Wednesday, May 6, 2015

How Many Living Church of God Ministers Does It Take?

The Charlotte Ministerial Elite

Guest article:

It looks like LCG is preparing for the death of Rod Meredith by amassing ministers in Charlotte at LCG headquarters. What better way to ensure that ministers will ally with you in a split than to bestow upon them the honor of being brought to headquarters? It feeds their egos and makes them feel special and extra worthy. It is likely that the thought is that by keeping them close, they will retain them instead of losing them to other ACOG’s in the turmoil of the imminent LCG split after Meredith kicks the bucket. Although Meredith has recently named Ames or even Gerald Weston as his heirs to the LCG throne, most in LCG speculate that the split will be Jim Meredith vs Doug Winnail. I like to imagine the battle being like that episode of Star Trek where Kirk and Spock are forced to fight each other on Vulcan. Jim Meredith is impulsive, overly-confident and short-sighted but he carries the Meredith name. Winnail is slow to act but cunning and calculated. Oh the suspense!

At present there are somewhere between 115-125 ministers in the entire Living Church of God (which ironically is dying).  At last count there were nearly 20 ministers in Charlotte alone. It is rare for them to preach on the Sabbath (we are primarily subjected to one of 3 sermons Mr. Meredith repeats over and over again, hearing from anyone else is rare). Rod McNair and Mike Desimone are officially the pastors of the Charlotte congregation if anyone needs anointed or wants marriage counseling or whatever but most would rather suffer than call McNair and Desimone is still wet behind the ears. 

There is no real explanation as to why so many ministers would be in Charlotte when those left in the field are spread so thinly. It is frustrating because there are so many members out there, who never or very rarely get to see a minister; who are dedicated to a church that would rather keep bringing ministers to headquarters and inventing jobs and fancy titles instead of using them to feed the flock. It would make more sense to hire trained professionals to fill these positions than to take ministers from the field. It seems kind of backwards.  One would think that the ministers would, in fact, miss ministering if that is where their hearts truly were. Unfortunately and predictably, they get to headquarters and enjoy having a title, being part of the upper echelon and having their butts kissed because “they are from headquarters”.  Forget those long hours driving to meet remote members or to meet potential new converts. Forget all that grueling work counseling and anointing members, visiting the sick, helping the poor, etc. 

Sadly, coming to work at LCG headquarters always leads to a huge let down as they learn how much backbiting and politicking goes on. They soon realize that “God’s true work” isn’t really that Godly and that men who they always looked up to are frightfully carnal with enormous egos that demand to be fed daily. But hey, you still get a free company car and a free gas card even though you only have to drive 4.3 miles to get to work every day so it eases the pain just a little.

The following LCG ministers are already suckling from the Meredith power tit here in Charlotte:

  • Rod Meredith
  • Jim Meredith
  • Richard Ames
  • Doug Winnail
  • Dexer Wakefield
  • Rod McNair
  • Scott Winnail
  • Peter Nathan
  • Mario Hernandez
  • Wally Smith
  • Gary Ehman
  •  Gaylyn Bonjour
  •  Wyatt Cesielka
  • Dr. Germano
  • John Robinson
  • Mike Desimone
  • Don Davis (was a minister but has his power stripped a few years back and has slowly been getting more and more responsibility again)
  •  Charles Ogwyn (no longer works in the headquarters building but still attends the Charlotte congregation


Connie Schmidt said...

I like to imagine the battle being like that episode of Star Trek where Kirk and Spock are forced to fight each other on Vulcan...

Yes, Meredith goes into "PON FARR" every 7 years and goes absolutely crazy, even to the point of killing his friends and colleagues!

Byker Bob said...

Wouldn't it be nice if somehow, a mellow, zen guru were selected, kind of like Jeff Bridges (the Dude in the "Big Lebowski") as opposed to someone in the angry, growling, "my way or the highway" HWA mold? Mellow and zen might better suit the state of affairs of Armstrongism forty years after 1975.

As I look at that list of ministers, most of them appear to be what we used to call "second generation", and the familiarity of last names indicates even some from the third generation. So, it should be interesting to watch, as this quaint little group seeks equilibrium when the inevitable happens.

I also wonder how much of a sense of urgency any of the church members have. It was easy to manufacture false urgency back in the days of classic Armstrongism, because in the pre-civil rights era, everyone who wasn't white was repressed and marginalized, therefore lending possible credence to the theory that the USA actually could be an Anglo Saxon nation. Since they were also white, the huge presence of Germans in the general US population was apparently easy for the Armstrongites to overlook in their strange pattern of logic. The logic, the test was, given the Biblical descriptions of greatness, if the USA wasn't Manasseh, who else could possibly be? But, this was also before the disappointment of 1972-75, before the fall of GTA, and with still remaining years to HWA's prime, before he began umming and uhhing his way through ever repetitive versions of his "two trees" sermon.

Forty years later, the elusive nature of the Armstrong prophecies just has to have numbed or immunized even the most stalwart members. I wonder if parents still warn their children about the importance of instant, unquestioning obedience as they spank them, explaining that this may be crucial in the situations that arise after the Germans arrive. Or if everyone is still excited about going to Petra, considering it to be one big 3-1/2 year long Feast of Tabernacles. When HWA died, members likened it to the passing of Moses. Now, we have the people whom he directly trained all but gone. HWA lied to us about a so-called "lost" second century in church history, and now the little bits of figurative mercury from his own movement appear to be hopelessly separated from one another and entering their own lost century. One wonders how members could be "on fire" for what little appears to be left. There's just not a heck of a lot remaining to be enthusiastic about in COGdom these days. As a movement, they've been "phoning it in" for decades.

So, the correct answer to the question, "What will happen when Mr. Meredith passes?" is "It doesn't matter." Judaizing Christians were apparently expendable in the early centuries of the church, and they still are today.


Anonymous said...

There are several men on that list that treated their members like shit and LCG HQ had to do something with them without firing them. Its the exact same thing WCG used to do. Abusive ministers were never fired, but brought to HQ for "rehabilitation." The good old boys protect their own while the members suffer.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if Meredith is dying, but I think, from watching a few minutes of his sermons from time to time, that he may be drifting into senility. He's given those 3 sermons 1000 times apiece over the last 50 years, and he's got them down cold, and it might be the only thing he can still do. It might take those 17 other ministers just to manage him! It might be a similar situation to the Fidel Castro regime. He might not be dead, and when he is, they'll have to face whatever upheaval destiny has ordained, but by denying his virtual absence, they can kick that can down the road. It gives the remaining powers that be time to consolidate their power blocs.

These are just pure guesses on my part, but something similar happened to HWA when his health began to fail and they shuffled him off to Tucson.

RSK said...

Thiel has implied several times that Meredith may be suffering from senility, if not dementia issues.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that Winnail is friendly with Franks and Kubik and would be open to reuniting the biggest of the 3 ACOGs (UCG, COGWA & LCG) but that Weston is of the belief that Living is the only COG and the others are Laodicean and irrelevant.

Ames is not much younger than RCM and has health issues of his own so what's the point of naming him as successor?

Anonymous said...

This week the LCG Counsil of Elders is meeting in Charlotte. I wonder if Banned is on the docket!

Maybe they will decide to make all the members bring surrender their laptops so they can find out who the mole is....

Anonymous said...

Weston is totally against interracial marriages.

Although I'm not sure he would go as far as Meredith and call their children "blobs".

Anonymous said...

I can't see UCG being into this. They've got their own agenda their working on. Any merger is going to wreck their plans. I can't see UCG and COGWA merging back together again, whether LCG is in the mix or not.

But then...

I can't see any merger between any of the COG's being acceptable to the egos involved. I'm sure that Winnail would be open to it, as long as LCG is top dog. I wouldn't be surprised if COGWA would be into it, as long as COGWA gets to be top dog. Trouble is, as long as there can only by one top dog, there'll never be a merger!

Anonymous said...

Every time Meredith speaks here in Charlotte its the same old sermon that I have heard for 50 some years. I don't think the guy has an original thought in his head. Certainly nothing new has ever entered it now that we are in the 21st century. Meredith instead lives in the imagined glory days of the 1950's when the church and he was young and energetic.

Byker Bob said...

Why of course they would be against interracial marriage! It gradually eliminates their precious but nonsensical British Israelism through evolution or osmosis. In fact, that's how the "lost" ten tribes actually got lost amongst the Jews and Arabs in the first place. It was by assimilation, not geography and cultural amnesia.

They probably have some members terrified that interracial marriage will take their family's status from the top and place it on the very bottom for all eternity. Uncle Roddy's version of Efil 4 Zaggin is "blobs for eternity". Ditto for Flurry.


Black Ops Mikey said...

The real answer is zero, since none of them are doing anything worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

A few mistakes in your list.

Wallace Smith has never been in HQ (he's in Ohio).

And some missing ministers in your list who are currently employed in Charlotte: Davy Crockett, Ken Fran and Cristian Orrego.

Anonymous said...

How Many Living Church of God Ministers Does It Take ... to screw in a light bulb?

None - they just appoint a couple of deacons to do it.

Anonymous said...

How Many Living Church of God Ministers Does It Take ... to screw in a light bulb?

None - they just appoint a couple of deacons to do it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...A few mistakes in your list.

A few mistakes in your mistakes list:

Wallace Smith is moving to Charlotte this summer.

Crockett was pushed out of Charlotte several years ago.

Frank and Orrego are in Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

"How many COG ministers does it take..." screw in a light bulb?
Two. But how do they get in there? change a light bulb?
None. COG ministers don't believe in change. raise a child?
None. That's what malls are for.

Anonymous said...

I'm just a little disappointed that Meredith is about to die and he never got "put in chains and thrown in jail" as he liked to preach would likely happen to him for powerfully preaching the truth "just like the apostle Paul". I would have liked to see that.

JL said...

Gerald Slithering Serpent Weston is a jackass. If he ever comes to power, LCG would become even worse than it already is, as hard as that is to imagine.

I personally had dealing with him for almost 6 years and that guy is a snake in the grass.

His stance against interracial marriage is so strong that he interfere with a young couple (one white and the other black) through the girl's mother. Needless to say, they are no longer together. They may not have ended up together anyway due to other reasons but his interference was abominable. He and Meredith would always say something like, "Satan worked through the women (Eve) first for a reason, etc." Well, looks like they rat themselves out as agents of Satan since he worked through the mother to interfere in this young couple's relationship. Yet, despite that, those two brainwashed youth are still in LCG (Loving Church of God) and believes it to be God's Church!

JL said...

I also like to add that Gerald Weston would never go along with uniting with either COGWA or UCG as someone already mentioned.

However, when UCG was splitting, he did give a sermon about how we are all Christian, etc. He probably only gave that sermon because he thought people would come over from UCG.

Anyway, I do feel for people in there even if I am totally infuriated with those in the leadership positions and those who are their lapdogs.