Thursday, June 23, 2016

Updates in Comments: Living Church of God Pastor Commits Suicide



Such a tragedy and such a waste.

From an LCG source:
Today it was announced in the Charlotte LCG congregation that LCG Joplin, Missouri pastor Karl Beyersdorfer has killed himself on 5/27/2016. Recall that his wife Gaylon fell and broke her hip two weeks prior on Saturday 5/14/2016 and had to have hip replacement surgery. 
Here is a sermon by Beyersdorfer given shortly after he left WCG. https://archive.org/details/AudioSermon.YouAreCausingDivisionByKarlBeyersdorfer
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44 comments:

Byker Bob said...

Can't say I knew them, but the name sounds familiar. How sad that he would do this at a time when his wife is going through a very serious medical emergency, and undoubtedly was counting on him being around.

BB

Anonymous said...

When something this tragic happens, it's typically the end result of some problem/s that's being going on for years. My condolence to the family and friends.

Anonymous said...

That is pretty messed up. These people are so damn selfish.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Beyersdorfer was a fun-loving, good guy. He was loved by many and this is truly a tragedy. We all need to pray for his wife and children.

For him to commit suicide there had to have been a demon influencing him. Knowing him, I can't think of any other explanation.

In my opinion, this is a problem in LCG in general. I have seen my LCG ministers do so many things in the past few years that I am unable to explain any other way. Not every minister, but more than a few, demonstrate far more works of the flesh than fruits of the Spirit. I have heard rumors that there are demons at headquarters and it seems that they are infecting weaker men. They all need our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Suicides often occur in clusters. How many other LCG ministers and members are dying inside, aware that their church is a fraud, but convinced that it is too late in their long lives to start over? It will be an even greater tragedy if Beyersdorfer's admission that his God wasn't powerful enough may influence others in LCG to kill themselves rather than flee the cult.

If you have loved ones still in LCG, this would be a very good time to reach out to them. Show them the love that they don't get from the cult or from Rod Meredith's god.

DennisCDiehl said...

"For him to commit suicide there had to have been a demon influencing him. Knowing him, I can't think of any other explanation."

My first church assignment when I was fresh out of college was to Minneapolis. I was the assistant to Keith Thomas and worked for Ben Morrison, Victor Kubik, and Bob Jones.

Karl Beyersdorfer came in every few weeks for our meetings etc. Karl was indeed a fun loving and very funny guy back in that day. He was well known and liked a lot.

In my view, first of all, the whole concept of demons is wrong headed and evolved in scripture from Genesis to Revelation in the lives of the bronze age minds that needed explanations for things they could never understood psychologically or medically. Most of the prophets were clinically depressed or suffered mental issues. Paul's Damascus Road fairy tale portrays all the signs of temporal lobe epilepsy and epilepsy and mental illness are what really was going on with the "demon possessed" in the Gospels Frankly, demons are as human a construct, as is Satan, Lucifer and the Devil.

One might find The Origin of Satan by Elaine Pagels helpful.
http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Satan-Christians-Demonized-Heretics/dp/0679731180

I have a problem with your rash judgement on Karl's death. It is judgmental, malicious, rude and ignorant to label his suicide as caused by "Demons". That is the excuse for far too many human medical and emotional problems one can come up with living on the Planet in these times.

Karl could have privately suffered from depression for many reasons. Coupled with anxiety and stress over his family, his church, his job choice and even a loss of faith in it all due to ongoing shenanigans in his church of choice.

WCG, UCG, PCG and the sliver RCG , all provide enough drama and stress in the lives of men who simply want to serve a local congregation with what they perceive as "the truth" to drive any sensitive human being to despair.

Suicide is indeed a long term solution to a short term problem, but when in the throes of despair, discouragement and depression it seems correct. Even King Saul is said to have "found the battle heavy against him" and he fell on his sword.

Most church members and those given to the "should not"s and "Must not"s of their church suffer in silence and alone. Believe me, there are few one can share depression over issues and leadership with ans survive .

I spent two weeks in professional treatment for depression years back which I realized was my internalized anger over years of WCG drama, moving and change because I felt I had no right to feel as I did or the price of sharing it was too high. It was very high. I was told when in treatment by the "head of ministerial services" who was allowed to see me when I would have said no that "we think you are just hiding here." That was pure bull shit on his part. When he asked me "what I was learning he blew off my first comment with "yeah, yeah....heard that all before." That shut me up for the remaining 8 years of ministry before I outgrew it all and moved on.

At any rate, your comment is rude and ignorant on the cause of Karl's taking his own life and you should be more careful in flippant explanations for complicated human emotions and issues.

DennisCDiehl said...

PS Working for the Armstrongs, Meredith's, Tkaches,, Packs, Flurrys and the other luminaries of the Splinters , when all the average minister ever wanted was to pastor well and encourage whatever truth is would make such man or woman have repressed mental issues they simple were not in a healthy enough environment to express or get help with.

One might think they are working for God, Christ or Jesus and with just the right amount of faith, whatever that actually is, you'll be fine and faithful. That's more BS that just delays facing the fact that these men and churches are toxic to the body, mind and spirit and unless one simply gets up the courage to stand up for themselves and stops going along to get along, mental health issues lurk...

Charlie Brown said...

I'm sure he was loved by his family and select friends. I will speak for the real Christians who won't come on and say anything negative. He was no different than any other of the self serving WWG ministers. For years now he has taken a salary from LCG while running his crooked window washing business. He would routinely steal other accounts from church members who really needed the money. One time they had to call him from the church hall because he forgot about the bible study he was suppose to conduct. You tell me where his heart was at! There are lots of these kinds of stories, but hell, the mans dead now. I'm just tired of how history seems to rewrite itself when someone dies.

Anonymous said...

Knowing Karl for many years, he didn't always fit the perfect mold that church leadership desired. Gerald Weston once told me he just didn't understand how Karl was successful as a minister, as he often walked to his own drummer and didn't always toe the HQ line. Coming from a hardliner like Weston made me understand Karl a little better, as he wasn't always the consummate company man they wanted.

When he joined Global/living he refused at first to take a salary; then took a half salary, as he had his own business going and didn't seem to want HQ having all the control over his life. They eventually wore him down and he became a full paid minister. Like DD stated, something must have tragically happened in his life, perhaps over a long period of time, where the despair become a resolute decision.

Having several suicides in my family, no one ever know all the why's someone does this, but usually a sense of overwhelming circumstances just takes them to a Red Sea moment...but taking their own life is what parts their sea, unfortunately.

James said...

Dennis wrote: 'In my view, first of all, the whole concept of demons is wrong headed and evolved in scripture from Genesis to Revelation in the lives of the bronze age minds that needed explanations for things they could never understood psychologically or medically. Most of the prophets were clinically depressed or suffered mental issues. Paul's Damascus Road fairy tale portrays all the signs of temporal lobe epilepsy and epilepsy and mental illness are what really was going on with the "demon possessed" in the Gospels Frankly, demons are as human a construct, as is Satan, Lucifer and the Devil.'
__________________________________

Excellent analyses Dennis. You are 100% correct. For these religious types to diagnose a man as demon possessed when he was most likely clinically depressed is an abomination. What utter disrespect and ignorance on their part. Truly appalling behavior.
-James.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you first hand that what is happening at LCG is heartbreaking. Especially for those of us who survived what happened in WCG. It can lead to feelings of depression, hopelessness and despair. Many of us love our church, despite what our critics think about it, and it is hard to watch it crumble like it is. I'm sure Karl had other reasons for what he did but the current state of LCG didn't help I'm sure. It's hard to see something you heartfelt believed in and gave your life in support of fall apart because of egos and bad decision. I could see where that would make your life feel like a total waste.

In the months to come, especially after RCM's death, it will be important for us to stick together and love one another through the turbulent LCG splits ahead which, at this point, seem inevitable.

Anonymous said...

In the ACOG's most believe that mental illness is due to demons. While I don't agree with the anon above who blamed this suicide on demon possession, having spent a number of years in an ACOG, I can totally understand that he/she thinks this way because that is what LCG teaches. Mental illness, dementia, drug addiction, depression, etc are often not recognized as real sickness but rather demonic influence.

I remember an earlier post on this blog site about Rod McNair saying LCG members shouldn't work in nursing homes because of the demon possessed elderly dementia patients.

Our anon should know better. But if that is what he/she has been brainwashed into believing blindly from their LCG leaders, then that is their reality.

Anonymous said...

What strikes me as strange, is that he was old and had lived his life. As a Christian, he was so close to the 'finishing line.'

Byker Bob said...

Who really knows what was going on in his heart and mind? Because we can't, I wouldn't be assuming much of anything, although most of us do make assumptions based on what we think we know. Something happened to make him think that this was the only way of fixing it. Only God knows what, if any, consequences might apply.

For anyone worried about demons, or evil attacking themselves or others, Luke 10:19 and II Thess. 3:3 would be good to read at this time. This sort of thing, a leader succumbing to hopelessness can have repurcussions throughout an entire organization. Let us pray that it stops right here and now, and that it does not set off a bad cycle amongst the LCG membership.

BB

Connie Schmidt said...

Lots of judgement going on here with very few facts. Did he discover a medical condition, say, alzheimers, was his job in jeopardy? He obviously was stressed about his wife's situation.

Anonymous said...

People attempt to comprehend the inexplicable in any terms that make sense to them and help them. I don't believe any demon can have power over a Christian. But if it brings comfort to believe a suicide was caused by an outside source rather some internal chemistry or coping problem, I see nothing rude in that. All the demons, in the secular sense of the word, that we've got riding in our heads originated from outside tramas. People should be allowed to cope with tragedy in their own terms or you'll infect them with a new demon.

Redfox712 said...

What a terrible tragedy. This is so sad. My thoughts with those suffering.

6:29 AM is quite right to note that all too often suicides occur in clusters. I wish to encourage anyone to reach out to anyone who needs some help at this moment.

I encourage everyone educate ourselves about suicide. Here is the website of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Anonymous said...

In the months to come, especially after RCM's death

Months? RCM may live for many more years. He gets expensive private medical care far beyond what ordinary LCG members can afford or are encouraged to obtain.

Is it possible that other LCG deaths were "virtual" suicides when the depressed/despairing sufferer chose not to obtain basic medical care that the church allows? John Ogwyn before his death was under great stress from Meredith's lies and deceptions and then the Brookfield massacre. Simple antibiotics would have cured his MRSA, but he chose death.

Anonymous said...

I looked at my copy of The Family Album (circa 1988) published by WCG. Even back then Mr. B. was a Preaching Elder in Joplin, MO. Obviously, he has been involved with The Church of God most of his life. This is a very tragic situation!

We all know the COG has divided and splintered into many, many organizations. At times it is very difficult to deal with. I have been involved with 7 different organizations since leaving WCG. This is a time of great trying and testing for all of God's people. Sometimes, our cross may be to much to bear (alone).

What happened to Mr. B. could happen to almost any of us. The spirit may be willing, but the flesh is weak.

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Anonymous May 29, 2016 at 4:23 PM said, "I looked at my copy of The Family Album (circa 1988) published by WCG. Even back then Mr. B. was a Preaching Elder in Joplin, MO. Obviously, he has been involved with The Church of God most of his life".

MY COMMENT - I attended WCG between 1968 and 1976. I know the name Karl Beyersdorfer. I remember hearing him preach in Iowa perhaps at the Waterloo, Ia. congregation of WCG when we visited there one-time. I am guessing Mr. Beyersdorfer was an Ambassador College graduate from the 1960s from what I recall.

I have to wonder what the long term lifetime impact of being associated with the WCG and its splinters had on Mr. Beyersdorfer's state of mind. To have been told he was part of the One True Church and to see the WCG at its zenith only to watch it die after its Founder a long and slow death having less and less impact as the years went by had to have a psychological impact on anyone who experienced it. It has to be depressing when you think about the worldwide growing work Mr. Armstrong did, the reach that it had, only to become a small low wattage work. The declining situation of the Armstrong religion after a lifetime of support and dedication has to play into any consideration as to why a LCG minister would commit suicide.

Richard

Byker Bob said...

Good point, Richard! The WCG continued to gain members right up to the time of HWA's death, but declined in scope and influence, ironically, instead of as it had prophesied would happen to the US and BC! Plus, the events which emerged from HWA's interpretation of prophecy have continued not to happen. These events were always depressing. However, for gung ho stalwarts, their non happening would probably be more depressing, considering the investment they had made into Armstrongism.

As time progresses, the Armstrong take on Revelation's events become less and less credible. In 2050, white people will account for 50% of the US population, and we must remember that a large percentage of these white people are actually German, and not Anglo Saxon. Massive immigration is also presently transforming Europe. I certainly hope that people will be able to deal with this in constructive ways, and to educate themselves away from their current mindsets, but the programming runs very deep, and different minds work in different ways. Some older people are sharp and engaged in life, but others simply grow tired and embrace the inevitable. Not a heck of a lot of the geriatric set would thrive in a Petra situation. How many enjoy camping over 40, unless they can take their fifth wheel or Winnebago?

BB

Redfox712 said...

He graduated June 1966. His parents were in Radio COG as well. He appears to have been from Chicago.

*******

Been reading another article about advice about how to cover suicides. Suicide contagion is a problem. Others might imitate him.

Help is available. There is hope. Suicide is never the answer. Getting help is the answer.

1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

The vast majority of suicides are caused by untreated depression. Depression can be treated. Help is available. If this is a problem for you than get help immediately.

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

http://www.suicide.org/suicide-causes.html

Anonymous said...


Byker Bob said...

“Plus, the events which emerged from HWA's interpretation of prophecy have continued not to happen.”

“As time progresses, the Armstrong take on Revelation's events become less and less credible. In 2050, white people will account for 50% of the US population, and we must remember that a large percentage of these white people are actually German, and not Anglo Saxon.”



Actually, if you read the news, some of the frightening events from HWA's interpretation of prophecy are continuing to happen rather quickly, though not as quickly as HWA had thought they would.

As time progresses, the Armstrong take on Revelation's events becomes more and more credible.

One of the curses for disobedience is that the foreigner who lives among you will rise higher and higher while you will sink lower and lower. It now looks like there will also be more of them.

The discouraging part of it all is that the Laodicea era of the church is much worse than was expected. Apostates destroyed the WCG, many people fell away, false prophets abound, and many of the people in the splinter groups are behaving very badly. The past 30 years since HWA's death in 1986 have been very hard on some people.

Anonymous said...

10.22PM many ministers behaved like murderous tyrants under Herbie's watch. Large numbers were scarred for life by these control freak 'ministers.' For many, life was harder then, than now.

Anonymous said...

All:

Whether or not they spirit world was involved, this man was deeply troubled.

My sincere condolences as well to the Beyersdorfer Family...

My deep horror that a Man deserts his ill wife....at a time like this...

As bad as this is, there is one more thing to consider...

And where were YOU, Rod Meredith?? Beating up the sheep with another "Follow the Leader" or "Church Government" Sermon. . . . . .

When your own minister takes his own life?

Where were you?

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if his obituary read that he was a graduate of "Clown College" rather than stating he was an Embarrassing College graduate. In a way, that would be a more accurate description, and a more respectful and gracious way to honor Mr. Beyersdorfer.

People who google have a much greater respect for Clown College than they do for Embarrassing College.

Going to Heaven to be with Bozo, Patches and Homey is a much higher honor than going to hell to be with Herbie, Manson and Hitler.

Anonymous said...

4.16AM Did he really desert his wife? We do not know about the nature of his marriage. You are assuming she was a good wife. I,m just saying, we do not know.

Anonymous said...

Such a sad event. My sincere condolences to his family and congregation.

Thank you, Dennis, Byker Bob and Connie for your comments. A special tank you for Redfox712 for pointing out the danger of cluster suicides and offering areas to reach out for help.

Byker Bob said...

Look, lets get real. There are such things as murder-suicide pacts. Mr. Beyersdorfer apparently kept whatever was going on restricted to himself. He didn't take anyone with him. For that, we can respect him.

BB

Anonymous said...

i first heard of his name when there was a young fella in his congregation that suffered a major firearm accident in which the fella lost his sight, and eventually died; tragic...

Anonymous said...

Death Notice from The Joplin Globe:

----------------------

DEATH NOTICE

Karl L. E. Beyersdorfer
- May 27, 2016

JOPLIN, Mo. - Karl Lewis Eugene Beyersdorfer, 73, a minister, passed away Friday, May 27, 2016.

Graveside services were held Tuesday, May 31. Arrangements were under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho, Mo.

Published in The Joplin Globe
Funeral Services by Clark Funeral Home

http://obituaries.joplinglobe.com/story/Karl-Beyersdorfer-2016-785900351

whatmeworry said...

Curious if the congregation was told it was a suicide, or some other "health" reason for his death? When a family member commits suicide, I know it is a toss up whether to tell is like it is. Suicide is so horribly stigmatized. You just can't judge until you've been there, but, that's what the COG's are so adept at, judging.

Former WCG Member said...

I find the comments about his deserting his wife at such a time, judgmental and uttered without much thought. My take is this: his wife Gaylon was no doubt a huge source of encouragement to him. But with her hip replacement surgery, she was not able to be there for him emotionally. He was likely alone when he died--if not physically, then emotionally. I'm thinking he had spent time alone recently when his wife was hospitalized for her surgery. And afterwards, whether she was sent home to recover, or went to a nursing home for a short while, he was still alone emotionally. Her illness probably happened at a critical time for him--I'm guessing, as others have also, that he was suffering deeply & had been for some time. With his wife's illness, the support of his life partner was not available as before. Yes, he was expected to be there for her in her time of need but emotionally, due to his own internal conflicts (which some label "demons"), he could not provide the support she needed. People who commit suicide are often imprisoned in their own minds. They do not choose to consciously desert someone: they are simply incapable of being supportive because they so desperately need help themselves.

Many years ago, Karl Beyersdorfer was my minister. I was not one of his fans but I will say this in his defense: this man loved his wife, and he would have been there for her completely if at all humanly possible. He would never have consciously deserted her. Fast forward to the present at age 72: who knows what deep mental anguish he was enduring, possibly for years? At any rate, he was not in his "right" mind--if he were, he would never have chosen to end his life & leave his beloved wife alone in her time of need. I know whereof I speak--I had two suicides in my own immediate family, and a third attempted one. None of them would have resorted to suicide had they been in their "right" mind.

Anonymous said...

I am a former COG member and have known Mr. B for 2 decades. I lost all respect for him years ago.
I was his victim in some of his shady financial deals that only benefited his pocket and ego (while under the guise of being beneficial to the 'church')
Counselling with him finds many members aware of sessions by the next morning. I refused to counsel with him.
During his ministry of the church, his sermons were historically fascinating but always seemed to have a level of sexuality discussed in each one until this was mentioned to headquarters by many women and it was softened greatly.
Lies were created and passed by members and instead of looking into the matters, if Mr. B wanted to believe them, he made sure all else did too. Unfortunately, it was HIS way or the highway. I chose the highway.
Church and Mr. B always lambasted suicide and the families 'that should have know this was happening' as if it was always their fault for allowing the demons to enter their child/family member. Those members left Mr. Bs church. He used to say there was no way God's REAL flock could be affected in this way (to say that those in the church he loved were always protected by God) He DID say that we all fail but IF you were a child of God you could not be possessed. Therefore, those members who were affected by the same, were not of Gods TRUE church.
I am very concerned for the families within the church now. I have asked some what they thought and the answer was "well, he wasn't in his right mind, so it's OK" !!!!
No one who commits suicide is in their right mind!!! They have basically informed the young (teens) in the church that suicide is OK because it was OK for Mr. B to do it!!!!!
I know a few who have been so despondent they have mentioned suicide! Now they have the OK because their beloved minister did it!!!!
I realize that some will read this shocked and maybe take it down, but this SHOULD BE READ for the emotional safety of the young, easily swayed children still there. And it IS a brainwashing system.
After leaving the 'church' I have come to realize the CONTROL he placed over all within his grasp and am very happy to recognize it. Albeit too late to overcome issues that could have been different.
I have been told that Gaylon is doing fine. I would expect so. One less controller in her life. She is now free to make decisions for herself. I hope

Anonymous said...

You will know them by their fruits....
His fruit was quite sour and rotten.
Just saying.

Anonymous said...

"hip replacement surgery" on the ministers wife? As I recall the 'Painful Truth' site was started by a former member who was assured by the ministry that God would heal his sick wife, even though medical treatment would obviously have worked. She died. So members are to 'trust God' to heal, and die, whilst ministers wives have surgery.

Anonymous said...

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” Luke 11
So how then are these so-called Churches of God with Christ at all when they continually splinter and scatter?
These are the sad fruits of that church.
So very sorry for his passing.
(Gets tiresome having to try to post so many times because proving your not a robot takes several tries each time)

Anonymous said...

You are correct, 5:03, but Im sure they called it "repair surgery".

James said...

Anonymous said...

"hip replacement surgery" on the ministers wife? As I recall the 'Painful Truth' site was started by a former member who was assured by the ministry that God would heal his sick wife, even though medical treatment would obviously have worked. She died. So members are to 'trust God' to heal, and die, whilst ministers wives have surgery.
_____________________________________

As duly noted above, this is correct. Ed's wife died. Meanwhile the ministry in the wcg allowed the 'elect' (that being those who ruled over you) to get the so called repair surgery.

Where the fuck in the bible does it say repair surgery has nothing to do with a lack of faith? The 2 faced shit-box ministry created this out of thin air as it suited them. They and the politicians of any country are the same useless sob's who create havoc in the lives of the middle class who have a sheeple mentality.

When the people wake up there needs to be a series of crucifixions. The ministers die on their altars and the politicians on the light posts of there capital city!

Rebel and be free!

I hope that I am not being outspoken... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Please seriously consider my humble opinion.

The sixth Commandment teaches that we shall not kill.
Yes, that absolutely and unquestionably means we all are commanded by the powerful Creator God to never kill ourselves.

If something or anything is causing someone to consider suicide, and before that choice is made, I do ask that person to seriously consider that no one can ask God to forgive them should they make the choice of self murder.

There is much love and concern in many others, but we cannot read minds. Please reach out to someone, share what may be bothering you. It would be most helpful if you share the possible suicide choice but that isn't required.

I'm only asking anyone to not let any difficult challenge push them down.
Pray and ask God to hear your prayer. God has a protective angel for everyone.
Simply ask, and reach out to someone.

We are all members of a loving and helpful family.

Thank you, and please enjoy your day.

Anonymous said...

3.19PM Your complaint is hardly new. Thomas Sowells book 'Intellectuals and Society' deals with your complaint. It's about:
"people whose occupations deal primarily with ideas - writers, academics, and the like" - are having negative effects. And, maddeningly, these intellectuals are "unaccountable to the external world," immune from sanction, insulated even from the loss of reputation that those in other fields suffer after having been proven wrong."

whatmeworry said...

@10:17, Don't judge. God judges.

Byker Bob said...

I believe there is always a better alternative than suicide.

However, if you believe in the Rez, you know that there will still be an opportunity to ask Father God for forgiveness.

BB

whatmeworry said...

There are folks out there that have never, ever been as desperate or full of sadness as those wanting and then committing suicide. I too used to think it was a character flaw or selfish act. There are plenty of people who were immersed/raised into the WCG who were taught NEVER to go to a therapist. With this in mind, how many of us have been needing someone to talk to for help with a truly horrible problem and realistically cannot go to a COG minister for obvious reasons? When a good friend of mine committed suicide a few years back, I had to step away from old indoctrination and try to put myself into her shoes and came to the realization that there is no need to ask for forgiveness. God knows our troubles, our fallibilities. He knows our hearts intimately. I ached. for my friend, wished I could have known, My loving God, I'm sure, will dry her tears and welcome her into his arms, if he hasn't done so already. JMHO