Thursday, December 15, 2016

Gavin Rumney RIP. December 16, 2016





Gavin Rumney passed away December 16, 2016 after a diagnosis of cancer.

On November 10, 2016 Gavin sent me the following:

I'm closing AW in a few days. Have had a diagnosis of terminal cancer that leaves me maybe 18 months. Will compose a final post in a day or so. In the unlikely event that I have anything worthwhile to say after that, and you're happy to do so, I'd be keen to submit it as a guest post on your blog, Let me know if that's okay. 
Best regards  
Gavin 

Gavin was a major force in the Church of God related news sites that have been online for a couple decades now.

When the church stated making its changes, Gavin started documenting people reactions to them.  While he any many, many others agreed they were sorely needed, he disagreed about how they were implemented.  That lack of proper pastoral implementation lead to huge disagreements, accusations and splinter groups forming.  Gavin kept pace with all of those changes through various individuals in the different groups.  This included informants high-up in the leadership of the church and individuals who knew the people starting the splinter groups.

Gavin's site kept church leaders on the edge for quite some time as more and more dirt was spilled.  It quickly became apparent that the church was not unified and that the corruption of the old Worldwide Church of God continued on with rampant abuse by its splinter leaders.  Gavin quickly pointed out the major flaws in Bob Thiel and other self-appointed upstarts who have been trying to enslave members with legalism, false prophecies, and manipulation.

Gavin helped thousand over the years to wake up and see how corrupt and un-Christ like the church really was, and still is to this day!  Thousands have freed themselves of that abuse and now are no longer a part of the Armstrongite movement.

Gavin had this on his blog on the day he started it:


The name Ambassador Watch is a nod to Ambassador College, a now defunct institution associated with a now defunct sect, the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) - now morphed into Grace Communion International. My name is Gavin Rumney, I'm a teacher by profession (now largely retired) and currently reside a little south of Auckland - enough to be safely over the border into the Waikato. My extremely modest academic qualification for pretensions as a commentator on the various Churches of God (COGs) is the aforementioned B.Theol with a major in biblical studies (2010). My real-life credentials are a few 'interesting' years as a member in the far off and long ago (1975 through to the early 1980s).
Other than the WCG, my previous ecclesial communities are the Lutheran Church of New Zealand (as a youngster) and a Baptist church. Several of my blog posts have appeared in print in The Journal: News of the Churches of God.


Gavin's work is done and well done it was!




Read back issues of Ambassador Watch here and read OTAGOSH here.

37 comments:

DennisCDiehl said...

Rest in peace my friend and thank you ....

Byker Bob said...

Gavin was just one of those special people who was able to subtly apply his intellect to a less than optimal situation to influence it in a better direction. A man of carefully measured words, he had great credibility.

I hope he was able to enjoy the final tributes paid to him on his blog, and to know that his life had meaning to many people around the world.

Adios, friend. Order us some pints of Speights. We'll all be joining you in God's good time.

BB

Anonymous said...

He was an incredibly fine person.

Actually, beyond fine.

I'm unable to find the right words.

His contribution in this field has been enormous, and his humility, sharp insights coupled with creative ways to express those insights will stay with us. I hope.

Good bye, Gavin,
From your friend, Norm

Anonymous said...

I feel a great sense of loss at Gavin's passing. I am not one of the "thousands" who have freed themselves from Armstrongism as a result of Gavin's prodigious work, but I have benefitted from his fine intellect, penetrating analyses and sharp wit( of which I have been a victim!)
Gavin wrote, in my estimation, without malice. As someone still involved in Armstrongism, I disagreed, of course, with his conclusion that our theological system was hopelessly flawed, but had no disagreement with him about the corruption, immorality, and oppression which have characterized our movement. Gavin was like the Old Testament prophets who inveighed against the debauchery corruption and sins of God's people, ancient Israel. We must not slay messengers, but heed them.
Gavin was well-read, theologically sophisticated and philosophically aware. He was generally fair. He believed in giving voice to all. Little did I know when he wrote his last blog and mentioned his health challenge that the end was so imminent. I shall miss him and mourn him. Ian Boyne

Anonymous said...

So sad to hear of his passing. He has made a great contribution to exposing the dangers of armstrongism in all its various forms.

Anonymous said...

Now to wait and see what kind of filth Bob Thiel will spew out of his unconverted vile mouth.

The Painful Truth said...

One of the leaders who followed in the footsteps of those of Ambassador Report fame.
If it was not for Gavin, many would still be trying to find their way through the maze of armstrongism. The man shall be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

Thiel has already spouted off at the mouth about Gavin. Thiel has a feeling Gavin might have committed the unpardonable sin by leaving and criticizing the church. It is impossible to commit the unpardonable sin by leaving Armstrongism. It grieves the Spirit to REMAIN in it!

Anonymous said...

We will all go sometime and that day draws nearer every day. Otagosh will be missed, but those who come after us will often be blissfully unaware of the phenomenon we all experienced and which will soon become an aberrant footnote in religious history. There will long be a few diehards who will remain embroiled in some insignificant split. The glory days we who are old enough to remember are gone forever. We loved you and appreciated you, Gavin.

Allen C. Dexter

Hoss said...

Anon 12:49 said... Now to wait and see what kind of filth Bob Thiel will spew out of his unconverted vile mouth.

Sorry to say that Bob was the one who informed me of Gavin's death. I personally consider Gavin a kinder, gentler critic, who choose to dutifully inform rather than rant. A true loss to us all.

Anonymous said...

December 16th, huh? So, you're saying he died tomorrow, the day after you wrote this?

NO2HWA said...

Yes, December 16th is correct. He lived in New Zealand where it is already the 16th. I figured I did not need to explain that but apparently I did. It is an International Dateline thing...

Anonymous said...

While it is difficult to find a contact on Bitter Bob's site, if you wish to write him directly to discuss his hopes that Gavin has no integrity or possibly committed the unpardonable sin, whatever that is, you might contact him personally at Cogwriter@aol.com

Byker Bob said...

Don't waste your time contacting Bob Thiel. He's the ACOG version of Mr. Methane, and frequently "cuts" one. Nothing of value will come from him. He'll just give you a bunch of gas.

BB

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

It's been a rough couple of weeks as I have been grieving the loss of several notable people in my life during the past two weeks.

First, former WCG Pastor Ken Westby on December 8. Ken was my Pastor of the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. WCG church circuit. I loved Mr. Westby. He was ahead of his time in the WCG and confronted the Armstrongs on doctrinal issues and Garner Ted Armstrong’s fitness to be a minister. He was excommunicated from the WCG during the rebellion of 1974. I reconnected with Ken after many years on Facebook and Linkedin about 6 years ago.

Next on December 10, retired talk radio host personality Allan Prell, known to many in Baltimore, Maryland and other major markets. He had a 17-year run at 50,000 Watt powerhouse WBAL in Baltimore. I was his producer/engineer at a smaller radio station serving Baltimore-Washington. Allan was a genius, and a throwback to a bygone era when radio was “theater of the mind”. I was still attending WCG when we worked together. Being in radio, Herbert and Garner Ted Armstrong were known to Allan.

Now Gavin Rumney on December 16. I never meet Gavin, but I started many a morning from my Maryland home with a cup of coffee and Gavin’s latest Ambassador Watch post. The Worldwide Church of God had a huge impact in my early life. I spent many years after I left in 1976 “de-programming myself”. When I left, I left cold turkey never to return despite family estrangement. With the advent of the internet, we learned many things about the WCG that we didn’t know back in the 1950s.1960s and 1970s. Dennis Diehl once told me that when the internet was rolled out, his first reaction was “that is the end of the Church”. Dennis was correct. Gavin’s Ambassador Watch website advocating accountability and covering the developments in the Armstrong Church of God was the place to go to learn of what was happening in the Church. It allowed us to discuss many different views and issues that were not allowed to be discussed in the Church structure under the threats of Lake of Fire eternal damnation. I thank Gavin for his diligence and for his work.

May all who have passed away in my life during December, 2016 rest in peace. I look forward to seeing them all again.

Richard
Lake of Fire Church of God

Miller Jones said...

Gavin was someone who always provoked thought, encouraged the consideration of alternative views and demanded logical arguments. He was not, however, a Vulcan. His dedication to exposing the sins and flaws of Armstrongism and helping those who had been exposed to it was always passionate. I will always be grateful that someone of his stature felt like anything I had to say was important.

Anonymous said...

"Bob"who?

Gavin was disliked by many within the leadership of the cogs.
For telling the truth!

Gavin we will miss you dearly.Your race is over.You enriched so many of us by your kindness and fairness to many.You exposed the deceitfulness of many "self appointed" and "doublely" annoited.You exposed their errors,of which there were MANY.
I believe history will judge you kindly for the labour of love you gave yourself to,in helping so many to find true freedom.
"And you should know the truth,and the truth will set you free."

Rest in peace and thank you.Humanity has lost a friend.

R.L. said...

I'm a longtime Church of God member, and realize Gavin was a critic of COG's. But his criticisms were often thoughtful, not full of impulsive bile.... and sometimes he was more on target with the Bible than what some COG ministers teach.

Wishing comfort and hope to his family and friends.

Anonymous said...

Yes, he will be missed, but he did his work thoroughly. Armstrongism will never rise to international prominence again. Those splinters are doomed to decline and obliteration. The internet has done much of the grunt work in that. Eventually, even this site will disappear and most of us who contribute to it will be gone. But, our work will have been done and the results will be unalterable. Take note, all you self-important splinter gurus and despots, your days of self-important glory are numbered, as are your narcissistic existences.

Allen C. Dexter

Anonymous said...


“Gavin Rumney RIP. December 16, 2016”


NO2HWA,

Is anyone going to preserve his Ambassador Watch and/or OTAGOSH websites?

NO2HWA said...

Gavin said he was leaving them up online. They should be there for a long time, or until Google discontinues blogs, which is highly unlikely. That's the reason Bob Thiel is so angry. Gavin's stories about Thiel's diploma mill Ph'd is not sitting too well with the self-appointed prophet.

Redfox712 said...

What sad news. He helped so many people struggling to make sense of what had happened. What a great man. He will be sorely missed. Thank you for everything, Gavin Rumney.

nck said...

Dec 15 4.00 and 4.14.

Now, who would have imagined that the first controversy ensuing Gavin's passing, would be the question whether he passed IN/ON or AT "the world.....tomorrow"...
And that indeed based on scientifically gathered data he did.

I can just imagine his wry humoristic comment if that were to be pointed out to him. Followed by a soft spoken admonishment to remain on topic.

I'm hoping for a chance to tell him one day.

nck

Anonymous said...

well, he's getting some much needed rest now....I hope that in the resurrection he can forget about HWA and go with the flow, so to speak He already knows what to do, so maybe then he'll be able to do it.

Byker Bob said...

When players in the Armstrong movement take potshots at Gavin, as we know some will, it is important that they realize that we know their negative and judgmental comments are products of brainwashed minds, and therefore do not matter. Filtering anything through the bacteria of Armstrongism inevitably contaminates it.

BB

The Painful Truth said...

Don't worry about Bob Thiel having Gavins site trashed. I have a copy of it.

RSK said...

Of course, Bitter Bob couldnt report it without making the story all about himself. No surprise there

Anonymous said...


Miserable and wicked people do not like to be exposed for what they really are. They complain whenever anyone tells the truth about them, and try to get honest websites and blogs taken down. It might be a good idea for someone(s) to make a backup copy(ies) of Gavin Rumney's Ambassador Watch site just in case some bitter Babbler tries to get it removed.

Anonymous said...

Thiel probably is mentioning the unpardonable sin because he believes Rumney was denying his words and actions as being from the Spirit.

Thiel does possess the spirit....the spirit of a false teacher.

He also possesses the spirit that makes someone think he is one of the two witnesses. What the name of that spirit is called, I have no idea. Maybe the spirit of confusion.

It reminds me of what I read several years ago. The line went something like... I went to a WCG reunion and met the 2 witnesses... all 23 of them.

One has to be very unbalanced to believe something like that about himself.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous on December 16, 2016 at 12:55 PM said...“It reminds me of what I read several years ago. The line went something like... I went to a WCG reunion and met the 2 witnesses... all 23 of them.”


Years ago, one UCG minister said, "So far, we have identified about one hundred and ten individuals who each think that they are one of the two witnesses." A later report said that the number was still increasing. No wonder that another UCG minister said, "We are not going to waste any more time on these people." The Bible says that when the two witnesses really do appear, "These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want" (Revelation 11:6, NIV). None of the current false witnesses have this power to back up their claims. They can't control the weather or anything else. In fact, they can't even control their own lying mouths.

Anonymous said...

I very much appreciate all that Gavin has done for those of us who have been conflicted about leaving, and just how helpful his writings were in reversing the highly successful brainwashing tactics of the WCG. Thanks, Gavin!

Byker Bob said...

I don't believe in ethnic slurs, so please realize that I'm just the reporter here! The big joke on the AC 'dena campus during the early '70s was, "Hey guys, I just heard from campus security that three Pollocks showed up at Mr. Armstrong's office claiming to be the two witnesses!"

Who knew that something that was supposed to degrade the intelligence of Polish Americans would end up illustrating the terminal dumbness of the cream of the crud ministers! What makes someone get up in the morning saying to himself, "Hey! I must be one of the two witnesses!" I'd
be pleading halting speech, like Moses!

BB

Anonymous said...

Just curious, does anyone know Gavins age. I hope he had a long life.

Jim Baldwin said...

It was saddening to learn of the passing of Gavin Rumney. I'm sure he will be missed by the

folks whom he showed concern for.

I am an exminister of the WCG serving some of the New England congregations. My membership

time was from 1967 to 1992. I was baptized by Reg Platt and served with Reg, Fred Kellers, Dan

Rogers, Ken Williams and Bob Bragg. I was invited twice for the Refresher programs in Pasadena.

I made contact with Gavin years ago. We had several friendly exchanges and then he offered to interview

me for his blog. This is available on the Painful Truth website courtesy of the administrator, James. The closing

of the interview carries a dead link. My email address is on this message.

The interview is at www.hwarmstrong.com/baldwininterview.htm There are other articles of mine there.

I would be glad to read comments of whatever persuasion suitable for the Banned website.

Jim Baldwin

Jim Baldwin said...

It was saddening to learn of the passing of Gavin Rumney. I'm sure he will be missed by the

folks whom he showed concern for.

I am an exminister of the WCG serving some of the New England congregations. My membership

time was from 1967 to 1992. I was baptized by Reg Platt and served with Reg, Fred Kellers, Dan

Rogers, Ken Williams and Bob Bragg. I was invited twice for the Refresher programs in Pasadena.

I made contact with Gavin years ago. We had several friendly exchanges and then he offered to interview

me for his blog. This is available on the Painful Truth website courtesy of the administrator, James. The closing

of the interview carries a dead link. My email address is on this message.

The interview is at www.hwarmstrong.com/baldwininterview.htm There are other articles of mine there.

I would be glad to read comments of whatever persuasion suitable for the Banned website.

Jim Baldwin jamesbaldwin @ vermontel.net (remove spaces)

RSK said...

I have a vague memory of Fred Kellers. Went to Nashville in the 90s, right?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12::55 PM wrote that Bob Thiel "...possesses the spirit that makes someone think he is one of the two witnesses. What the name of that spirit is called, I have no idea. Maybe the spirit of confusion..."


"We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." 1 John 4:6

Just calling it the spirit of error will do just fine.

Why not?

2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

By their fruits you know them...

John