Sunday, October 13, 2013

Living Church of God's Shrinking Ranks

The once dynamic work of Roderick C Meredith is no longer.  The great leader he assumed himself to be while in the Worldwide Church of God is not able to draw in new members.  Ever since he apostatized after the WCG paid for his libel suit brought on by Leona McNair, he has lead one failing organization after another.

From the bankruptcy of Global to his now shrinking LCG, Meredith no longer has the drawing power to bring in wayward COG members.  With the growing dissension in the LCG ranks in Charlotte to the backlash against his son potentially taking over after his death, Meredith is losing ground.

Usually when a COG holds a feast site some where in the world it's numbers swell with visitors and COG member's who Feast hop. Not so with LCG any more.

Doug Winnail writes:

Our preliminary figures indicate that about 9,500 individuals attended services or watched the live-streaming from the Feast of Tabernacles this year. This represents about a 1% increase in attendance in the USA, while attendance was down a bit in some international areas. Dr. Meredith has indicated he would like to start planning for a General Ministerial Conference to be held here in Charlotte on May 5-7, 2014.

You can bet Meredith is going to hold a conference!  Those ministers need to be whipped into shape.  The less members the less money being sent in.  Instead of getting rid of some of the dead weight in Charlotte and some of his worthless ministers, he will resort to an endless trail of letters shouting at members that the time is short and they need money for the final push.


Anonymous said...

This man, like his apostate mentor HWA, has taught for the fleece & made a prey of the people!
& like HWA whose fruits were sharp & bitter he'll come to his end & his work will come to nought in like manner (Acts 5:38).

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the membership numbers are for the UCG and COGAWA? I haven't seen any reliable figures anywhere.

Byker Bob said...

There is a dude in Wadsworth that is certainly aware of this situation. But, when Global folded, that was the first time members could have chosen him, and the majority passed. No reason to believe they would go with him now. His ego is about the size of a rising full moon!

It would not surprise me in the least, though, if the Roddomites begin to splinter in the coming year. They'll have their own leaders, and will avoid Dave Pack like the plague.


Anonymous said...

How would you like to be sitting in the audience at the next ministerial conference? Imagine hearing the same old lines from the overbearing thug who calls himself a minister of God. And when it is over having to pretend that you were inspired by it all. You might want to leave the LCG, but you have that house payment to make and are unqualified for anything but a part time job in this economy. So, the slave masters themselves are enslaved.

Joe Moeller said...

Well, in all fairness, 1% growth is not SHRINKING as stated in the headline. In fact, in the increasingly secular United States, any growth in any church of any denomination is actually a good job.

Pack claimed growth of 15 to 20% at his USA FOT sites. Was a chunk of that LCG expatriates?

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Corky said...

It has to feel kinda sad and lonely to be that one couple in that picture. They have to look around and ask, "where is everybody, where did they all go?"

Where did they all go? Home, probably. They woke up and left. Armstrong's followers have been leaving since the 70s...and why not, he was proved to be wrong and what's the point in following false prophets or his minions?

Anonymous said...

I don't know membership numbers.

Maybe if you go to the UCG's HQ and bow down before the UCG's giant portrait of HWA there, and ask, the answer will be revealed to you!

AFAIK the UCG lost about one half of it's ministers and one about one third of it's members in the recent UCG/COGAWA split.

Byker Bob said...

It is very difficult to keep accurate track of any type of real membership statistics when it is in the best interest of all of these groups to inflate them. Let's face it, perception is very important in that a sudden loss, or a significant loss in numbers would make some believe that God's blessing might have left their group, leaving it in a downward spiral. This places all manner of subtle issues on the table, not the least of which is their place of safety. While Flurry's numbers have been falling for years, he's the strictest and has been hammering everyone for years that all members outside of his group are Lao. Pack is also strict, but despite his hostile takeover attempt, the only way he appears to gain any numbers is through chicanery with statistics.

The 9,000's number is about 50% higher than the statistical estimates (which were said to be generous themselves) recently published over on the Silenced blog.

I guess it's like what used to happen at our local dirt track when my wife would take the opportunity to go use the restroom when the little cars were having their main event. When she returned, she'd ask, "Who's winning?" Heck, I went there to see the big sprintcars, and modifieds, and late models, so about the little cars I'd usually reply, "It doesn't matter."


Allen C. Dexter said...

Yes, Corky. It was 1975 when I finally decided to depart. Tried to keep in touch through Ernest Martin and kept the Sabbath for awhile, then, I started getting really smart and steadily turned my back of the whole kit and kaboodle.

Anonymous said...

I remember when I joined UCG back about 3 years ago before I soon left less than a year later(!) that the minister said they (speaking for the whole congregation) were encouraged by my desire to join as it demonstrated that their evangelical efforts were bearing fruit. It made me think that probably his comment demonstrated that there was little growth in the COG. At the time I couldn't understand why this would be so as I was a firm believer that they taught "the TRUTH," but since then I've been weighing up their arguments with various Christian and ex-members counterarguments and learning the Armstrongist position is at best superficial and at worst completely wrong. In any event, I also recall sermons wherein the minister would go on about how wonderful the UCG is and quote statistics about how it's growing blah blah blah (which I've been told still go on today!). There was 1 sermonette I think it was, however, that gave me further reason to leave UCG and it was a decent PowerPoint presentation showing the huge numbers of young people keeping the FOT back in the 1970s and how most of these same people ended up leaving the WCG as they got older and the WCG revised its beliefs. He then showed how very few keep the FOT today. Although it kind of was a depressing sermonette it opened my eyes to the fact that not even the ACOGs could retain the young people in their churches even though they supposedly "have the Truth"! It got me thinking that they must know something that others (like myself who didn't grow up in "the Church") don't. And later I discovered what that something was! i.e. false prophecies, child abuse, corruption, incest, bullying tactics, etc., etc.! Just as bad (if not worse!) as the RCC and its sordid past! No better IMHO!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 4:49, back in the 1970s almost everyone in the WCG was young. If you look at pictures of Rod Meredith from the 1970's even he looked young, or should I say boyish.

I remember in services, it was always proudly pointed out that most of our membership was young, whereas mainstream christianity only appealed to old people close to dying.

It was a young persons church for sure, it appealed to people who wanted to escape the tribulation and start rebuilding the world under God's rule. What motivation does a 70 year old have to escape the tribulation? I have a problem understanding that. As I have got older myself my energy for the promised "new world" has gone, now maybe it is the fear of death that keeps people going to church. I believe a church can have no vitality without young people in its membership, and as you said most of the second generation WCG people left.

Anonymous said...

I think it funny how so many ex COGers from the 70's era claim to have washed their hands of armstrongism yet decades later these people find sites like this.

Seems like there is a lingering interest or curiosity, much like a person looking up an old friend to see how they've fared.

Byker Bob said...

Anon 1:31, I did find these sites while looking for some old friends. I also found some of the friends, as well.

I am very glad that I did, too. There were some things I needed to restudy from ground zero, remaining things that therapy had not taken care of, and which were still causing inner conflict and negativity. Had I never signed on to the internet, these things would most likely not have been resolved. I also made some new friends, and have enjoyed being part of their recovery, too.

Armstrongism is a very powerful modifier. Your journey has just barely begun when you walk out of services for the last time. In order to really leave it all behind, and resume forward progress, you have to be determined and firmly rooted in your efforts to diffuse and debunk it. You can't do a half-assed job of this, or some of the bad symptoms will remain. So, there is a method to the madness.


Anonymous said...

Tagging on to what my buddy BB said---- our vintage 1970s testimony is valuable. How awesome would it have been if the people from the 1930s and 1940s had been able to share their experiences with our parents that were just tuning in in the 50s and 60s?

Had Herby's prophecy interpretation failures from back then been known to them, think of all the people whose parents wouldn't have wasted their tithes. How about the people who could have gone to good accredited colleges, gotten degrees and had better careers? Some of us didn't survive because of Armstrong's medical doctrine that he didn't apply to himself. There are hundreds of people who would probably never have suffered from depression and anxiety disorders, and people who wouldn't have gotten into alcoholism. Think of all the kids who wouldn't have been abused.

When you look at it that way, it's almost a sacred duty for us to hang around and share!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:21

Amen brother! ;-)