In late 2013 David Hulme's little group had a major split with a large number of members breaking off to form the Church of God – A Family Community or The Father's Call. These men all thought they were all unified under Brian Orchard when they had their first church conference around the first of the year. They at least pretended to put on a unified front. Brian Orchard admits below that they were not unified. Like all good things in Armstrongism, it did not last. Power plays are never pretty and those who jump first tend to get burned the fastest
Steve Elliot, Peter Nathan and Ted Budge have now defected to other Church of God's
The following paragraph translates to: "Please don't be hasty and jump ship too and take your money with you! How will be be able to pay for our lifestyle if you do? We are God's most loyal men even through we worked diligently (to get our paychecks) for Joseph Tkach Sr disfellowshipping hundreds and hundreds of WCG members before we had the balls to do anything about it."Letter - February 25, 2014
Many are already aware that Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Elliott and Mr. & Mrs. Bob Rodzaj are joining the Nathans in moving to Living Church of God. Mr. and Mrs. Ted Budge have opted to return to the United Church of God. This is a difficult development and admittedly it disappoints my expectations.
That acknowledged, a change of plans is an opportunity to seek God’s will rather than our own. We prayed and fasted as a group, and here we are. Let’s trust that God will reveal His purpose.
It is apparent that the ministry came away from our January conference with two different mind sets. We thought we were of the one mind as we agreed on a purpose and goals statement but it is now clear that we were processing different meanings to the words and statements released. I don’t believe any of this was intentional – we just did not recognize the different understandings that existed. I am trying with my limited abilities to provide a clear path forward and to reassure those of you who do not want to join other existing organizations. What we set out to do is not dead. But we clearly have much work to do to reconcile ourselves to God and to be unified in our understanding of His will.
Certainly, let’s not vilify anyone for the decisions they prayerfully come to. Please do not feel under pressure to make hasty decisions about your future or feel critical about others having interaction with other COG groups. Loyalty is to Christ, who is head of the Church, and no other. We are instructed to leave all to follow Him.
I do not plan to join any of the existing COG groups in the foreseeable future. The other remaining members of the interim advisory board (Steve Andrews, Cliff Veal, Marshall Stiver and Bill Hutchison) assure me they feel the same way. As such, we intend to continue with the support of our other fine elders. The ministers who are leaving us have decided not to attend the conference this coming Sunday. They felt their presence would not be helpful to us at this time and I respect their decision. Accordingly, we will focus on who we are and where we are going. We will review our goals and purposes as developed during the January conference and from there look at ways we can move forward with some organized effort in shepherding the flock and preaching the gospel.
Please don’t be over burdened by these challenges. God will care for us. In many respects, these outcomes may ultimately facilitate bridges between God’s scattered people. We need to be the people God wants us to be and let Him use us to implement His will.