Monday, February 16, 2009

Roderick C. Meredith: A Biographical Sketch--Part 2: The Soaring Years

In the previous post we saw how Roderick C. Meredith became ensnared in Armstrongism, became a student at Ambassador College and came to be ordained an Evangelist by Herbert W. Armstrong. We continue from there.

1953: Student pastor of Portland, Oregon. Enters faculty. (1953 Envoy, p. 42).

Writes first Plain Truth article 'Man's Greatest Battle' (Plain Truth, June 1953, pp. 9-10,12), an article on the impending destruction of the world and the Armstrongite believer's battle to be saved. Uses MacArthur's speech to Congress to argue that since solving problems via war 'has had its last chance' we are doomed and salvation may only be found by battling Satan, which can only be done by following the church. That speech of MacArthur is still used by Armstrongites to this day.

Hoeh develops 1975 prophesy, with the Great Tribulation set to begin in 1972. This doctrine is adopted and taughtby the church (see Pam Dewey and 'Why 1975?').

1955: Associate editor of Plain Truth, faculty advisor of Portfolio and Drama class. Spanish club member. Over-all evaluator for AC clubs. Envoy supervisory committee. (1955 Envoy, p. 11).

Around this time he became one of the co-presenters of the World Tomorrow. However with the rise of Garner Ted Armstrong he went off the air.

Fellow Evangelist Raymond McNair marries Leona, whom he himself baptized. (AR29 October 1984).

1956: Marries Margie Helen McNair. They would later have four children.

In the 1956 Envoy he is described as fulfilling these positions: Instructor in Bible and Speech. Associate Editor of Plain Truth. Faculty adviser of Portfolio and Drama class (1956 Envoy, p. 14).

1957: His profile is the same as in the previous Envoy: Instructor in Bible and Speech. Asso. Editor of Plain Truth and Good News. (1957 Envoy, p. 8).

1958: Instructor in Bible and Speech. Asso. Editor of Plain Truth and Good News. He had conducted evangelistic campaigns in Fresno and London. Founder and Pastor of San Diego. Gained MA in Theology. (1958 Envoy, p. 21, PDF p. 22).

1959: 2ed Vice President of Radio Church of God. Asso. Professor of Theology and Speech. Editor of Plain Truth and Good News. (1959 Envoy, p. 16, PDF p. 19).

1960: June 1960 PT announce his upcoming London campaign. An announcement of him being en route to England may be seen in p. 3 of the June 1960 Good News. LCG's booklet 'God's Church through the Ages' mentions this in an attempt to bolster Meredith's authority:
'The June 1960 Plain Truth magazine carried a special announcement from Mr. Armstrong to the British readership, announcing a series of campaigns in Britain by Mr. Meredith. Mr. Armstrong wrote: "Mr. Meredith is fully consecrated, utterly sincere.… He is going to tell you things you can’t hear from any other source… you’ll be shocked, surprised—you’ll hear more real truth in one night of these meetings than most people learn in years of the preaching of our day!"'.
This quote is used to bolster his authority. If Meredith truly was so great why is it that it was Garner Ted Armstrong who would emerge as the main, and eventually sole, presenter of the World Tomorrow? If Meredith has the right to lead why does he have to resort to quoting obscure announcements of some evangelistic campaign? He is simply trying to make it appear that HWA greatly respected him to make himself appear legitimate to his Armstrongite followers. This is also used to obscure and dilute any negative information about Roderick C. Meredith the potential recruit may come across.

That Plain Truth also contains a brief account by HWA of how Meredith came to be convinced he was called to the ministry on p. 4.

Teaches speaking and Theology in the opening term of the new Bricket Wood, England campus (Plain Truth, May, 1960).

1961: Became Superintendent of US ministry. (Worldwide News, January 2, 1978, ' Evangelists Honored on 25th Anniversary', p. 3).

Writes the article 'The Shocking Truth about Queer Men' in December 1961 Plain Truth, pp. 3-4, 12-14, 36-39. Here he absurdly blames allegedly women dominated settings and lack of physical activity for producing homosexuality.

1962: His wife Margie Helen Meredith completes her degree at Ambassador College (Worldwide News, June 21, 1976, p. 1).

1963: According to Wikipedia Meredith's father, H. Carl Meredith dies.

June 3: Ordains Joseph Tkach as a local elder. (AR41 March 1989).

1964: Wrote article in September Plain Truth, 'Crisis Flares into Bitter Racial Riot', condemning civil disobedience, in which he says, 'It is the responsibility of every true minister of Christ to preach submission to law and constituted authority', which would later prove to be ironic considering later actions he took during the 1979 receivership and the 1998 split (p. 47, PDF p. 49, middle column, as quoted in AR8, March 1979).

1965: In his high position he taught ministers to regularly visit and check up on any possible problems the member may be experiencing. For example in one ministerial letter he instructs ministers to send letters detailing prospective members, with copies sent to the District Superintendent and Headquarters.

1966: gained D. Th. Degree from the unaccredited Ambassador College. (Worldwide News, January 2, 1978, ' Evangelists Honored on 25th Anniversary', p. 3).

He wrote the Plain Truth article, ‘What all Husbands Need to Know’, June 1966. I was quite surprised to see him write on p. 32 (PDF p. 34) the following: 'He [the husband] should realize that many wives tend to stagnate, become bored with life, bog down in their use of English, their knowledge of world affairs and their intellectual development in general.' What a high opinion of wives expressed here! I can't say whether he would agree with this statement today or not.

1967: Prof. Of Speech and Theology. Guidance Counselor for Men. Senior Editor of Plain Truth and Good News. Board of Trustees. 2ed Vice Chairman of AC. Minister. Envoy 1967, p. 10-11, PDF 13-14.

1968: Uncle C. Paul Meredith dies.

Devised tithe monitoring by computer initiating the practice of monitoring of the tithing of members. (AR2 'Computer Snooper').

1969: Wrote a letter to the entire ministry admitting that many were suffering serious diseases, including cancer, but still the no doctors teaching must continue to be taught.

1970: Had a retina correction in contradiction to the church's no medicine teaching.

Spoke to a Speech class that Ministers should drive away from a member's house and write the visit report out of the member's sight.

1971: On the Board of Trustees. Vice-President for Student and Alumni Affairs. Professor of Speech and Theology. He also appears in a photo of the Board of Trustees on PDF p. 15. (Envoy 1971, p. 11, PDF p. 17).

He helped to break the news of GTA's adulteries to a certain minister. (AR2 'Son of the Legend')

He revealed the existence of a letter from a Hawai'ian masseuse to Al Carozzo that revealed that GTA, while in exile there, visited a message parlour. (AR2 'The Profligate Son')

1972: left Superintendentship of US ministry to become Deputy Chancellor of AC Pasadena.

Failure of the prophecy that the Great Tribulation would begin in 1972. That doctrine was developed by Herman Hoeh in 1953. Some quotes of his various failed prophecies may be seen in A Treasury of Famous Prophecies and The Prophecy Game.

To be continued...

Part 1, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6


  1. And my friend, no article on Rod and his little cult of horrors would be complete without this article!

  2. This may be a little off the subject, but it is interesting (on one of your links)that in the meeting of the ministry with the Armstrongs at the time of one of Ted's oft repeated repentances,at the A-frame in Colorado, that the ministers that were brought there by HWA appeared to have no clue as to what was going on-
    Antion states,"Of course, one of our problems was that we went out to Colorado totally cold. There was not a word on the plane. Not-and I'm telling you-not a word as to what we would say when we got there. There was no stated purpose. In fact, I really didn't quite know why we were going...."

    It is quite apparent that this was staged by the Armstrongs, in order to convince the ministers present that Ted was repentant. After all the WCG income was dropping because Ted was no longer broadcasting.
    This happened after DLA wrote the article on qualifications of a minister, and it indicated that any questionable reputation would render the candidate guilty of immorality, unqualified.
    It is so strange that supposedly intelligent men could never put 1+1 together and conclude that the Armstrongs were a corrupt team to begin with.