Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Birth of Meredith's Global Church (February 1993)

Issues of Global Church News and other letters made by GCG's leaders can be viewed in doc format here.

In late 1992 a certain lawsuit had been finally settled with WCG paying $750,000 in an out of court settlement in a lawsuit over a statement Meredith said.
Mrs. Leona McNair's libel lawsuit against the Worldwide Church of God, Roderick C. Meredith, and her ex-husband Raymond McNair, was finally ended in December when the suit was settled out of court for $750,000 (Pasadena Star-News, 11/21/92). (Ambassador Report 52.)
In December 1992 Roderick C. Meredith broke away from Tkach's WCG and established the Global Church of God. Shortly after that Roderick C. Meredith issued an open letter in February 1993 calling upon WCG members to leave and join his Global Church of God. (gcnmag93, pp. 1-3.)
Dear Brethren and Friends:

Greetings, from Southern California! We hope you're all well and are as enthusiastic as we are about "reviving" God's Work.

With the truly massive doctrinal changes, it is definitely time for men and women of faith and courage to stand up for the Truth of Almighty God. I deeply appreciate the letters, calls and outpouring of support from all of you and from many others. Thank you so much!
In other words he was calling for WCG members to leave WCG and join his Global Church of God.

He then seeks to inspire would be recruits by quoting some words from Chapter 30 of HWA's Autobiography.
But now we need to join together to do what Mr. Herbert Armstrong virtually told us to do in his autobiography. Mr. Armstrong wrote: "I know of evangelists who probably are sincere in supposing they are serving God—and who would like to be free to proclaim many truths they now hold back. They reason something like this: ‘If I go farther, and preach those things, I'll lose all my support. I'd be cut off from the ministry altogether. Then I could preach NOTHING. Better serve God by preaching as much of the biblical truth as possible, than to be prevented from preaching anything.'

"They are relying on the financial support of MEN, or of organizations of men. Anyone in that predicament is the SERVANT OF MEN, and NOT OF GOD, whether he realizes it or not" (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, vol. I, pg.528).

And later, on the same page, Mr. Armstrong wrote: "Of course God does work through human instruments. But I had to rely on GOD to lay it on the hearts of people to support the kind of preaching that obeys Isaiah 58:1 by crying ALOUD—lifting up my voice and showing the people their SINS!"
For me reading that quote was eerie as I well recall reading those very same words in Meredith's 2001 article.
I know that many of you reading this are ministers or various kinds of religious teachers. It is important for your eternal life—AND FOR ALL OF US—to understand the words and experiences of a great minister I am about to quote, who faced a similar dilemma in his life about being willing to stand up for TRUTH whether or not it hurt his professional or social standing. In volume 1 of his Autobiography, p. 528, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:
I know of evangelists who probably are sincere in supposing they are serving God—and who would like to be free to proclaim many truths they now hold back. They reason something like this: "If I go farther, and preach those things, I'll lose all my support. I'd be cut off from the ministry altogether. Then I could preach NOTHING. Better serve God by preaching as much of the Biblical truth as possible, than to be prevented from preaching anything."

They are relying on the financial support of MEN, or of organizations of men. Anyone in that predicament is the SERVANT of MEN, and NOT of God, whether he realizes it or not.

A man accosted me as I was walking along the gravel country road, between the Firbutte School and the Jeans School in the fall of 1933.

"You won't get far," he said. "You're preaching the straight truth of the Bible. That offends people. The Bible is like a sharp two-edged sword. It cuts—it reproves, corrects, rebukes—people won't support that kind of preaching! You won't get far."

But I was not relying on the support of PEOPLE. If people paid me, I would have to serve people. If I were to serve God, I would have to look solely to God for support!

Of course God does work through human instruments. But I had to rely on God to lay it on the hearts of people to support the kind of preaching that obeys Isaiah 58:1 by crying ALOUD—lifting up my voice and showing the people their SINS! (Roderick C. Meredith, Are You SURE?, Tomorrow's World, January-February 2001.)
Let us continue with Meredith's open letter.
So as you all know, a number of us here in the Pasadena area have now joined together, under Christ's direction, to organize the "Global Church of God.” We have legally incorporated under this name, and have chosen this name because it is as similar to the term "worldwide" as you can get in the English language.
Meredith states that he plans to set up home churches for GCG members to assemble in. 
We plan to organize "home churches” in cities all across the United States, and later in the international areas. Some few congregations will be large enough to require meeting in rented halls from the very beginning. But most will not. So we plan to have dozens of small groups of people mainly having their Sabbath services in the home of leading members.
Because of the widespread complains against authoritarian behavior Meredith assured would be members that he would consult with other ministers and that they would establish a Council of Elders.
As an Evangelist and the leading minister God has used to raise up this Work, I will supervise the appointments of other elders and deacons —but with much input and guidance from all our other leaders. We must all be sure that our motive in leadership is to serve the people, not to "lord it over them" (Mark 10:42-45). So all of us in leadership positions should earnestly strive, with God's help, to be warm, loving, approachable and genuinely serving in our relations with other brethren.

Later, we definitely plan to have a Council of Elders which will have a great deal of influence and authority. But now, as we are just getting started, we will follow the above biblical principles and have a more complete organization later when God makes that possible.
Meredith favorably compares GCG's numbers with the beginning of HWA's following.
God always starts things small when He works through human beings. Remember how Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong started with only one church and 19 brethren in 1934. And eighteen and one half years later, when I graduated from Ambassador College, there were only three local churches in the then "Radio Church of God"—Portland, Eugene and Pasadena, with a combined attendance of about 150 people.

By the time you receive this newsletter, the Global Church of God will have established seven local churches —all in the month of January! And our combined attendance figure will be about 175 people.
Meredith assures would be followers that if they support him he will be able to warn the world of the catastrophe that HWA and his imitators have constantly insisted will soon occur since the 1930s.
But if we are a Church that fasts, prays earnestly and truly obeys God, great growth will come in due time! I want to ask all of you to pray fervently that God will add more members and co-workers to our numbers so that a truly powerful Work may be accomplished.
Meredith assures those contemplating joining Meredith in establishing this splinter group that the donations have been used wisely.
Your tithes have already been put to good use! About 2000 Church Government and Church Unity booklets were mailed globally. Hundreds of calls have been received on the 800 phone number. A Pitney-Bowes postal machine is up and running. Thirty-two hundred square feet of furnished office space is now occupied by our headquarters staff. Powerful personal computers and a high-quality laser printer have been purchased, along with the latest software for mailing, accounting and desktop publishing. Stationery, envelopes and forms have been printed. Legal costs for incorporation have also been paid.

Recording equipment for taping both audio and video have been bought and preliminary contacts have already been made regarding the purchase of radio time in various major markets around the United States. We have already been accepted on our first radio station, so we will be on the air in a few weeks! Your pioneering spirit has made these things possible!
Later a lot of money would be rendered useless as a result of the split of 1998.

Meredith encourages would be members to encourage other WCG members to join Meredith's GCG.
How do we encourage others to join with us in this effort?

First, we all need to pray and fast and ask our heavenly Father to open the eyes of His truly faithful people to see what is happening, and to give them the faith and courage to act on the truth and join with us in reviving the Work of God.

Secondly, we do need to let all our friends and relatives know what is happening through personal contact, by telephone, and through correspondence. After all, if people don't even know what is happening they can never respond, can they?
Meredith encourages would be members to play nice when trying to convince other WCG members to join his GCG.
Yet, we must all try to ensure that we are reaching out to those we have reason to feel would be genuinely interested. And we must not harangue or pressure them as some others do, or “attack” the WCG or Mr. Tkach personally. This is not right and we will try to avoid this at all costs.

Remember, brethren, and please help all others remember who join us, that most of us were just in the WCG and we all know that many thousands of sincere, dedicated people are members there who may come with us next week, next month or next year as GOD opens their minds and brings each one along at his or her own pace.

So to our brethren in WCG, show love, kindness, mercy and patience!
Meredith states some of what he was planning to do.
Thirdly, as soon as finances and circumstances make possible, we plan to get on radio, publish a magazine, put “message ads" in newspapers and magazines and do all we can to preach and publish the gospel of the kingdom of God to all nations (Matthew 24:14).
Meredith advises would be followers to be nice when trying to persuade WCG members to switch allegiance to Meredith's GCG.

He also boasts that once GCG is up and running their shall once again warn the United States that they will soon be destroyed in a military attack by Germany in the near future.
When talking to WCG members or others, we should be free to explain our doctrinal difference and uphold the Truth vigorously—but without personal attacks on the WCG, its leaders, or any other organization. But, as God permits, we will preach powerfully about the coming RULE of Christ based on God's Law. We will WARN our nations of their SINS. And we will tell our English-speaking peoples of their national identity, their responsibility and of the coming Great Tribulation if they fail to heed!
Over twenty years later we are still waiting for such things to happen. Can someone finally say this is false advertising?

Meredith ends his open letter with the following words.
In Jesus' name, I ask all of you to pray fervently for the success of this Work of God! Satan will try to accuse, to thwart, to overthrow us in any and every way he can. If we are close to God, he will not succeed.

With absolute confidence that our cause is right, with complete faith that God will bless and guide us, we shall succeed in reviving the Work of the Great GOD. Let's all do our part with faith and zeal.
Over twenty years and a split later LCG members are still waiting for Meredith's dire prophecies to be fulfilled. Meredith is but a false prophet.


In February 1993 the first issue of Global Church News was released. Opening this magazine was an article by Roderick C. Meredith entitled "A Church is Born!" (gcnmag93, p. 4.)
Down through the centuries God's Church has gone through many "dark ages. " Misguided or fearful leaders would begin to compromise with the world and bring in pagan doctrines or practic­es (See Revelation 2:14-15 and 20). But always, after a time, God would "revive" His work through the efforts of faithful men and women. So it is today.
Continuity with HWA's WCG is emphasized.
Technically, as we know, the Global Church of God is not a "new" church. It is simply the result of Christ's Spirit moving to revive the Truth by raising up another "branch" of His Church on earth.
The establishment of GCG is compared with HWA breaking away from the Church of God (Seventh Day).
Mr. Herbert Armstrong was guided in doing this when he left the Stanberry, and later the Salem, "branches" of the Sardis Church and caused the Radio Church of God to become a completely separate entity. Most of us learned the Truth because of what God led Mr. Armstrong to do.
Meredith boasts that many people will look on the early days of GCG as historic.
So the formation of the Global Church of God is a historic occasion! In years to come, multiple millions of people may look back on this time and on what all of us are doing. If we so yield to God that we can be used to preach and publish Christ's gospel to much of the world, we will indeed be blessed. If we unitedly get behind this newborn Work of God and impact the lives of millions, we will certainly be laying up treasure in heaven.
Meredith warns that difficulty awaits them in building up GCG.
But it will not be easy. As Mr. Armstrong used to say, "We've got to work with all our might as if the result depended on us. Then, we need to pray with all our hearts as if the result depended totally on God." For God doesn't do His Work for us, but through us. And we can do nothing apart from God and His Spirit guiding, leading, motivating and empower­ing us....
Meredith boasts that those who build up GCG are pioneers.
For you and I, and all of us, are "pioneers"! We will have to endure the challenges and hard­ships of pioneers. But we will also have the deep satisfaction and the blessings of those who were willing to exercise faith and courage in the pur­suit of the Truth. And we will have demonstrat­ed that we have the genuine love of God to carry His Message to a sick and dying world that so desperately needs it.
Meredith ends the article with these words.
So let us back off and see the Big Picture. Let us realize that in spite of trials and persecu­tions, this is indeed a very special and wonderful time in our lives and in the life of the Church of the Living God!
And so another COG group arose. GCG quickly emerged as the largest COG group to emerge out of the splintering of WCG. However it was not long before it was eclipsed by the rise of UCG in 1995. Many left WCG in 1995 but many of them chose UCG over Meredith's GCG.

In 1998 a power struggle erupted between Meredith and the Board. Meredith left convincing about 80% of GCG to join him in establishing LCG.

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