Sunday, May 1, 2011

UCG In Another Church Meeting Hall Controversy

UCG seems to have big issues with congregations that build their own buildings.  After decades of meeting in school gyms, Masonic and Elk's Lodges, many COG groups decided to build their own permanent buildings.  Some in WCG started this and it carried over into UCG.

An earlier UCG Church hall controversy happen in West Virginia around 2002-2004.  A UCG Church member in Bluefiield was a branch bank manger for a local West Virginia bank.  During her tenure there she embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars.  She was generous with that stolen money and helped UCG build their own church building in the area.  Later when the US government found out she had been stealing money they repossessed  the building from UCG and prohibited further meetings there.

Now switch to Houston Texas.  After meeting in eleven different locations from May of 1995 to December 1996  a wealthy group of  UCG members in Houston Texas decided they wanted to build their own building.

From The Journal:

On that day UCG-AIA president Les McCullough and treasurer Tom Kirkpatrick, both of the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, addressed a combined meeting of Houston North and South. Mr. Kirkpatrick had served as associate pastor of Houston North during the initial planning for the building.

The purchase of the property and construction of the building at 20737 Broze Rd., in the Houston suburb of Humble, were made possible by a large donation from a Houston couple, along with other special offerings, fruit sales and other fund-raisers, and other donations from the Houston North brethren.

The Journal spoke with Houston North pastor Jim Franks, who described the building as a "great blessing to be used primarily for Sabbath services and other church-related activities."

No plans for its use as a Feast site are foreseen, Mr. Franks said. The 10,000-square-foot metal structure is comprised of an auditorium that can seat 600 people, four classrooms, a room for parents to care for small children, an office, a kitchen and a large foyer suitable for weddings and other events.

"If you can remember what the Feast-ad building on campus was like, our building is similar to that," he said.

He was referring to what used to be called the Festival Administration Building on the former Ambassador College campus in Big Sandy.

With the Houston North church the largest United congregation (about 300 in regular attendance), the brethren there have faced a struggle to find a suitable location to conduct services.

During the first 18 months of United's existence (May 1995 to December 1996), Houston North met in 11 locations. The last meeting hall (Magrill Elementary School) informed the church in 1997 it must find another location for services.
The school granted the congregation an extension on its lease while the brethren explored other possibilities. At that point the process began of obtaining permission from United's home office in Milford, Ohio, to purchase property and construct a building for the congregation.

Unusual situation

Church officials are quick to point out that Houston North's situation is an unusual one and that the construction of the building was made possible by generous private donations and by the more than 100 members who labored for countless hours to obtain such a facility.

Now jump to 2011.  No one from UCG had any idea that there would be a huge split in the Church and a new group forming.  The  problem with United was that the people who paid for the building are now part of COGWA.  COGWA is demanding the building stay with them, and UCG is being a hardass and saying the building belongs to them.

Apostle Malm has this little blurb today:

On Jan. 30, 1999, the members of the Houston North congregation overwhelmingly elected to grant UCG a special warranty deed. The brethren were confident this document was written in such a way that the building would be held in trust for sole use by the local group. This action was taken in a spirit of trust. Thus, a deed along with a “side agreement” was prepared. The wording of the 1999 Church survey makes the wishes of the brethren quite clear:

“We can deed the property in the name of UCGIA, which is a 501(c)3 corporation, to be held in trust for the local congregation. The property would be controlled by the local congregation and could not be sold without local approval. … If UCGIA were to dissolve or abandon our fundamental beliefs, then the local group would still maintain control. The property would not be lost. All of this would be written out as a part of the deed, similar to what is currently done with a restricted donation.”
It was the expectation of the brethren that in the event of an irreconcilable dispute with UCG, the building would revert back to the local group. Contained in the original documents was language that attempted to address what would happen to the facility in case of dispute, but no one at that time could have foreseen what eventually transpired at the end of 2010. As a result of the unforeseen events of December 2010, the language of the documents proved problematic for purposes of protecting the rights of the local brethren to regain title to the building. Though the local congregation has expressed both a moral and lawful claim, after consulting with legal sources, it was unclear as to what the outcome of a legal challenge to retain control of the building would be. However, the local group in Houston has not waived any of its legal rights, and the situation remains under review.
Over the past few months there has been dialogue with UCG concerning the possibility of leasing or purchasing the building, but the conditions for lease or sale imposed by UCG were not satisfactory to the Houston North membership. Based on demands from UCG to vacate by April 26, the only alternatives to the brethren were to leave or face a lawsuit. Thus, the Last Day of Unleavened Bread was the final time for the congregation to use Broze Hall.

These two UCG buildings are not an isolated case.  There are other issues going on with other UCG buildings.  COGWA is demanding use of the same buildings as UCG.  Just more COG 'Christian ethics' on display.


DennisCDiehl said...

Yes, I've to say I didn't foresee Xmas, Easter, Sunday School and Trinitarian gumbo stew coming either...

Black Ops Mikey said...

"We are not divided,
"All one body we...."

My recomendation is that they all go to the courts of this world and have them sort it out with unconverted lawyers representing each side because these days the Armstrongist churches of God simply don't have top of the line litigatenous in house lawyers Herbert Armstrong had in order to protect his personal interests as he went onward to break civil and criminal law.

Since they have no clue that they will judge angels and have absolutely no expertise or experience to ever qualify to do so, they have to publicly declare incompetence and ignorance and let professionals duke it out for them under the watchful eye of the government.

Since they have all proved themselves to be complete and total fools, believing such delusional things as they have an unbroken line from the first century as the legacy of the original church established by Christ, believing that the United States is a lost tribe of Israel when DNA alone (with 6 other proofs) can prove them wrong and continual wrong decisions and direct violation of Scripture, let alone the laws of the land, it isn't clear that they should even have church buildings because as far as any of us can tell, they don't even seem to be religious beyond throwing around a few religious sounding phrases.

They lie and then they take the money.

That's about all anyone could ever conclude is their ultimate purpose -- otherwise they are completely empty crazy people.

This sets such a terrible example to anyone who might even begin to consider looking into becoming a Christian.

Have they never read that they will have to give account, when they can't even keep track of their financial accounting, let alone spiritual.

Black Ops Mikey said...

I know: Saw the church in half right down the middle and one of them takes it off to another piece of property and the other gets half the building in place.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line: when it comes to the WCG and it's offshoots, it is always all about money. Pure and simple. Then power & control. Everything else is filler.

Steve said...

Jimmy: It's MY church!
Denny: No it's not. It's MY church!
Jimmy: No! It's MINE! Mommy Clyde. Denny won't leggo of my eggo! Whaaaaa!

Allen C. Dexter said...

The pettiness and juvenility of it all! So sure that they were the one "true" body that would endure until the end, and then they start fueding like schoolyard kids and split up, with all the attendant problems.

How fortunate we are to be bystanders who can get a good chuckle out of it.

Anonymous said...

I understand the new Pastor is Pastor M. T. Hall.. :)

Anonymous said...

I have an idea, which is based on our understanding of Christ's words in the New Testament.

We demand the ministry alone bares the tithing costs, upkeep, and consequences of being servants of God. They alone bare the burdens of their actions and inactions. They all must be gainfully employed outside of church, holding jobs during the week and their reputations at work with their employers or customers is their judgment of ministerial qualification.

Also, the church body meets and fellowships in synagogues and temples and works hard to bolster the entire community they meet with as brothers in faith.

Finally, any ecclesiastical problems are discussed at length with the rabbis, and are voted on by committee. Meanwhile, any civil problems are solved in the civil courts of law.

By God, it's a radically simple idea. Imagine Spanky, Flurry, Pack, Junior, or Denny offloading cement in a wheelbarrel during the week, and having to follow scholarly rabbinical counsel on matters of scriptural debate on the Sabbath.

Otherwise, they must obey the Roman See and their decrees and become part of the Catholic priesthood.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Allen C. Dexter said, "How fortunate we are to be bystanders who can get a good chuckle out of it."

MY COMMENT - It's fun to watch the WCG splinters busy being "a light to the world". These idiots are so delusional that they think they will rule the world with Christ in the millenium when they can't even rule themselves in this world.

Please pass the popcorn. It's so fun to watch these clowns.


DennisCDiehl said...

A client was telling me about their wonderful one man show megachurch pastor and how he EVEN gave money from the collection plate to members in need...She thought that was amazing..

until I said, "IT'S NOT HIS MONEY!! Anyone can give offering money's your money."

She said, "I never thought of that" (scary huh?)

I told her to let her red flashing warning lights caution her IF the guy ever buys a jet because he can't be bothered with airports and security stuff on his important trips.

She got reeeeeeeeeal quiet...

"He didn't? I said..
"He did" she said
"In fact he bought two and they are hangered at the downtown airport. How did you know?"


Allen C. Dexter said...

That's choice, Dennis. I hope that lady keeps the thought process going. Maybe you sent a little "saving grace" her way.

Anonymous said...

"Since they have no clue that they will judge angels and have absolutely no expertise or experience to ever qualify to do so..."

Yep. Another thing I didn't understand- in WCG, and in most of the splinters, the membership literally listen, pray, and pay. This behavior isn't due to laziness, or lack of volunteer spirit, but it is the law. Members are forbidden from doing more than passing out songbooks and folding chairs. Which doesn't jive with the NT- members were responsible for the spreading of the gospel, if I remember Acts correctly. In the WCG, members couldn't intellectually handle even promoting their own beliefs, in some instances. That was the job of the ministry. You had to be trained.

So, I guess I am confused as to how the members are being prepared to rule the f****ing planet. Wait- I think I remember RCM saying something about how being taught obedience was the training the members were getting in order to rule the entire f****ing planet. Amazing. I guess the bloody and freshly returned Christ would implant that special knowledge when he came. I mean, did any of you, over your time in the WCG, feel like you got any closer to being intellectually and emotionally ready to rule the entire planet with an iron fist???

Paul Ray

Anonymous said...

All these comments sound like a bunch of foolish nonsense. Make some, please. Sense. Do you even know how?