mr. Jim Franks, President of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGWA), and several members of its administration visited our office in Charlotte and met with our Headquarters staff. It was a cordial visit and gave us an opportunity to communicate openly about a number of mutual concerns. The purpose of the visit was to build better relationships and promote better understanding.”


Roderick Meredith writes, in the Living Church News, January-February 2016:
“One special prayer that I would ask all of you to join me in praying is this: let us all together beseech God to grant us in this Work at least half of the financial increase that He gave Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong for about 35 years! For, as Mr. Armstrong explained many times, God gave the Work under his direction about 30% increase year by year for about 35 years.
Near the end of his ministry, with personal problems and sins growing throughout the Church, those blessings were taken away or cut back ...
Then, we could go on far more television stations, greatly increase our impact over the Internet - which is certainly the ‘wave of the future’ - increase our personal appearance campaigns and ‘grow’ the Work in every possible way ...
I urge you to join me along with our top ministers in beseeching God to grant us at least 15% increase in our financial resources year by year and therefore enable us to really get going far beyond what we have yet done ...
If you go around your neighborhood, you find virtually no one who has heard of the Living Church of God or any of the other groups that are trying to do God’s Work today.”
Hundreds of millions of dollars donated to the Churches of God over the past two decades - yet virtually no one has heard of them?
“This needs to change!”
Will it be changed by spending a 15% increase in revenue on doing even more of what LCG is already doing? - which is what Roderick Meredith is proposing.
“I am fully aware that many of our brethren - often fine brethren who mean well and who are already giving a little bit of their substance - are nevertheless sitting on hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars worth of money, property and other resources they very rarely touch to help do the Work of the living God at the very end of this age ...

I am just asking you to do what some of us are already doing to a degree. But I, and all of us here at Headquarters, certainly need to do more...”


Will Roderick Meredith and the other ministers at Headquarters do more” and set an example to the brethren by selling much of their own substantial assets - built up over the years from tithes and offerings?

An LCG member has supplied photographs of the homes of Roderick Meredith, Richard Ames and James Meredith. Would he sell his own house, and move into a small property without extensive land, or perhaps move into his sons large house - thereby realizing several hundred thousand dollars for the benefit of the church? If not, why should the brethren be asked to do more?

Roderick Merediths plea for extra revenue has been prompted by LCG’s financial troubles. At the end of 2013 the church’s reserves amounted to $6.7 million, but it overspent by $2.45 million in 2014. The deficit for 2015 is expected to be much higher, primarily due to the purchase of property for classrooms and accommodation for the expansion of Living University. Obtaining accreditation is also costly, and would require teaching to become much more liberal than Gerald Weston would like.

Continuing Church of God

Bob Thiel writes January 28th:
“For some time, we in the Continuing Church of God have been looking at ways to reach more people in Africa with our messages. While many understand English, it is a second or third language for most.
So, a few hours ago, I was informed that we finally have several sermons up, by Africans (mainly in languages other than English) at our CCOG Africa channel, which is now operational.
In time, as internet access becomes more available to Africans, we believe having messages in local languages by local ministers will help us better reach and teach more throughout Africa.”

Kenya Hands of Hope

January 2016 Update from Bill Goff:
• In Sengera, near Kisii, in western Kenya, KHofH has built an orphan house. We are currently building a much needed kitchen here at the orphanage, constructed by the orphans themselves. The orphans have begun learning many new skills in carpentry, masonry, electrical, and even painting, which will help them to earn their own daily bread.
• We found some nice KJV Bibles in Kisii, normally about $10 per copy, but this time we found some nice copies in large print, red letter, and even have some maps in the back for $6. Praise God for that.
• We have placed an order for 50 baby chickens. The orphans here have constructed a small chicken coop to raise the ‘layer hens’. We also purchased a much needed solar panel and battery for the Masaba congregation.
Report from Haron:
• Famine attacked brethren in Ukambani (arid and semi-arid area). One family of Maingi, who has been in the church for long, and are humble and concern of word of truth, much thanks to Kenya hand of hope for the food assistance, as well as the food relief to Nyakachi church group, who were also carefully rationing the little food they had. Your assistance has helped them much through their time of pain.
• After feast of tabernacles there is a group in between Kisii and Maasai border who requested to get somebody to go and share with them. KHofH has played a role of sending John Omweno and Charles Mokoro to that area and the people really got moved and uplifted. The group has showed the expansion of the work, and the brethren are looking to know more word of truth. Their request is for some Bibles.
• KHofH has also helped the children who were attacked by jigger by treating their feet and getting them shoes.
• Also the group got help of a shade where they now meet for Sabbath services. That group (and their entire village including village chief) took note of KHofH assistance to even village children, even those who were not part of our church. They said they never before saw agape love moving like that, and that your church is different from all others.

(Kenya Hands of Hope is partially funded by the Christian Church of God in Grand Junction, Colorado.)

Death of Ronald Dart

Message from Allie Dart:

Ronald L. Dart died peacefully in his sleep early this Sabbath morning, January 23rd, from a prolonged battle with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. His remarkable gift of clarity and love and understanding of the Bible were devoted to teaching others.

Christian Educational Ministries, founded by Ron Dart in 1995, will continue to promote his timeless insights into God’s Word through the Born to Win program, his books, essays and audio messages. He was a gifted speaker and teacher who leaves a legacy of knowledge and understanding of the precious Word of God.


His funeral service will be held at 2.30pm on Wednesday, January 27, at the Stewart Family Funeral Home, with Jonathan Garnant officiating.
His burial will follow at the Whitehouse Memorial Cemetery in Whitehouse, Texas, under the direction of Stewart Family Funeral Home.

Cards maybe sent to: Mrs. Allie Dart, Christian Educational Ministries,

P.O. Box 560, Whitehouse, TX, 75791 USA.


One of the truly great things about the Christian faith is the hope of living forever in the presence of God. But one of the most depressing thoughts, and one that sometimes comes right after the first, is that there are so many people we may never see again - people we have loved, lost, people we have cherished, spent most of our lives with. And now they’re gone ...”

Ronald L. Dart: The Unfinished Work

Grace Communion International

GCI employees have received a letter, informing them that their pension fund will be dissolved with effect from March 1st.
Joe Tkach Jr., having liquidated all of the Worldwide Church of God’s major assets, is now planning his retirement, and will be leaving GCI in such a parlous financial position that GCI itself might be dissolved.
Joe Tkach has expected all church areas to send in 10% of their receipts, but many have apparently been so unhappy with his governance that they have not been doing so.
GCI might be held together as an association of churches, each with its own board.

Congregation of YHWH (Jerusalem)

Don Esposito writes, January 15: “I just returned from a most amazing and historic trip to Africa that truly is a changing point to the Congregation of Yahweh Jerusalem African Chapter. This is the very first time ever that we had elders come from so many different countries on one continent in our history. We had around 100 elders/deacons/leaders attend the conference from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, S Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania, S Africa, Liberia and Nigeria. We also have new congregations starting in several other African countries who were not able to make the conference due to either finances or not having proper travel documents.
The work in Africa is growing mightily with several thousand new believers joining the Congregation of Yahweh Jerusalem just in the past year. Our congregations are growing quickly in Burundi, Rwanda, Congo and Nigeria, and many of these brethren risk persecution and even imprisonment due to restriction of freedom of religion in some of these areas.
34 brethren were baptized and 7 elders ordained and also 5 deacons. The work of Yahweh is moving in force in the whole of the African continent.
We are planning an African unity  conference in 2017 with other sacred name Assembly groups.”

Rome or Islam?

BBC News reported last Sabbath, January 2:

‘Saudi Arabia has executed the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the interior ministry said. He was among 47 people put to death after being convicted of terrorism offences, it said in a statement.
Sheikh Nimr was a vocal supporter of the mass anti-government protests that erupted in Eastern Province in 2011, where a Shia majority have long complained of marginalisation.
Shia-led Iran said Saudi Arabia would pay a “high price” for the execution. A foreign ministry spokesman said Riyadh “supports terrorists ... while executing and suppressing critics inside the country.”
Iranian state TV reported that the Saudi charge d’affaires in Iran had been summoned to the foreign ministry.
Iran is the main regional rival of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.’
On that Sabbath, Jamie McNab gave the third in a series of messages on Islam in Prophecy, in which he has questioned the general view, held for many centuries, that Rome qualifies scripturally as the fourth kingdom in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2.

His series of messages continues at 10am Eastern Time this Sabbath.

Recorded messages and bible study notes are on this link.

Legacy Institute

Legacy is seeking volunteer teachers to serve in Thailand.

At Legacy Foundation Leadership Training Center here in Chiang Mai, we just completed a very special project. Four young ladies were sent by the Royal Palace to participate in an intensive English training program for six weeks. All four work at Queen Sirikit’s SUPPORT Foundation museum displaying the ‘Arts of the Kingdom’. This museum is housed in the royal Ananta Samakom Throne Hall, part of the royal complex in Bangkok. They have already graduated with degrees from Kasetsart University in Bangkok and have had some English training. The intensive English language curriculum was designed by our volunteer teacher Julia Stewart, who also taught the classes. Julia herself took part in an intensive crash course and received a TESOL (teach English to speakers of other languages) certificate from Cornerstone University. The young ladies not only had classroom instruction, but participated in real life experience as well by going out into the public and practicing English with Western tourists. They also took part in other classes taught at Legacy (Advanced English, Public Speaking, Sports, and even Sabbath services). The aim was to boost their conversational skills as well as their confidence. Improving their English will help them better serve foreign visitors to the queen’s museum. Now the palace wants to send more young people to attend our intensive English training course at Legacy Foundation.

We will hold our ninth graduation for four students on the seventh of February. All of our graduates this year are from Myanmar (Burma). Unfortunately, it is getting harder and harder to obtain visas for Burmese students to bring them to Legacy for their education. It is apparent that the Thai government is increasing restrictions to limit the number of Myanmar nationals able to work and study in Thailand. This is making it much more difficult and, frankly, more costly to bring young people from Burma to study at Legacy in Thailand.
But Burma is where the Holy Spirit is active. More and more are coming to repentance. We need to train young men and women to lead the Church there. Where there is no shepherd to lead, feed, and protect the sheep of the Lord’s pasture, the sheep go astray or wolves come in to pick them off. Our job at Legacy is to teach leaders who can lead in the church congregations back home in Burma. It is difficult for Western volunteer teachers to stay long term, because Burma only allows 28-day visas for Westerners and God has not opened any doors for long-term visits.
Our COG fellowship is not as active in Thailand. Maybe the fact that the Holy Spirit is leading us to make inroads into Burma is why ‘The Enemy’ is so bent on stopping us. There are so many roadblocks that are thrown in our way. Now more restrictive immigration regulations have to be dealt with. It is a constant battle. It reminds me of the scripture describing the enemy we face daily:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
Burma is a land of idols, witchcraft, superstition, shamanism, demonic forces, and ignorance. It is a land of darkness. We are bringing in the light. Satan must hate what we are doing. The weapons of our warfare are these:
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6:13-18)
Please pray for the new saints in Burma. And please pray that God provides a way to get young people among them to Thailand to be educated at Legacy, so that they can return to provide the church with leadership at home. We rely on God to strengthen us and show us the way.
Challenging? You bet! Serving at Legacy will change you forever. Ask anyone who has served here. Interested parties can find applications on our website: or e-mail us at: mail@legacyinstitute.org.

Death of Tony Steel
Tony Steel was killed, and John Evans was injured,
when travelling to a Sabbath meeting in North Wales on 21st November. The Liverpool Echo reports that their car was involved in a collision with another car, whose three young occupants also died.

Tony was the elder of Maranatha Ministry (formerly North West Church of God), a small, scattered group of brethren, who meet in North Wales and North West England,on the Sabbath. He also gave sermons at the Tulsa Church of God, Oklahoma, whenever he and his wife were able to visit their son and daughter-in-law, Matthew & Renee Steel.

The funeral service was held on Friday afternoon, 11th December, in Bebington, Wirral, Cheshire.

‘Winter Weekend’ Festival

The 19th Annual Winter Family Weekend at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort in Lexington, Kentucky, is open to all. There will be 26 seminars over 3 days, December 24-26, Sabbath services on Friday evening (25th) and Saturday afternoon, plus sports, games and social events.
The Living Church of God ‘Winter Weekend’ for LCG members will take place at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel, North Carolina, December 24-27. There will be several seminars, Sabbath bible study and service, but it
s more about, as organizer Jim Meredith puts it, “fun, food and fellowship.”
The schedule for the
United Church of God ‘Winter Weekend’, being held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio, is similar, with evening dances, beginning on the 23rd, and a full day of sports and games on Sunday the 27th.
The Church of God a Worldwide Association members will be in Louisville, Kentucky, December 22-26, where the Galt House Hotel is offering a range of traditional Christmas activities for its young guests.

Unity and the Biblical Calendar

In a recorded interview last week in Israel, Dr. Roy Hoffman explained to Nehemiah Gordon why he has been observing and studying new moons for the past 17 years, yet, as an Orthodox Jew, he continues to keep the Jewish Calendar, which is based on the conjunction.
At the 30 minutes mark, he says of the current Sanhedrin (which no major authority in Judaism has recognized): “on a day when the observed calendar matched the calculated calendar, they took testimony (of new moon sightings) and declared the ‘rosh chodesh’.
What if the dates dont match?

“I hope they won’t try that, because they could cause a breach within the unity ... It’s very important for Orthodox Judaism that there be unity in the calendar.”
Orthodox Jews must abide by the traditions laid down by their elders, which may only be changed by a recognized Sanhedrin.

How is unity in the calendar to be achieved in the Churches of God?
Norbert Link of the Church of the Eternal God says that the Orthodox Jews hold the authority for the calendar, and only its Sanhedrin may make changes to it.

“If and when a legitimate court (Sanhedrin) is formed and active in Jerusalem, sitting in Moses’ seat, and IF they were to make changes to the current Hebrew calendar, then this would indeed be applicable for God’s Church.

Roderick Meredith of the Living Church of God, who has regularly emphasized the importance of unity, says that all authority lies with his church’s leadership.

In discussing 2 Colossians 16-17 (‘Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or in respect of a feast, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths. For these are a shadow of things to come, but the body of Christ.’) he says:
“Who judges you? The body of Christ. Who leads the body of Christ? ... The ministry leads the body, and so the Church makes decisions ... about when they’re held and where they’re held ... and how we observe these Holy Days. So don’t let any man judge you, but the body ... the body of Christ does have that authority and they are given that authority by God.”
In his view, the ‘body of Christ’ is not the congregation, but he himself and the ministers whom he appoints. They are the judges over the calendar (and indeed all issues).”

United Church of God

Viktor Kubiks sermon Vision of the Church (i.e. the United Church of God, for the year or so ahead), which he gave on Jan 16, is now available on-line.


There is a new members website, which is more usable and functional for mobile devices.


The January-February 2016 edition of Beyond Today (which replaces the Good News magazine) is now available to read on-line.

The Realtime United website has been discontinued and its content will now appear on the Beyond Today and the UCG members websites.


“On Tuesday (Jan.12), Roy Holladay came to the home office and spent the entire day with us. His ability to participate in our weekly Tuesday management meeting and to have extended discussion about church matters made us very happy ...
(An item) that we discussed with Roy was the regional pastor structure in the United States ... With only three regional pastors covering the entire United States, the regions were very large and their personal connection to the pastors and elders was somewhat unwieldy. Roy, Chris Rowland and I came to the realization that now may be a good time to restructure. We hold seven ministerial conferences around the country, so why not let those geographic areas define our new regions?
So, this week we sent notification of this to our ministry, spelling out this new configuration. The new regions are as follows: Northwest, Southwest, North Central, South Central, Northeast, Southeast and Cincinnati.
Steve Nutzman will continue as regional pastor for the Northwest region and Ken Martin will continue as regional pastor for the Southeast region. For the Cincinnati region, we have a large concentration of elders located at or near the home office, so we will be assigning that oversight directly to the Ministerial and Member Services department at the home office. Chris Rowland will serve as regional pastor for that region until a new Operation Manager is appointed.
For the four remaining regions, we would like to give these opportunities to pastors, former pastors or retired pastors serving in each region ... We have sent out an e-mail message to solicit input from all elders in those four regions to request their nominations for pastors who could fulfill the duties of a regional pastor.”


Chairman Robin Webber writes December 17th:

“The CoE approved a document titled ‘United Church of God Doctrinal Statement Defining the Biblical Marriage Relationship’ to move forward to the General Conference of Elders in May of 2016 for their approval. Due to the current cultural assault on God’s intention for marriage and the increasing general immorality of this age, the CoE feels it was important to build upon both president Kubik’s and the CoE’s separate statements from last summer after the U.S. Supreme Court decision, legalizing homosexual marriage.
At this time, the CoE believes the Church is best and adequately served by a doctrinal statement that needs two-thirds approval by the General Conference and not an addition to our Fundamental Beliefs (needing three-quarters approval). If approved, it will be a ‘Doctrinal Statement by the General Conference of Elders’ that displays the endorsement of our ministry.”

Shawn Cortelyou has provided written reports of the Council of Elders meetings, Monday-Thursday, December 7th-10th. His report for the 8th contains the CoEs proposed doctrinal statement on Biblical Marriage.

The CoE website also has videos of the open sessions.


John Elliott, Chairman of the Doctrine Committee, stated that:

“For the past year the DAC (Doctrine Advisory Committee) has been researching and compiling data relating to the calendar/Hebrew Calendar and postponements related issues.”


Email from Fred Kellers, Tuesday, December 8:

“Mark Mickelson, the pastor of Spokane, WA, three other congregations in that area and also is senior pastor of 7 countries in Africa, has been diagnosed with serious prostate cancer. It is a very malignant form of prostate cancer that is common with men who have served in Vietnam and who were exposed to Agent Orange. Mark did serve in Vietnam and was exposed to Agent Orange. This type of cancer tends to spread quickly through the body. The doctors at the VA Hospital were very concerned that it has spread to Mark’s bones and now have the results of the tests to check to see if that has happened. They called Mark to give him the results, but Mark was in meetings and missed the call.
Mark is a member of the Council of Elders and was in Cincinnati for the meetings that are presently taking place, but the doctors have asked him to leave the meetings and come home to meet with them tomorrow, Wednesday. Mark is doing that. Please pray for Mark and his wife, Michelle. I’m sorry to say that she is in very poor health and there are days when she has had to spend most of the day in bed.
I have Mark and Michelle’s address, but I feel it’s best to wait for a definite diagnosis and prognosis before we send cards. Meanwhile we can ask for God to intervene for both Mark and Michelle.
I want to add that Mark’s experiences in combat have made him the most fearless man I know. He loves God and trusts that whatever God brings his way will be what is good for him.”


eNews report from Ministerial and Member Services, November 12, re the Western Regional Ministerial Conference, November 8-10:
“What was sobering to us was the unexpected loss of three active servants of God in a period of less than two months. This sudden reality is forcing us to adjust and transition to new leadership at an accelerated rate. We must provide shepherding for congregations large and small, right away. We are thankful that we have been preparing for this.”
“Another session was about common doctrinal challenges that confront the ministry. A video presentation from Randy Stiver spoke about the regular cycle of questions and challenges that we are met with and possible ways to answer them. They included the continual questions from those who have various views on the validity of the current calendar that we use for keeping the Holy Days, questions from those who believe that God’s name must be uttered only a certain way, questions about eating in restaurants on the Sabbath, self-defense and more.”


The November-December issue of the Good News magazine is now available on-line, which is the final issue under this title. In future it will be known as Beyond Today.


David Roenspies, pastor of Beloit and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, died on Sunday morning, November 1st, aged 72. His memorial service will be held on November 15th, in Lake Geneva, at the Derrick Funeral Home - where you can find service details and obituary.


Note: James Malm of The Shining Light has followed up the post below by writing to Jorge de Campos, whose replies can be found on that link.

The video presentations were removed temporarily, but have been restored. The screen display (at the 1 hour mark in Part 2) now shows the correct data for Passover 31AD.

Jorge de Campos writes: “I apologize profusely for this unintentional mistake. However the content of the message was on the combination of the dates of 29AD, 30AD and 31AD and the results of that combination are still correct.”
It seems therefore that he will go ahead with a presentation in Portland, Oregon,
‘proving’ that the crucifixion occurred on Wednesday, April 25, 31AD - an impossible date in the current Hebrew calendar.


A Ministerial Conference’ will be held in Portland, Oregon, November 8-11, during which Jorge de Campos will give a presentation about why the United Church of God uses the current Hebrew calendar.
On May 9, 2015, Jorge de Campos recorded two presentations on this subject.
Part 1 is an overview, and in Part 2 he goes into detail, asserting that the Hebrew Calendar, including postponements, was observed by Jesus Christ.

At 7 minutes in, he says, “after the fall of the Second Temple (after 70AD) ....  when the Pharisees usurped the leadership of the Sanhedrin from the Sadducees, they started reckoning the years based on observation of the new crescent ...”
Although Jorge de Campos is the
UCG’s spokesman for the Hebrew Calendar, what he is saying is the opposite of what is stated on pages 6-7 of UCG’s Hebrew Calendar Doctrinal Statement:
“... neither does the Bible list rules of postponement. Who authorized them? When were they created? No one really knows the answer to these questions ... Were they a part of the calendar during the days of Christ? We simply do not know. We do not know when the Jews began using a calculated calendar, instead of simply relying on visual observation ...
In addition, in Christ’s time the new moon was ostensibly established by observation. There are those today who claim that the only way of calculating the new moon is by exact mathematical calculation. Visual observation is too erratic and could be one to two days off.
What we know from first-century records is that the calendar was operated by observation and controlled by the Sanhedrin. If Christ and the Church followed this habit, then Christ accepted something that some are claiming is unacceptable.”
Jorge de Campos rejects first-century records, indeed any contrary historical record, as biased or unreliable. Assuming the crucifixion to have been on a Wednesday and not Friday (which most people in the Churches of God accept), he provides prophetic and historical evidence proving that the current Hebrew calendar was observed by Jesus Christ, declaring (at 38 minutes) “we have proved that Jesus Christ’s crucifixion was 31AD.”
At the 1 hour mark, he holds up the Hebrew Calendar Appendix, which lists the dates for Passover, UB holy days and Trumpets for the years 26AD-34AD.
He displays on the screen some of the data for 29, 30 and 31AD, and then states: “The only way it fits - the only way it fits! - is when we use the calendar rules of the Hebrew Calendar with postponements ... and intercalation of the year 31. Brethren, that is the acid test. It only fits there. The rules of the Hebrew Calendar, as they are in existence today, apply to the time of Christ’s ministry.”

The data displayed for Passover in 31AD differs from the Hebrew Calendar Appendix, and is actually the data for 30AD.

 Hebrew Calendar
with
postponements
Hebrew Calendar
without
postponements
Observation
of the
New Moon
Screen Display
(data is 30AD, not 31AD)
Wednesday
Wednesday
Friday
Hebrew Calendar Appendix
(Passover 31AD)
Wednesday
Tuesday
Wednesday

If the reader is convinced that the crucufixion occurred on a Wednesday in 31AD, there are therefore two options, not one - but actually there is only one, which is Observation of the New Moon, because this date is impossible in the Hebrew Calendar. Why is this so?
In 1973 there was pressure from leading ministers to change Pentecost from Monday to Sunday. Herbert Armstrong was very reluctant to do so. It was also of great significance to Mr Armstrong that his ministry began in 1931, exactly 100 19-year time cycles after Jesus’s crucifixion. However, if the current Hebrew Calendar were being observed during the time of Christ - which is what the Worldwide Church of God taught (and the UCG continues to teach) - Passover in 31AD would have occurred on March 26, which would have been a Monday in the current Hebrew Calendar.
Herman Hoeh was always anxious to support Mr Armstrong, whom he regarded as God’s apostle, and saw a way to help him with both problems. On Friday, April 20, 1973, he conducted a Bible study at Ambassador College entitled ‘A New Look at Pentecost in Light of the Calendar Adjustment in the Second Century’. He asserted (without any historical evidence) that, during the time of Jesus, a 13th month was added in years 2,5,7,10,13,16,18 of the 19 year time cycle. During the Patriarchate of Simon III, between AD140 and AD163, there was supposedly a transition to 2,5,8,11,14,17,19 - which was then changed to what we have today: 3,6,8,11,14,17,19. This would result in AD31 being intercalated, and cause Passover that year to fall on the required day, Wednesday, in April, rather than on a Monday in March.
“The year of the crucifixion, AD 31, was intercalary and Passover of that year occurred, according to the sacred calendar, on Wednesday, April 25, not a Monday, March 26, the fourteenth day of the previous month. Now jump to our day. The year 1931 is one hundred 19-year cycles from AD 31, so it, too, one might expect, would be intercalary. Yet the year 1931 was not intercalary by the calendar the Jews use today. Why not? The answer is that the sacred calendar was adjusted.”

In a letter to Michael Germano (the head of LCG’s Living University) on November 17th, 2004, Herman Hoeh admitted that there had been no calendar adjustments between AD140 and AD163.

If the reader is convinced that the crucufixion occurred on a Wednesday, according to the Hebrew Calendar, it must have taken place in 30AD.


The Public Appearance Campaign in Texas, entitled, ‘America: The Time Is Now!’, held in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, attracted a total of 124 new people (i.e. who had never been to any United Church of God function), 58 in Dallas, 45 in San Antonio and 21 in Houston.

Personal invitations were e-mailed to all who signed up for the Texas campaigns to view a new, four-part Bible study series called, ‘The Time Is Now’, which began on Wednesday, November 4, at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Steve Myers, Cincinnati East pastor, presented the first topic: All In - 1 hour broadcast, audio recording now available.


Two messages from Viktor Kubik:

Firstly: We ask for your prayers for Roy Holladay, who suffered a stroke early Sabbath morning [Oct.9]. He does not have feeling on his left side. The extent of damage is not known and they are running tests to determine the full extent.
Roy’s wife, Norma, called us about 1:45 a.m. We live about a half mile away. The ambulance took him to the hospital and there I anointed him. He was immediately given a CT scan. In a few hours he was moved to a conventional hospital room.
Please pray for Roy, Norma and the entire family. Roy is a faithful servant and one with whom I work most closely. We need him!
Our love to all the Holladays…
Roy and Norma Holladay, 1195 Shayler Woods Dr, Batavia, OH 45103-2683.

Update: “On Tuesday [October 20th], Roy was moved from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility. He has made progress in his mobility. He has been able to stand and maintain his balance, and has also been able to walk short distances without a walker, although he tires easily. He is also undergoing therapy for speaking and swallowing. His son Art writes, ‘From here on out he will be participating in approximately 3 hours of therapy a day ... Clearly he has a long way to go to regaining self-sufficiency, but he is off to a good start.’

Your continued prayers for his recovery are much appreciated.


Secondly: “Bill Bradford Jr. called me about the sudden death of our beloved long-time brother, friend and elder, Robert Fahey. He asked that I notify all of you with this statement from the family: ‘We are deeply saddened to let you know that our father, Robert Edmund Fahey, 75, died unexpectedly this past Monday evening [September 28]. He was recovering at home from a heart stent placement completed less than two weeks ago, and had been expected to make a full recovery’.”

Bill Bradford Jr. has taken temporary charge of the church in Chicago.


The Council of Elders Meetings on August 12/13 were dominated by discussions on ‘The Last Great Day/Eighth Day’ study paper.

“The Doctrine Committee (DC) and the Council as a whole has been reviewing and discussing this paper for over two years. It emerged that in the DC there were different strengths of belief concerning whether John:7:37 referred to the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles or [the Eighth Day], but all agreed that the current paper contained no conclusive proof either way. Consequently, it is the recommendation of the DC that the current study paper, ‘Last Great Day/Eighth Day’ be withdrawn and replaced by a doctrinal statement by the Council.”
“Mr. Webber emphasized that this is not a sudden decision, but something the DC has been reviewing for two years, and the meaning of this day remains the same.
Mr. Holladay asked how the conclusion of this doctrinal statement differs from the study paper. Mr. Elliott replied that the current study paper favored the timing of John 7:37 as happening on the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles. However, the paper could not fully substantiate that position and it consequently advocates utilizing both terms, which is our current practice. The newly drafted doctrinal statement explains the situation more succinctly while giving equal weight to discussions concerning the timing of John:7:37.
Mr. Webber commented that there is no conclusive proof either way in the scripture regarding John:7:37. He stated, ‘Well intentioned people on both sides of this issue with strong viewpoints regarding the setting of John 7:37 and the accompanying terminology have at the end of the day agreed among themselves there is no rock solid proof one way on this issue.’
Mr. Kubik was impressed that we admit that there is no clear statement in the scriptures.

On August 13th “The final copy of the doctrinal statement was presented. There were some more edits and improvements.”


The Council of Elders report for August 11th included the following :

Viktor Kubik reported:
• The Public Appearance Campaign (PAC) will be held in three locations in Texas: Dallas, San Antonio and Houston.
Rotary Club: The home office hosted the Batavia, Ohio, Rotary Club. The group was given a tour of the home office. (The reason for this was not stated.)
Home Office Grounds: A new playset for children was put up on HQ grounds, largely financed by the LifeNets charity. (It’s unclear from this statement if any money was taken from Lifenets’ general funds. Why were local members asked to make tax deductible donations to Lifenets, rather than paying for the playset, which cost several thousand dollars, out of local church funds?)
Roy Holladay provided some general statistics:

• 287 elders in U.S.A.;  82 international elders; 196 churches and Bible study groups (USA); 96 baptisms so far this year (USA); 5 new ordinations since May; average USA Sabbath attendance is the same as a year ago.

Peter Eddington reported:
• Co-worker count is 43% higher than a year ago.
• Donor list count is 8,306 people, 90% increase over the same time last year.
Rick Shabi reported:
• Overall, income for the year was $2 million more than projected.
• Expenses at budgeted levels, resulting in net income of over $1.8 million.
• Because of higher than budgeted income, the Council approved certain employee considerations and additional print advertising expense.
• Transfer from TV airtime to the Internet - greater exposure for less cost.
John Elliott reported that the Doctrine Committee:
• had concluded its two-year review of ‘The Last Great Day/8th Day’ study paper, and will present its findings and recommendations to the Council.
• is continuing its one-year study review of calendar related materials/issues.
• is working on a short paper on marriage and what constitutes a marriage.

Church of God, an International Community

Our search results show a continuing interest in David Hulme and the church he founded, Church of God an International Community. Unfortunately, the church’s website is accessible only to members and donors, and its only public outreach is the quarterly magazine Vision. However, the October 2015 issue of its internal publication Church of God News is now online.

This issue contains an announcement that “On June 30, 2015, Richard and Irene Tattersall of Padiham, Lancashire (England), celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. The couple received a card from Queen Elizabeth congratulating them on the wonderful occasion.”
Their oldest son, Alan, became a minister and UK finance manager for the
Church of God UK, a company registered in 1995 shortly after David Hulme was elected President of the newly formed United Church of God (UCG). When David Hulme was removed from the presidency in 1998 and broke away to set up a new church, Church of God an International Commnity (COGIC),  where he would be in complete control, he retained the name ‘Church of God UK’.
In 1998 the Lancashire congregation decided to remain with UCG, so for the past 17 years the Tattersalls’ ‘local’ COGIC minister has been visiting with them from Scotland.

Church of God Radio
Peter Salemi and Bill Petsinis have “decided to create an internet radio station for the 7th day Churches of God. Many of the mainstream and Christian radio stations will not broadcast our content for being Sabbatarian and not believing in the trinity. Well now we are starting a radio station that will broadcast Church of God content and belief:
Church of God Radio.

We are letting all the Churches of God know that, if you would like to buy some air time, please contact us.” Programming Schedule & Prices

(The UK based 24/7 radio station Radio 4 Living - operated by John Jewell and Tina Tivey - continues to broadcast, but the programmes are all recorded.)

Death of Frank Scherich

House of God Pastor Frank Scherich was killed on October 1st. He had been attending the Festival of Tabernacles in Galveston, Texas, where he was joint co-ordinator. He was hit by a car around 4pm, while trying to rescue his dog from traffic, and died in hospital that evening.
The funeral service
was held at Angel Springs Event Center on Sunday, October 11th, and the burial service at Liberty Hill Cemetery.

Tributes to Frank may be left on the website of Eeds Funeral Home.

Frank's last sermon - 1st day of Festival of Tabernacles - September 28th.

Church of God 7th Day

The latest issue of the Bible Advocate magazine, focusing on end-time prophecy, is now available on-line.


Gavin Rumney (a disillusioned former member of the Worldwide Church of God)  writes (9th October) on Winds of Change at CoG7:
“The church is now seeing new leadership emerge. Loren Stacey is the new president of the General Conference following the retirement of Whaid Rose, and Jason Overman has become editor of the BA after Calvin Burrell’s many years at the helm. A smooth and peaceful transition? Imagine that!
CoG7 is a fundamentalist Sabbatarian body, it’s true, and I expect that would be reason enough for many of us not to take it seriously. But it also demonstrates an openness and accountability that stands in marked contrast to similar and related groups many readers of this blog will be more familiar with. Without an authoritarian top-down structure, it provided what could have been a benign and unifying model for the re-structuring of the post-Armstrong WCG. That the Tkach cabal chose to ignore that option and instead pretend to have some kind of ‘episcopal’ form of government is perhaps the most damning indictment of the so-called reforms that eventually led to its re-branding as Grace Communion International.
In his State of the Church Address at the recent General Conference, outgoing president Whaid Rose reflected on the denomination as it was in 1998 (he was appointed in 1997).
“I assured the membership that there are no plans to throw out the Sabbath and Ten Commandments. There are no plans to bring about organizational ties with the Worldwide Church of God.”
Rose’s retirement should, one would hope, not go unnoticed by Joe Tkach, who should have stepped aside years ago. One doubts he will take the hint though, and there’s little indication that he has put in place a workable transition plan.
There have been times in the past when CoG7 must have felt upstaged by its precocious offspring. In the end however it has demonstrated the staying power that has eluded its desperately troubled daughters and granddaughters.”


Calvin Burrell & Bryan Cleeton of GC Missions report:
• A new Bible school is nearly built and will soon be opened in Pakistan. There, Pastor Shamas Pervaiz leads CoG7, assists wider Christian efforts, and often addresses inter-faith gatherings that include thousands of Muslims. Pastor Shamas attended convention in Milwaukee in July, then accompanied Bryan in a two-week tour of New York and Dallas-Ft. Worth, where they worked with Pakistani immigrants.
• In India, Church General Secretary Jacob Rao visited 40 Christian pastors in the northern state of Punjab, introducing them to the teachings of the Church of God (Seventh Day), and receiving confirmation of their readiness to partner with us in proclaiming the Good News.
• Jorge Gillig of Argentina, coordinator of churches across South America, recently completed a visit of new groups in Chile, Peru, and Venezuela, while working to strengthen the Church there.
• In Zambia, nearly 70 young women and men learned sewing (taught by CoG7 women from the U.K.) to support their families and help the church become self-sufficient. A new water-well was also completed for a community that lacked it.


The radical changes to the bylaws proposed at the General Convention were not passed, and so the governance of the Church continues to be congregational in nature. Minor changes were made in the portion of the bylaws that were covered at convention - but no significant change in substance. Retaining those minor changes, the bylaws were referred to the Bylaws Committee, to be brought back to the next General Convention in 2017.
At the close of the Convention, Loren Stacy took over as President from Whaid Rose. He graduated from the University of Southern California (BA, MS) and the Summit School of Theology (M.Div.). In 1981 he became pastor of the Lodi, California congregation, serving as Youth Agency director (1981-1986), West Coast District overseer (1986-1992), and Chairman of the board of directors (1997-2015).
Jason Overman has taken over Calvin Burrell’s role as Editor of the Church’s 150+ years old magazine, the Bible Advocate. Jason and his wife Stephanie pastor the Jasper, Arkansas congregation. He worked for the Harrison Daily Times for 24 years, where he was general manager until his recent appointment.
The new Executive Director is Jody McCoy, who graduated from Spring Vale Academy and Texas A&M with a masters in electrical engineering. He worked for Advanced Micro Devices for 25 years in Austin - ten years in telecommunication and computer chip design and 15 years managing a performance analysis team. He left AMD in 2011 to do full-time research in science, religion, and philosophy.

Living Church of God

Rob Tyler, son of Bruce Tyler, head of LCG for Australasia, writes:
“As many of you will have already heard, my dad suffered a major brain stem stroke on Sunday morning, 10 January. The area affected was complicated by a blood clot in a significant artery supplying blood to the brain. Thankfully he was already in hospital when the stroke occurred, allowing medical staff to immediately begin working on him, however, he still required life support. Doctors immediately arranged for a neurologist and specialist equipment to be transported via ambulance from a nearby hospital so the doctors could attempt to remove the blood clot. After 2 hours in surgery he was moved back into Critical Care, where doctors continue to monitor his condition.
We of course look to God for His mercy and beseech Him for a complete and speedy recovery.”


“More than 800 enthusiastic audience members in Charlotte were joined by well more than 7,000 others from all around the world to watch the special ‘Meet the Living Church of God’ Sabbath service and sermon by Dr. Meredith. The live event was also simultaneously translated into French and Spanish ...

We received many positive comments from Africa to Canada, across the United States and Europe, from the Caribbean and Latin America and elsewhere ...

Based on local attendance, the many LCG congregations which were able to ‘connect live’, pre-event registrations and Internet connection counts, we estimate that about 8,000 people viewed this live Sabbath service, of which about 3,800 were members and more than 4,000 were guests.” Wyatt Ciesielka


The Aug 28 update announced ‘New Telecast Presenters!’
“The first new presenter will be Mr. Gerald Weston, who will be the third main presenter for the program, along with Mr. Ames and Mr. Smith. The second new presenter will be Mr. Rod McNair, who will function as a guest presenter ...
The addition of these new presenters was prompted by the ill health of Mr. Rod King and the challenges that Dr. Meredith faces as he ages.”
Rod King has relinquished this role, and Rod Meredith has not presented any telecasts recently, but Rod McNair has yet to appear as a guest presenter.
The back page of the Jan-Feb 2016 issue of the Tomorrow’s World magazine shows only 3 telecast presenters: Richard Ames, Gerald Weston and Wallace Smith.


Around 800 people attended LCGs ‘Winter Weekend’ over the Christmas holidays. The Sabbath service on December 26th was broadcast live.

Jim Meredith introduced the speaker, his father Roderick, remarking, curiously, Ive come to love him.

During his sermon, Roderick Meredith confirmed that Gerald Weston will move to LCGs HQ in Charlotte, North Carolina, “about next Augustto become the churchs chief operating manager.” He made this decision at a Council of Elders meeting two months ago, but it was not made public at that time.

Gerald Weston moved from Canada to the UK only 5 months ago to become the regional manager for Europe.

Roderick Meredith has been reducing his office work load considerably since his stroke, having brought in as personal assistant his son James, whose business had failed. He still chairs staff meetings, however, and all decisions require his approval.

After next August, James Meredith will probably be content with his role of meeting and event planner, organizing the ‘Winter Weekend’ and the Feast in Hawaii. (Is his doctorate an honorary one, given to him by his father?)

Richard Ames had been nominated by Roderick Meredith to be his heir, and Gerald Weston was later appointed as the no. 3. It is no great surprise to see him stepping aside, in order to concentrate on his television and writing work, and avoid the stressful ‘office politics’ at Charlotte HQ, given his age and general health.


The following sites have been secured for the 2016 Festival of Tabernacles:
San Diego, California – The Bahia Resort on Mission Bay
Seaside, Oregon – Best Western Ocean View Resort
St. George, Utah – Red Lion Hotel
Montgomery, Texas – La Torretta Lake Resort
Osage Beach, Missouri – Tan-Tar-A Resort
Traverse City, Michigan – Great Wolf Lodge
Mount Snow, Vermont – Grand Summit Resort Hotel
Panama City Beach, Florida – Boardwalk Beach Resort
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina – Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort
Gatlinburg, Tennessee – River Terrace Resort and Convention Center


On Sunday, December 6th, Roderick Meredith broadcast a live video presentation, A Prophetic Warning for the World. This went quite well, apart from (at 16 mins.) confusion over the ‘sea gates’ that the USA and UK used to control. He reiterated what he was saying in his co-worker letter of July 21:

“It’s happening! It’s happening right now before our very eyes. Most people do not even have a clue. But many of you subscribers to Tomorrow’s World do understand. For all around us, we see the ‘signs’ that the end of this lawless age of mankind is very near.”
“My friends,
all around us we see the prophetic events unfolding which I have been preaching and writing about for about 63 years.”
His prophecies that the end-time would come within a few years have been wrong for over half a century - so will his warning now be counter-productive?
He admitted in his lead article in the July-August 2014 issue of the Living Church News entitled, Is Our Lord Delaying His Coming?: “At least a few thousand of you older brethren who are reading this letter have had to be patient through the trials and tests of life, of human issues in the Church, and with the realization that Christ has not come back as quickly as we had hoped.”
“Because I have been one of the pioneer students of Ambassador College and of the ministry of this Work under Herbert W. Armstrong, I have been able to know and converse for many hours with nearly all of the leading men who studied prophecy in detail in the early years. I have also read some articles and books on prophecy and biblical chronology by outsiders. Every one of the leading men that I talked to in this Work - including Dr. Herman Hoeh, Dr. Ernest Martin, Dr. Charles Dorothy, Dr. Robert Kuhn and others - have acknowledged that they came to realize during their study of biblical chronology that we could ‘easily’ be 20 or 30 years off in either direction! Therefore, it should be easy to realize that Christ may not come until about 2030AD!”
These private discussions took place in the wake of the failure of ‘1975 in Prophecy’. He and the other leaders in the Worldwide Church of God taught that those in the church would go to ‘the place of safety’ (probably Petra in Jordan) in January 1972, thereby escaping the 3½ years of ‘Great Tribulation’, and Jesus Christ would return to earth on the Day of Trumpets in 1975.
He comments: “I have ‘hoped’ that it would be sooner for many decades.” Despite knowing that “we could ‘easily’ be 20 or 30 years off in either direction!” he has continued to preach of current “prophetic events unfolding” showing that “the end of this lawless age of mankind is very near.”
He gives no apology for doing this, writing that: “We must never be involved in ‘murmuring’ and ‘disputing’ and complaining about the fact that Almighty God is giving human beings more time to write the lessons of human suffering and for His own children to ‘work out’ our own salvation before Christ returns.”


LCG is seeking to cut expenses by utilizing volunteer labor. Jim Meredith writes:
“The Church spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for the call center that takes calls from people requesting literature offered on the Tomorrow’s World telecast. In an effort to potentially save a substantial amount of this expense, we are exploring the possibility of bringing our call center in-house. However, for this to happen we will need your help! This is an opportunity for Church members to let their lights shine and have a direct ‘hands on’ part in preaching the Gospel. In order for this to be successful, we need many volunteers who are able to work from home and are willing to assist with our peak-volume call-in periods at different times throughout the week. We are looking for friendly individuals who are committed to God’s Work, are comfortable working with a computer, have high-speed Internet access (at least 15 Mbps.) and could commit to being available on a semi-regular basis to help ensure that we are able to handle the volume of calls. At this time we are only asking for members in the continental United States to volunteer—in the future we may be able to expand this to some other countries as well.”


Thanks to extremely important translation help from many of our members around the world, as has been previously reported, the Internet team has been working with our international offices to launch important and significantly updated new Web sites in multiple languages.

We felt that a quick summary of some of the main new Web sites recently launched may be helpful: new French TW Web site: www.MondeDemain.org, new French LCG Web site: www.EgliseDieuVivant.org, new Dutch TW Web site: www.WereldvanMorgen.org and the new German TW Web site: www.WeltvonMorgen.org. There have also been launches or updates of other Web sites and social media sites, such as TW Instagram and a Spanish LivingYouth Facebook page at facebook.com/IDVCampamentojuvenil.”


LCG is continuing to seek accreditation for its academic courses. On Monday, November 16th, “we had a very positive visit by a three-man team from the University of North Carolina General Administration to review Living University’s application to license aspects of our academic program. We should hear some results in about 3 months after an exchange of correspondence.”


Doug Winnail reported a worldwide attendance for the Living Church of God of just over 10,400. (Official figure for 2014 was 10,289.)

Roderick Meredith writes in his latest co-worker letter, October 19th :
“Thousands of us just returned from our annual Feast of Tabernacles ... Many called it the genuinely
best Feast ever - and, because of the unusual unity and exhilaration, it may well have been.
Many of you have heard about the ‘floods of biblical proportions’ as they were called in USA Today (October 6, 2015), that hit much of South Carolina. Although the Feast site I attended was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, it seems God directed the flooding primarily elsewhere in the state.

(see Historic South Carolina Flooding Kills 17)
So we only missed one activity - the Deacons and Elders banquet one evening. All other activities went on as scheduled, and the exhilaration of the brethren was outstanding. So God does intervene and protect His people!”


The LCG has set up The Morgan Montgomery Memorial Youth Fund, a special fund in memory of 19 year old Morgan Montgomery, who was killed in a water skiing accident on Alum Creek Lake in Ohio, at the Living Church of God summer camp on August 2nd. Donations to the fund will provide scholarships and transportation for Church youth around the world to participate in the Church’s youth camps, in addition to providing other important services to Church youth. No special projects are mentioned, so it seems that donations will simply subsidize existing youth services.
Presiding Evangelist, Roderick Meredith, arrived at the camp on August 5th, but failed to authorize payment for the cost of repatriation of her body to Australia. A YouCaring page was therefore set up, so that members could make donations, primarily to cover all related expenses of returning Morgan to her home and family in Australia. This goal has been met, and the excess will be used to enable the Montgomery family to return to their new home and family at Living Youth Camp in future years.
On August 6th Morgan’s father, Martin Montgomery, gave this video message to the campers about his daughter and our hope of the resurrection.


Wyatt Ciesielka reports: “We recently went on ‘Family TV’ and ‘Family Radio 316', and already scores of inquiries and requests for literature are coming in from all throughout Kenya. We have been very encouraged by both the quantity and the quality of the responses. We are also very thankful for the enthusiasm of our Kenyan brethren for this initiative, and for the labor and service from our South African office which is playing an important support role in this project.”


Peter Nathan, Stephen Elliott, Bob Rodzaj and Ted Budge were among the ministers who left David Hulme’s church to form The Father’s Call in January 2014. One month later all four left that new group - Nathan, Elliott and Rodzaj joining the Living Church of God, and Budge returning to the United Church of God. Ted Budge has had to wait a full year until his appointment as an elder, assisting Robin Webber in the Los Angeles congregation.

Many ministers were upset to learn that these three had been given immediate full-time employment, prompting Roderick Meredith to write an open letter in March 2014 to “ask all of you, in Jesus’ name not to be alarmed or worried about this!”
In March 2015, all three men were promoted:
“Mr. Stephen Elliott has been designated as the Area Pastor of congregations in Southern California and Nevada. Mr. Bob Rodzaj has been designated as the Area Pastor for congregations in New Mexico and West Texas. Mr. Peter Nathan will serve as the Assistant Regional Director for Africa in addition to his duties with Living University.”

Philadelphia Church of God

Come Right On In: A Walk-through of the Philadelphia Church of God Canadian Regional Office, by Grant Turgeon, was put online August 14, but was later removed from public access. If you want to read the article, copy the above link into Yahoo! or Bing search, and click on the cached page.

The article reveals that there are now only 400 members in 20 congregations from the Atlantic to the Pacific, whose needs are fulfilled by 4 office staff plus another staff member and a volunteer working from their homes.
Covering this vast area are regional director Fred Dattalo and Local Elders Ron Hanson (9 congregations in central and eastern Canada), Timothy Oostendarp (10 congregations in western Canada and Alaska) and Chris McKay (1).

The article also reveals the level of control exerted by Gerald Flurry over each church member via his ministers. “By far the best part of my job is getting to talk to Mr. Flurry and receiving guidance, counsel, direction and even correction from time to time, directly from God’s apostle,” Mr. Dattolo said. “I learn a lot from talking to him, and I pass on the wisdom and judgment that God gives him to the ministers in Canada, whenever I have the opportunity to do so, especially in the weekly meetings that I conduct with each minister individually.”


When Stephen Flurry, Dean of Students at the new college in Edstone, Warwickshire, in the English Midlands, made the first broadcast from the new studio there in January, he quoted from Herbert Armstrong’s autobiography: “It was the development of the college in Pasadena that made possible the growth of the whole gospel work.” He expected the college at Edstone to have a similar effect in the UK.
Rapid church membership growth in the UK in the 1960s was not however achieved by the establishment of Ambassador College at Bricket Wood in 1960, but via daily broadcasts by Garner Ted Armstrong on off-shore pop music radio stations - at a time when only the BBC was allowed to have a mainland radio network - which did not then include a pop music tv or radio channel. The UK government enacted legislation which made too difficult for these radio stations to continue operating, and the BBC was obliged to launch a pop music channel. The Bricket Wood College was closed in 1974.
On his return to the USA after the end of the first semester, Stephen Flurry reiterated the view to PCG News that Edstone is “another new beginning” ... “a special one” ... “a massive step forward.”
“Mr. Flurry said attending services at Leavesden, London, has been ‘a real inspiration’. He added that the local members are ‘super-excited’ about the new Edstone office and that, ‘you can feel the energy when you go in’ to services.”
Leavesden is north-west of London, 2½ miles from Bricket Wood, so the congregation is likely mostly composed of former students and their families. (Other ex-WCG churches also have congregations in or near Bricket Wood.)
“Local members have been praying and waiting for the Work to expand in Britain, Mr. Flurry said. Now, the Church has a campus with students from Edmond and is airing a responsive tv program in Britain.”
If people were responding to this program (which is broadcast at 8am Sundays on CBS Reality UK, a channel that very few UK viewers ever watch), Stephen Flurry would have described how the Work in Britain was growing, rather than remarking that “local members have been praying and waiting for the Work to expand in Britain.”

Restored Church of God

David Pack has been very subdued since the abject failure of his prophecy that most ex-Worldwide Church of God members would be reunified in the Restored Church of God on 31st August 2013 - or lose the holy spirit. With his tithe payers falling below 1000 and his HQ campus still not quite complete, he has announced, in a 7 minute video The Coming Signal to God’s People that thousands from other Churches of God will be flocking soon (no date setting this time) to his “one church” and then “a work of absolutely immense proportion will follow.”

David Pack declares that he is the ‘Elijah to come’ (Malachi 4:4-6) and also the ‘Joshua to come’. The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 will arise from within the RCG, and will be trained by him for their commission in Jerusalem.

He gave this general prophetic warning about himself in December 1998:

“I want to make a statement about me now. If I became deceived, I will never tell you what I’m going to tell you now. I am telling you, if I go off into strange ideas, misconduct, rebellion, you name it, don’t follow me. I want to tell you that now, because if I start doing that, I’m gonna try to get you to follow me! I’m gonna come to you and tell you it doesn’t apply, it doesn’t mean me. No, no, no, no, no, no, it’s ok to follow me, because ABCD and XY and Z. Do you understand what I’m saying? Listen to me now, when I tell you, don’t follow me if I go off into weird ideas, or if I get off into other things that are total absolutely unscriptural conduct, because if I do, I’m gonna paint it with a different face and try to get you to follow me. Do you understand what I’m saying, brethren? Please remember that, because I promise you that, if I become deceived, I’ll forget it, and I’ll want you to forget it. And I hope you’ll remember it well enough to quote it right back to me.”

Church of God - EIM

Steven le Blanc, COG-EIM pastor, writes: “The interest level in our public bible study in Sacramento was very good. We had an attendance of 112 guests (non-members). This was our largest attendance to date. Though we do not look to numbers, but to God - it was encouraging to see that interest levels are growing. I discussed events in Europe - the European Beast, and 40 sins of America (in part) - national punishment.”

Death of Fred Porter

Fred Porter, pastor of the Sabbath Day Church of God in Hot Springs, Arkansas, died on Wednesday evening, June 17th, aged 70. The funeral will be at 11am on Monday at Carney Funeral Home Chapel in Blytheville.
In November 2014 he was interviewed by KATV as vice president of Arkansas CALM, the Citizen's Alliance for the Legalization of Marijuana, and co-author of the Arkansas Hemp & Marijuana Amendment, seeking to legalize marijuana - both for medicinal and recreational purposes.
He had been using cannabis oil to treat his prostate cancer, which had produced positive results, but at the time of this interview the cancer had reached stage four.

Church of God, a Worldwide Association

Joel Meeker reported on the annual meeting of the Ministerial Board of Directors, held at the Church’s headquarters in Allen, Texas, December 7-8. Each member of the board receives a copy of the annual ‘Strategic Plan, Operation Plan and Budget’ prior to the meeting, and the sole purpose of the MBOD agm is to review and approve this document. Joel Meeker stated that:
• 5,821 people in the USA are connected to a local congregation;
• 2015 shows a 12% increase in daily income over 2014;
• 11% of the church’s income comes from non-members.


Doug Johnson has been appointed Senior Pastor for ‘COGWA Canada’, but he will continue to pastor the Cleveland Ohio and Meadville Pennsylvania congregations.


Video summaries of Day 1 & Day 2 of the International Ministerial Conference, which took place on 1st & 2nd June 2015.


The Church’s Media team and its web developers at 30 Degrees North are now working on phase 2 of its 3 part plan to overhaul its Life Hope & Truth website.
“We’re now working hard to complete all parts of Phase 2, focusing on creating an “I’m New” page, developing our new online/interactive Bible study course and shooting a brand-new video series. The “I’m New” page will serve as a starting point for visitors who come to Life, Hope & Truth for the first time. It’s here that they will be introduced to the people and the Church behind the website and how to go forward in their learning journey. We are now in the process of creating our new welcome video, which will describe why Life, Hope and Truth exists and what our mission is. We’re also creating our brand-new interactive Bible study course, which will be a key tool in helping our website visitors take the next step in understanding and committing to God’s truth.”


The January 2015 issue of One Accord included a report of the annual meeting of the Ministerial Board of Directors in December 2014. The Doctrine Committee chairman, Don Henson, “reminded the board that the committee reviews various (official) documents and publications” and “also reviews a small number of study papers submitted by members to propose alternate positions to the Church’s longstanding doctrines or understandings. Mr. Henson explained that, while such writers are asked to submit their papers to their pastors first, they generally want the papers to be reviewed by the committee and then usually try to rebut the explanation if it differs from their own. This is is very time-consuming, but such submissions are treated seriously and with respect.”
On 22 December 2014 it was announced that Andrew and Sarah Henderson had been officially suspended and prohibited indefinitely from attending all COGWA services and activities, because “they no longer speak the same thing as the Church.”
The Hendersons had questioned their local minster, Lyle Welty, about the COG Hebrew calendar, which he failed to answer satisfactorily. At his request, they submitted to him a study paper, A Case for the Biblical Calendar, to be forwarded to the Doctrine Committee. On receipt of the study paper, Lyle Welty suspended the couple from attending services, but he eventually agreed to submit it to the Doctrine Committee, which resulted in their total and indefinite exclusion.
It is not then the Doctrine Committee’s role to treat members’ study papers seriously and with respect, and to consider their alternative positions to the Church’s longstanding doctrines or understandings. Rather it is to explain to the members that they are wrong, and that they must comply with the Church’s teachings.

Larry Salyer stated, “All seem to agree that the camaraderie among the MBOD is the best we have had in years. While it is easy to find agreement, I also feel I can disagree and be frank on any issue I want to—even with the administration.”
It’s a pity that this freedom to disagree and be frank on any issue does not extend to those people who pay the high salaries of the Ministerial Board of Directors.

Herbert Armstrong Videos

Grace Communion International (formerly the ‘Worldwide Church of God’) has filed several copyright notices with YouTube concerning the telecast section of Herbert W. Armstrong Library, resulting in the deactivation of the HWAL account with YouTube. HWAL spent years building the YouTube channel, uploading a total of 1,335 videos on to YouTube, where it says they were receiving 1.6 million hits per month.
GCI owns the copyright on all WCG materials, but HWAL believes the publication of the videos falls within the ‘fair use’ provision of the copyright regulations.