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Church of God News
The Journal: News of the Churches of God
The latest issue of the Journal - August 31 is now available on-line.
The lead article is about Morgan Montgomery, a 19 year old member of the Living Church of God, from Adelaide, Australia, who was serving as an assistant counselor at LCG's youth
camp in Ohio. She was floating in the Alum Creek Reservoir in Ohio
after water-skiing, when she was hit by a high-speed
motor boat, whose driver failed to see her.
In the letters column, the
editor, Dixon Cartwright, has included an invitation to
“come up to New York and visit the offices, printery and education
center of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. You will find this to be an
exquisite delight and an experience you will want to share with
Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists and Church of God 7th
Day all originate from the Advent Movement of the 19th
century, and have some common beliefs. The Jehovah's Witnesses do not observe the 7th day Sabbath or the annual holy days.
The World Will Not End Tonight, but ...
if you think it might ... “This Sunday night, September 27, at 10:00pm Eastern US Time, I
will be broadcasting live from the Mount of Olives overlooking the
Temple Mount, during this month’s ‘Super Blood Moon’,” writes Nehemia Gordon. “People all over
the world are expecting this lunar eclipse, the 4th in a supposed
‘Tetrad’, to usher in a new era of tribulation and mayhem.
I will be
broadcasting the beginning of this expected Apocalypse live on
Periscope. You can watch for free on the web by clicking on
http://www.periscope.tv/ngordon4/ I tested Periscope on my laptop using the Chrome browser and it worked, but it didn’t work in Firefox.
best way to follow this broadcast is to install the free Periscope app
on your iPhone or Android and then subscribe to my Periscope feed listed
as ‘ngordon4’ and ‘Nehemia Gordon’. Periscope is new and not that user
friendly, so if you can’t figure that out, subscribed to my Twitter
feed. Then when I go live you’ll get a specific link on Twitter to the
If you use the Periscope
App, you can join in with comments and feedback as we broadcast the
beginning of the End of the Universe. The Mount of Olives is the perfect
place for this broadcast in line with the verse:
“And his feet shall
stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem
on the east; and the mount of Olives shall be cleft in the midst thereof
toward the east and toward the west...” Zech 4:14
If the video ends
unexpectedly, it may be because I was sucked down into a deep chasm as
the Mount of Olives splits. I’m personally skeptical anything major will
happen, except me yawning a lot, as it will be 3.00am Israel time. My
hesitation to jump on the Blood Moon bandwagon is based on the words of
“Thus says Yehovah, Learn not the way of the nations,
and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the nations are dismayed
at them.” Jeremiah 10:2
On the other hand, if this truly is the
beginning of the End Times, you will be able to watch it in live stream
as the events unfold around me. If not, it will be a great opportunity
for prayer, Torah study, and a long overdue Q & A. The peak of the
event will be at 5:47am Israel time, which is 10:47pm New York time.
Bandwidth (and coffee) allowing, I will continue the broadcast right up
to the End. I never thought I’d say this but, “I’ll see you when the
If you are in Jerusalem tonight, come join me at the lookout on the Mount of Olives at 5.00am Israel time!”
2015 Holy Days & Festival of Tabernacles
Over 300 Festival of Tabernacles sites are now listed, but there are many more. We can only list those whose data are on websites, also we do not list festival sites in areas where travel is dangerous, and churches that do not have an open attendance policy.
Links to live broadcasts for the Day of Atonement and Sabbath (Sept.26) are now posted on the Live Broadcasts page. (Links to the early services for the Festival of Tabernacles will be added later this week.)
The Living Church of God and the Church of God, a Worldwide Association will be providing live broadcasts from various locations, but you must request a password from each festival organizer.
On September 14th the new moon was sighted in Australia, Southern Asia, Southern Africa and the Americas. The crescent new moon charts show that it was potentially visible in Israel, but the sky was hazy and it was not sighted. On September 15th the new moon was sighted by numerous people. The data on the Biblical Calendar and Festival of Tabernacles pages have been updated, but some groups do not clarify where sighting is required, so please confirm the dates with the festival organizer if there is any doubt.
The fixed Hebrew (Jewish) calendar, which most Churches of God follow, will begin the year 5776
on Monday, September 14th.
The Molad (average conjunction) is on Sunday,
but Rosh Hashana (the Day of Trumpets) must be postponed to Monday.
If the Day of Trumpets were to be on a Sunday, the seventh
day of the Festival of Tabernacles (Hoshana
would then fall on the weekly Sabbath. The ritual of beating the willow twigs on
this day has been deemed by the rabbis to be ‘work’ that is inappropriate for the Sabbath.
Rosh Hashanah fell on a Sunday, Hoshanah Rabbah would fall on the
Sabbath and would call for the elimination of certain rituals which
the pharisaic rabbis did not want to forgo.” (Jewish Quarterly
Review, Vol.25, No.1, 1997; Article by Rabbi Saul Leeman, Why
is Pesach So Late This Year?).
is considered unfit, because with Rosh ha-Shanah falling thereon, the
seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Hosha'na Rabbah), on
which the ceremony of “beating the willow-twigs” is an important
part of the service, would fall on the Sabbath, and the observance of
the ceremony could not be permitted.” (Henry Malter, Saadia
Gaon: His Life and Works)
Hashana never falls on a Sunday because that would mean that Hoshana
Rabba (the last day of Sukkot, which always falls on 21 Tishri) would
fall on a Saturday, which would not be desirable. In Talmudic times,
Hoshana Rabba was regarded as a day much like Yom Kippur. It brought
to an end the long holiday period beginning with Rosh Hashana, and
was considered to be the one final opportunity to reverse an
unfavorable decree issued against the individual on the High
Holidays. If Hoshana Rabba were to fall on the Sabbath, this would
interfere with the ceremony of beating a bunch of hoshanot
(willows) during the synagogue services, an action forbidden on
the Sabbath.” (Alfred J. Kolatch, The Jewish Book of WHY,
If the Church of God leaders who observe the Hebrew calendar believe that the new moon is the conjunction, why do they postpone the
Day of Trumpets (and thereby also postpone Passover and all the other annual holy
days) by one day, because of a ritual which they have never performed?
Living Church of God
Gerald Weston is moving to the UK to take charge of the work in Europe, replacing Rod King, who has serious health issues.
Stuart Wachowicz replaces him as Canadian Regional Director.
Gerald Weston will also be taking over Rod King's role as a presenter of the Tomorrow’s World telecast.
McNair will become a guest presenter, as Roderick Meredith's failing health no longer allows him to continue as a regular presenter.
Tomorrow’s World News & Prophecy, Sept. 4th, the article ‘British
Girls Suffer Emotional Trauma’ stated: “Jesus Christ is coming back to
turn the hearts of parents to their children, instead of being focused
solely on themselves (Malachi 4:6), and no one will be afraid (Ezekiel
Malachi 4:5-6 refers to the Elijah to come, not Jesus:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the
great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the
fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their
fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
that the Church (not a person) will do an Elijah type work, others continue to hold to Herbert
Armstrong being the Elijah to come (even though he died almost 30 years
statement that the above verses refer to Jesus Christ was changed today
(Sept.9th), and the passage now reads: “Jesus Christ is coming back to
establish perfect government and peace (Isaiah 9:6-7), and no one will
be afraid (Ezekiel 34:23-28). The true meaning of family will be
“recaptured” and will permeate society once again (Acts 3:19-21).”
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.
Roderick Meredith, writes in his latest co-worker letter, dated July 21:
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.”
“We constantly explain how you can
escape the coming Great Tribulation and how all of us can have a
tremendous part in warning our fellow human beings and helping them also
escape the coming Holocaust.”
How much confidence should we place in his predictions?
the 1950s and 60s he and the other leaders in the Worldwide Church of
God taught that those in the church would “escape the coming Great
Tribulation” and go to ‘the place of safety’ (probably Petra in Jordan)
in 1972, and Jesus Christ would return to earth in 1975. After the
failure of this prophecy, he has continued to preach of current “prophetic
events unfolding” showing that “the end of this lawless age of mankind
is very near.”
The July-August 2014 issue of the Living Church News leads with his letter entitled, Is Our Lord Delaying His Coming?
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!
Do I, personally, think it will be that long? No! But I have ‘hoped’ that it would be sooner for many decades.”
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.”
(‘The end of this lawless age’ is ‘about 2030AD’ in God’s 7000 Year Plan)
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:
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.”
United Church of God
Sabbath Services before the Feast – September 26, 2015
year the weekly Sabbath falls the day before the Feast begins. Many
members and ministers will have already left for the Feast of
Tabernacles before the weekly Sabbath. As a result, many congregations
are canceling services before the Feast on September 26th.
provided a map that indicates which U.S. congregations have confirmed
that they will hold services that day (indicated by a solid green star)
and those who have indicated that services will be cancelled (indicated
by an outline red star). We hope this map will help you to make your
travel plans to this year’s Feast. Most congregations holding services
will be meeting at their regular times, but it is best to contact the
pastor as early as possible to make sure.
Feel free to print the PDF map to leave on your information table or bulletin board at services.” -- Chris Rowland, Ministerial and Member Services
The Council of Elders Meetings on August 12/13 were dominated by discussions on ‘The Last Great Day/Eighth Day’ study paper.
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.”
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
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.
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
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 7th Day (Denver)
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.
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.
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.
Calvin Burrell will be giving one of the messages at the Festival of Tabernacles in Pleasant Hills, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
radical changes to the bylaws proposed at the General Convention last
week were not passed, and so the governance of the Church continues to
be congregational in nature. Minor changes were made in the portion of
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
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).
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.
Leon Sexton writes: “We need your fervent prayers on two accounts.
we have some serious problems getting our young people over from
Myanmar (Burma). There always seems to be problems with visas, etc.
order for us to bring our young people (Burmese Nationals) to Thailand,
we must acquire the appropriate visa. For our Burmese students to stay
and study at Legacy for three years, they must return home each year and
then get another ED visa (Educational visa) for another year. This is
time consuming and expensive when one adds up travel expenses and more
visa costs. But this is the Thai law and, if we want them to continue
their studies at Legacy, we must comply with the rules and regulations
of the Thai Immigration Bureau.
We sent Htoo Mya (Tommy) Shwe back to
get another ED visa so he could return and continue at Legacy for his
final year. When he went to the Thai embassy in Rangoon, they refused to
give him a new ED visa, citing that he had been studying in Thailand
long enough. Now we must bring him back on a tourist visa (30 days only)
and send him to Laos, where hopefully the Thai Embassy there will grant
him another one year ED visa. This all takes time and money, and there
is no guarantee the Thai Embassy in Vientiane will give him a visa.
Yee, one of our COG girls, is also waiting in Rangoon to get an ED
visa. They have now said that they require more paperwork from the
language school she will attend to learn the Thai language (a
requirement for the ED visa.) We sent the paperwork and now we must pray
she gets the visa so she can come to Legacy.
Legacy is not
registered with the Ministry of Education. Instead we are registered
with the Ministry of Culture. We can teach young people from Thailand
and surrounding countries, but because we do not have a Ministry of
Education registration, we are not on the list to receive ED visas. The
red tape is endless.
Two others also had problems. Adja Shan and Moe
Paley, both graduates, are returning to Legacy to help with translation
of written material and translation of sermon videos, etc. I contacted
the Thailand Foreign Ministry in Bangkok and requested a Non-immigrant,
‘O’ type visa so they can get a required Thai work permit to serve in
Thailand. The Foreign Ministry kindly forwarded the required paperwork
to the Thai Embassy in Rangoon. However, when Adja and Moe Paley went
into the Thai Embassy to get the visa, they said they could not give
them a visa unless they already had a work permit. The problem is that
the Thai government will not issue a work permit until you have the
appropriate visa - Catch 22!
So, we had to contact the Thai Foreign
Ministry and explain the problem and then pray really hard. Lo and
behold, the officials at the Thai Embassy in Rangoon said they went back
and reviewed the paperwork sent from Bangkok and, even though the print
was ‘unclear’, they would go ahead and issue the visas. God stepped in.
Now we must pray for Koin Yee and for Tommy Shwe. Please send up
supplications for them.
The second problem we face is that our
donations are way down. Most of our donations come from America and the
economy at home is not in good shape. We need your URGENT PRAYERS that
God provide our needs. We seriously need His gracious intervention at
this time. We have the Feast coming up and always the day to day
expenses of running a school to train young people in God’s Way of Life.
It has been a real lesson in faith for us. Gloria and I have been
working for the King of Kings in Thailand for 15 years now. It has
almost always been a hand to mouth budget. We must pray time and time
again for God to intervene to supply our needs. Rarely have we ever seen
a surplus. Usually that gets eaten up rather quickly.
help us by sending up some extra prayers to the Almighty asking Him to
provide the necessary funds so we can continue the work of educating the
young people God sends us from Thailand and Burma. It is His Work in
this part of the Earth and these nations desperately need the Gospel of
the Kingdom preached to them. It will be the young men and women we
train that will be carrying that true Gospel to families and friends,
and then spreading it out to the far corners of their countries. Legacy
Leadership Training Center is a necessary part of preaching the Good
News to those who are blind and broken hearted.
Jesus said (Luke
4:18-19): ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed
me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the
brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of
sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach
the acceptable year of the Lord.’
Please pray for us, serving the Lord Jesus in Asia.”
The Festival of Tabernacles will be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, once
again. It starts the evening of Sept 27th and lasts through the Last
Great Day, October 5th.The
venue will be the same as last year—The Empress Hotel and
Convention Center in the heart of Chiang Mai. Many family activities
are planned, including the Elephant Ride and visit to a Royal Project
of the King and Queen. If you are interested in attending and wish
more information, please contact us at Mail@Legacyinstitute.org, or
phone Anita Showers at 330-852- 2709. We are trying to keep the cost
of rooms, food, and events at, or near, last year’s costs. For more
online information about the Empress Hotel, please go online to:
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.
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.”
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.
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 it impossible 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.
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.”
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
Continuing Church of God
Robert Thiel writes: “We
want to thank all of you who have supported the work with your tithes
and offerings, including those of you who have given extra to support
the work in Africa.
We have spent thousands of dollars to fix a
building in Ndhiwa, Kenya. Many will be staying in this building (for
free) during the Feast of Tabernacles in Kenya. This is expected to be
the largest CCOG festival site in 2015.
We plan to have two CCOG pastors
from Kenya be able to visit groups in Ghana and Malawi that have
expressed interest in the CCOG in a few weeks - we have had to send
funds for the travel as well as literature (including Bibles in the
Chichewa, also known as Nyanja, language) for this.
We also hope to eventually be able visit groups in Nigeria and Ethiopia later this year if funding allows.”
2015 Festival of Tabernacles
From Brian Convery: “Linda and I have decided to utilize our property (in Kendall, New York State) for a feast site this year. Many have been emailing looking for a site to be able to go to and feel "safe" in their calendar beliefs. If you are interested, email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will forward you the information. The main dates we will be focusing on are Wednesday, September 30th, to Wednesday, October 7th. However we can accommodate families and others who profess different calendar dates in their belief structure.
This is a rural setting with opportunities for camping on the property and at two state parks within 10 and 20 minute drives from here. As well there are lots of cottage rentals along the lake shore; all within 30 minutes’ drive. We would be having some meals together, lots of fellowship, studies, and simple rejoicing before our Creators.”
Canadian Ministry of Church of God International has decided to cancel the Festival of Tabernacles
site in British Columbia this year.
Please phone Bill Watson on (903)
939-2929 if you require more information.
Harris has gained permission from International Academy Alert for a Festival of Tabernacles at the Big Sandy campus in Texas, where both of the seven day annual
festivals were held when the
property was owned by the Radio (later, Worldwide) Church of God. The history of the
site goes back to 1952, when Herbert and Loma Armstrong went to
Gladewater in Texas for Passover and Unleavened Bread, and were overwhelmed by the number attending. While on the
train back home he wrote a letter to the brethen :
has made it plain we MUST HAVE an adequate place, the most centrally
located possible, so that the largest number can attend, for the
Festival of Unleavened Bread, and for those able or close enough,
even the Day of Pentecost...
Hammer, who owns a farm about seven miles west of Gladewater, offered
to donate and deed over to us several acres of the most beautiful
sloping, wooded land we ever saw, for this purpose. On this property
is a perpetually-flowing spring of crystal-clear water. We would also
need to have two narrow strips of land adjoining …
just so happened - or did it just “happen?” - that both
these adjoining strips of property went on the market for sale two or
three days before the Festival, and for years neither had been for
sale, nor could it have been bought! ...
shall have to build a tabernacle - not a costly one, but one large
enough - with dining area for our festivals, and plan the kind of
housing to be provided for all who come - perhaps well-planned but
3 annual festivals were held at the Big Sandy Tabernacle until 1967,
when Loma Armstrong died, after which the 7 days Unleavened Bread
Festival was discontinued, because most
members did not receive wages that week if they attended the
festival, consequently tithes and offerings reduced substantially.
Ambassador College opened at Big Sandy in 1964, and closed in 1997. The
whole property was sold in 2000.
Church of God, an International Community
Our search results
show a continuing interest in David Hulme and his church, the Church of God an
The church’s only public outreach remains its
quarterly magazine Vision.
The church’s website is accessible only to
members and donors.
However, for those seeking information on current teachings, the church’s internal quarterly Church of God News is
now online.2015 Festival of Tabernacles
Restored Church of God
Pack has been relatively quiet 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:
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
Pastor John Pinkston convicted of child abuse
Courthouse News Service reports that John
Pinkston, aged 78, former pastor of the Congregation of God 7th Day in
Kennesaw, Georgia, has been convicted of molesting two young girls at
his church. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment plus 10 years
thereafter on probation.
He founded the congregation in 1992, on leaving the Worldwide Church of God.
America’ website - covering news and events in the light of biblical
prophecy - has been taken down, and most of the main website content has
been removed, with only the live stream page for Sabbath services remaining. Sabbath live streaming will continue, but the Festival of Tabernacles will not be held in Kennesaw this year.
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
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.
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.
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
Church of God, a Worldwide Association
Video summaries of Day 1 & Day 2 of the International Ministerial Conference, which took place on 1st & 2nd June 2015.
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 &
“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
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.
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
It’s a pity that this freedom to disagree and be
frank on any issue does not extend to those people who pay the salaries
of the Ministerial Board of Directors.
When is Pentecost (Shavuot)?
Nehemiah Gordon discusses, in The Truth About Shavuot, how the Pharisees, Essenes and Sadducees, in late Second Temple times, interpreted differently “the morrow after the Sabbath” in order to calculate when to observe the ‘feast of weeks’. Most Churches of God teach that the annual holy days are all Sabbaths, but he explains that the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread is not defined as a Sabbath in Hebrew - the Day of Atonement is the only annual Sabbath.
(This has implications for the Wednesday Crucifixion doctrine, which requires a Thursday annual Sabbath. See also ‘Counting to Pentecost’ for an explanation of how and why days were counted differently in biblical times.)
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