Sunday, March 8, 2009

Roderick C. Meredith: A Biographical Sketch--Part 5: The Global Years

Roderick Meredith has been disfollowshiped from the very church he did so much to build. Now he must start again. He wanted to be HWA's successor, now the opportunity to play that role had now arrived and he now begins to try and fill HWA's shoes. And so the Global Church of God is born. He soon starts up a radio program, The World Ahead, accompanied by a magazine of the same name for recruitment among the general public. A magazine for members, Global Church News, start up, fulfilling the role the now defunct Good News magazine previously played in WCG. This narrative now continues.

1993: Meredith begins broadcasting The World Ahead radio program. One listener's reaction to the program may be seen in the first letter of AR52 June 1993. A clip that I assume to be from one of those broadcasts ("Rod-like a fishing rod") can be heard briefly in this parody.

Leona McNair case ends with WCG paying a $750,000 out of court settlement (AR52 June 1993).

March: Gerald Flurry denounces Meredith in Philadelphia Trumpet editorial in order to ensure his members do not turn to him (AR54 February 1994, 'Flurry's Philadelphians').

Gerald Waterhouse of WCG denounced Meredith during the Feast of Tabernacles in the Philippines in these words, "he loves to wield the rod, he loves authority when he is the one who has it" (AR55 May 1994).

1994: According to AR54 February 1994 GCG has '85 fellowship groups in nine countries', some of which are video groups. Carl McNair joins Meredith with some of his Helena, Montana congregation. Some members are rejected due to agreeing with Dankenbring's understanding of the Holy Days and 'judaizing' (that is using Hebrew words such as Torah or Tanach).

Larry Salyer, Bruce Tyler, minister in Canberra, minister Bill Swanson, and Carol Little, daughter of Stanley Rader joins GCG. Meredith purchases a house that makes some members disappointed with its opulence. British Armstrongites alleged to flock to Flurry's PCG more then with Meredith's GCG (AR55 May 1994). GCG is said to have gained 6000 WCG members this year alone (AR57 January 1995).

1995: The World Ahead becomes a TV program. Also 'Mark Kellner reported in the April 24 issue of Christianity Today that Global now has 7,000 attending weekly services and took in $3.5 million in 1994.' (AR59 June 1995). In an interview with In Transition it is stated that 'GCG now serves about 11,000 people, counting coworkers who receive tapes from GCG headquarters, in San Diego, Calif.' (Emphasis in original).

Some WCG ministers are persuaded to join GCG by being offered a salary equal to their pay in WCG (AR58 April 1995).

In the wake of Tkach Sr.'s infamous Christmas Eve sermon 20,000 members flock, not to Meredith, but to the new United Church of God, an International Association. Some GCG members go to UCGia (AR59 June 1995). GCG's reaction to this development is recorded by former GCG member Norman Edwards:
UCG-IA [was] formed in the spring of 1995. It was a devastating blow to the GCG; they had hoped that most of those WCG ministers and congregations would come to their organization, but only a few did. Many ministers had worked for Mr. Meredith before and did not want to work for him again' (Norman Edwards, Servants’ News, Jan/Feb 2000: Continuing the Work of the Worldwide Church of God Part 2).
Interview with In Transition, in issue 7 and issue 9.

May 8: Articles of Incorporation amended upon approval by Board of Directors.

Dibar Apartian, Daniel Barnes, Maurice Benson, Raymond E. Clore, Lambert Greer, Dr. Floyd Lochner, Rand Millich, James Taylor and Don Turk joins GCG (AR59 June 1995).

1996: Norman Edwards, author of the 'Friends from Pasadena' letter, leaves GCG. He writes a paper, 'How the Eternal Govern through Humans?' which is said to have caused 'many' GCG members to leave (AR62 July 1996).

GCG goes into financial trouble needing to cut back on TV time purchases. In the fall GCG takes a $1.2 million loan in order to maintain operations. Seven administrative staff were laid off (AR64 February 1997).

Meredith condemns conspiracy theories in May-June Global Church News (AR62 July 1996).

Richard Ames, the husband of Meredith's sister, Kathryn, join GCG. Raymond McNair falls out of favor with Meredith and has his duties cut back (AR63 September 1996).

According to Wikipedia Meredith's mother Mildred Kohane Meredith dies.

1997: Many members remain fearful of a Jesuit conspiracy. Myron Martin condemns Meredith in open letter (AR66 September 1997). In June-July 1997 Global Church News John Ogwyn emphasizes traditional Armstrongite abstinace from military service (AR69 July 1998).

August 20: Meredith writes a letter to the atheist/agnostic/deist Painful Truth.

1998: GCG has about 8,000 members meeting each week in about 275 congregations and video groups with The World Ahead on nearly a hundred TV and radio stations. John Trechak, influenced by David Hulme's contentious split from UCGia, opines that Meredith's GCG will emerge as the dominant Armstrongite church (AR70 October 1998).

And so out of all the very many contenders for HWA's vacant throne Meredith has emerged as one of the most prominent contenders in the world of Armstrongism. Things seem to be going quite well for GCG right now.

To be continued...

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 6,


  1. Let me compliment you Redfox on this very thorough research of the WCG history,esp. Rod Meredith, and his part in the flawed system of the Armstrongs. The majority of the COGs will continue to proselytize tithe payers, unfortunately. But your research will help those who really want to see the system for what it is, to come out of it before getting hooked by the brainwashing.
    I did not find the interlude that you mention on the site link? Hope it is just a temporary fluke.

  2. Thank you for your kind compliments. I am glad you like it. That interlude will be posted soon.