Wednesday, December 18, 2013

David Hulme and the Hulmerless Church of God Terminating Ministers and Losing Members

Another Church of God is having ministerial problems resulting in terminations resignations.  It seems that David Hulme's little personalty cult is having a rough time right now.  Ministers are leaving and taking members with them. 

Since Hulme's little group was never large, it is going to hit the pocket book of grandiose Dave really hard.  He has always thought of himself as something better than the rest of the world.  The Church of God has never had an minister as puffed up with intellectual snobbery as it has had with Dave. Maybe it's time that facade comes crashing down and he has to live like the lowly members he has sucked dry over the decades.

Malm had this up the other day:

Prominent ministers have been fired (resigned is their word for it) and brethren have left, resulting in declining income; while many more are deeply dissatisfied with David Hulme.  
David is an evangelical masquerading as one of the called out, and David Hulme has always been only about David Hulme, even when I knew him in WCG in the 80′s.  In the nineties David’s reckless spending on personal projects drove UCG to the edge of bankruptcy.

Hulme has had many issues over the years with ministers leaving hsi group, and rightly so.  Here are the points one minister bought up when he left:

Some indication of the unhappiness of John Meakin and ex-COGIC members can be garnered from studying David Hulme's church and personal websites.

 There is no attempt to preach the gospel to the world (Mark 16:15), even within the church's quarterly Vision magazine, which is the public's only acces to the church's teachings. In the Fall 2011 issue, a reader writes: "I have seen a recurrent theme presented and most recently stated .... that the church today as we know it bears very little resemblance to the church Jesus established. I have read this same basic statement many times .... I have yet to read any solid definition of how the church today should look and act according to Vision's writers."
Contact with members of other church groups is actively discouraged. Only church members and other financial supporters can gain access to the church web site.
David Hulme promotes himself, and not the church,  posting his personal profile on various websites dedicated to business professionals, such as the  Linkedin network, where "you can find potential clients ... be found for business opportunities ... search for great jobs ..."

Perhaps it was via these web pages that he was able to obtain work at the Media Relations Summit 2008, where he gave a lecture in Increasing Traffic to Your Corporate Website. In the Autumn/Winter of 2008-9 he lectured in Middle East Politics at the University of Southern California.

David Hulme's profile on Linkedin (shown below in red type) lists his recent work experience as :

1977 — 1979
Circulation Manager (Africa) of Quest Magazine
(Writing & Editing Industry)

David Hulme added this entry in 2010. Although Quest was owned by the Worldwide Church of God, TIME magazine described it as: "nonetheless thoroughly secular. [Herbert] Armstrong gave editorial control to Robert Shnayerson, 55, a former TIME senior editor and Harper's editor in chief, who dedicated the magazine to what he called 'the pursuit of excellence' in fields as diverse as mountain climbing and genetic research."
1986 — 1995
Vice-President of Ambassador Foundation
(Non-Profit Organization, Management industry)
Supervision of Ambassador Auditorium's performing arts program

This foundation was also a secular part of the Worldwide Church of God.

David Hulme's highest profile role was as a presenter of the church's religious TV program, The World Tomorrow, but he seems not to want to admit having worked for this church.

Joseph Tkach,  leader of the Worldwide Church of God after the death of Herbert Armstrong in 1986, soon began to transform its fundamental doctrines. David Hulme was a leading advocate for the doctrinal changes,  as the Director of Public Relations. However, growing opposition to these changes by the majority of members, and their desire for a new church that would retain the former doctrines, prompted him at the last minute to attend the conference that would form the United Church of God in 1995.

1995 — 1998
President of the United Church of God.

Again, he prefers not to have a church association in his personal profile.

David Hulme is highly intelligent and possesses superb presentational skills, but knowing his previous role in Worldwide, why did the majority of ministers vote for David Hulme to be President?

In 1998 he was removed as President by United's Council of Elders for excessive and unauthorized spending, which had plunged United into serious debt.

He then left United, drawing away many members to his new church, the Church of God—an International Community, where he would have the full control that he felt he ought to have had as President of United.
But is it a church? Not according to his personal profile.
1998 — Present
President of Vision Media
(Privately held, Marketing and Advertising Industry)

 He changed this entry in 2010 from Writing & Editing — now he's in Marketing and Advertising?

Although the large outlay necessary to publish the lavish quarterly journal Vision is provided by the tithes and offerings of members and other financial supporters of COGIC, David Hulme considers Vision to be his magazine -his
personal website link in the Linkedin profile page will take you to the Vision magazine website.
1990 — 2003
Education: MA, Ph.D International Relations
Specialized in Middle East and Foreign Policy

The web site proclaims as its purpose: "Vision examines the historical and philosophical origins of current social issues and explores ways to restore peace of mind to our daily lives."

Vision Foundation International was launched in 2010, ostensibly with the mission to assist communities in developing countries to find practical solutions "to improve their physical, mental and spiritual resources, by supporting sustainable humanitarian and educational programs."

However, Vision Foundation International states that donations will be used for:
providing support for Vision Media Publishing, which publishes the international quarterly journal Vision—Insights and New Horizons; providing support to Vision Media Productions, an independent TV production company, to produce documentaries on historical, social and environmental issues; providing funding for documentaries which examine the historical and philosophical origins of current issues; supporting and producing conferences which examine complex issues from a cross-disciplinary viewpoint by bringing together scholars and experts from various fields of study.
From: David Hulme's "VISION"


RSK said...

Yeah? Hulme is one of the COG muckety mucks I never met or heard speak, aside from his presenter role back in the day on the television. I know very little about him.

Byker Bob said...

This is certainly an interesting approach that Hulme has taken. The majority of the ministers have conformed to various ACOG structures, given their only job skill, to continue influx of income. A few commendable ones took the hard route, walked away from financial security, and started over acquiring new vocational skills. But, what Hulme has done is to exploit his ACOG base to catapult himself to a higher level than what he might have achieved had he started over from scratch. It's as if he used his ACOG as a sort of "halfway" house in his transition to secular employment.

I am conflicted over this type of approach. Part of me wants to applaud him for finding a way out of teaching abusive and toxic theology, but I also recognize his disingenuousness in stringing his congregations along for that much longer to facilitate this. Has he taken proper care to guide and mentor them so that at the end of this process they won't be left high and dry?


Anonymous said...

Isn't Hulme the one that has the trophy wife that is only a couple years older than his daughter?

Anonymous said...

Isn't Hulme the one that has the trophy wife that is only a couple years older than his daughter?

Good for him. That's the kind of woman I have too! Jealous?

Unknown said...

This is one of the most secretive of COG groups, and closely guards everything.

An interesting associate of Hulme's for many years is one Michael McKinney, who writes for Hulme's publications and has been in close relationship with Hulme for many years.

His website

has a wide assortment of high end goods, books, wines , and even archaeology information books about the first century.

It all appears to be a marketing device to a high end snooty crowd, which is also the approach taken by Hulme in his publications. Hulme always viewed himself as a "wanna be" member of the elite classes, and markets himself to such, even in his evangelism. He was an elite prince in regards to AICF events and marketing during its hey day.

One has to wonder how much "cross marketing" Hulme and McKinney do, in regards to sharing mailing lists, leads etc.

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Unknown said...

Interesting how Hulme plays up his graduating from prestigious USC , but makes ZERO reference to being a graduate of Ambassador College.

AC, while unaccredited for most of its history, WAS accredited near the end of its existence, with accreditation back granted to previous degree holders.

David Hulme... why are you in the closet for being an AC Grad??

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Anonymous said...

I remember him from college at BW. He really didn't stand out, but then it was usually the American basketball player types who did stand out, and Hume was not like that. I thought he was quiet and nice looking and perhaps shy (that was in 1970). I also didn't know he was an intellectual, what a waste of intelligence going to AC and becoming a minister. Who would have guessed he would have risen to a high rank, it was probably because so many of the competition left.
Don't know who he married, but I imagine his original wife is gone and when getting a new wife, any man of importance goes for a younger version. Oh except for Prince Charles, but then he's weird.

Michael said...

An organization usually resembles the thinking of those that administer it.
In the case of Hulme's group, the "church" seeks above all to appear educated and to be accepted by the scholarly community, rather than to espouse and advocate for any particular religious idea(s).
"Kingdom of god" talk doesn't get you respect in academia.
Their mission statement makes this clear, they want to "educate", not proselytise.
Most of their articles read like run-of-the-mill university-level synopses of various researched topics.
Fine as far as that goes, although it probably poorly qualifies as religious activity justifying the use of believer's tithe money.
(In many cases it's difficult to determine exactly what the conclusion of the article is...?)
I wonder what the average member's perception is of the ongoing "work" of COGAIC?

Anonymous said...

"Isn't Hulme the one that has the trophy wife that is only a couple years older than his daughter?"

"Good for him. That's the kind of woman I have too! Jealous?"

Do you think you're talking to just the men around here and not the women too? Is this the sort of thing you would boast to another man in front of your "trophy" wife? Does she think of herself as being one of your "trophies"? Or is it just you that objectifies her in this way? I think I can speak for other women visiting this site in saying this sort of talk doesn't make us feel jealous at all.

EX RCG said...

When I was in RCG several members had left Mr. Hulme's group to go with Pack. I wonder how many of those have since left Pack?

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
Isn't Hulme the one that has the trophy wife that is only a couple years older than his daughter?

LOL...yes, just like Joseph the old guy had Mary, the hottie at 12 to 16 years old depending. :)

DennisCDiehl said...

Joe axed:

"David Hulme... why are you in the closet for being an AC Grad??"

For the same reason James Tabor, Theology professor at University of NC Charlotte doesn't. James was a WCG member and assistant to Rod Meredith teaching his classes from time to time. He woke up. That credential does not help his career.

James still seems a bit WCG haunted to me at times in his writings and seems to favor the Jewish Christian reality versus the Pauline one. James is a good guy but does not mention his AC past either.

Bart Ehrman went to Moody Bible and then on to Harvard and other credible theological institutions but Moody has a good reputation as well and Ehrman mentions it as part of his journey from literalism to common sense.

Byker Bob said...

Folks, that's why they call it "Embarrassing College"!

If you lived in Pasadena, the community in many cases could tell by looking at you exactly where you were from. After having been asked about this numerous times while in stores, hitch-hiking around Pasadena, or on the bus, one did eventually tire of the suspicion. Before you had even opened your mouth to speak a single word, they had pegged you and pretty much written you off. This certainly taught me, in a kind of parallel way, what victims of racism encounter in their everyday quest for survival.

After two years at AC, when I started going to classes at Pasadena City College, I grew the type of sideburns that were banned by HWA, and began wearing surplus army and navy jackets, which were popular at the time, to class. I already knew some of my new classmates, a couple of the box boys from El Rancho, who told me they'd been expecting to see me there for some time. They and the president of the college, to whom I had needed to do some tall talking, were the only ones on campus who ever knew of my AC background. Frankly, that type of anonymity was the only way to be taken seriously. At that time, I was a journalism major, was on the staff of the Courier, the campus newspaper, and was interviewing, and therefore known to, many of the movers and shakers on the faculty and in student government. No way did I want them thinking that my articles were filtered through WCG theology!

When you think about it, those of us who have indulged in this type of masking or subterfuge were (to our shame) really only unknowingly imitating one of the elements of HWA's character. Honestly, I was just attempting to survive in a new environment, one in which the surrounding world had changed somewhat radically during two years of being cloistered at the Ambassador monastery. This says something very profound about Armstrongism. I believe, in retrospect, that many of us realized subliminally at our core level that it was indefensible, but somehow felt so paralyzed by it all that we could not break away. A bigger catalyst, a larger reality check had yet to be experienced. For me, that was 1975.


Silence said...

Yes, we've heard whispers similar to this coming out of Hulme's cult and personally know people who have been jettisoned from the organization. There is a lot of discontent right now, apparently.

Sweetblood777 said...

How anyone can say that David Hulme was a good presented, is truly amazing, as David Hulme is one of the earth's most boring speakers of any I have heard.

His speaking style is totally flat lined. Anyone listening to him more than 3 minutes will find themselves in zombie land.

Anonymous said...

Joe writes, "AC, while unaccredited for most of its history, WAS accredited near the end of its existence, with accreditation back granted to previous degree holders."

Wow, I didn't know that!
That would mean all graduates of Embarrassing College would have legitimate status as having graduated from an accredited institution.

Is this really correct?

Anonymous said...


You wrote: "...But, what Hulme has done is to exploit his ACOG base to catapult himself to a higher level than what he might have achieved had he started over from scratch. It's as if he used his ACOG as a sort of "halfway" house in his transition to secular employment..."

It's interesting that you wrote that David Hulme used his ACOG as a sort of "halfway house." Is that anything like a home: a halfway home?

On May 1, 1995 mentioned a couple of reasons for why he was there in Indianapolis at a conference that ended up with the establishment of the United Church of God, an International Association.

David told all of those attending that conference about the conversation he had with his son Mark about a "home," and I'll quote from the videotape transcript of that day's meeting:

"...You know, Mark, all I really want to do right now is be with a small group of people who believe as I do. I just want to be with a group of people and keep the Sabbath. I guess I was saying, I need to go home. I need the familiarity of my foundations. So that's one of the reasons I am here. I am looking for my home..."

Well, as David Hulme's history shows David over time didn't care for that UCGaia home. He apparently may not be liking his current "church" home either with the dwindling numbers, but he did end up with a small group of people who believe as he does. How small will it get? Time will tell.

When will David finally find the home he thinks he is looking for? Who knows?

David made another interesting comment before he spoke about that "home." He said: "...I know that in the few days between resignation and starting to come here, I went up and down, kind of like a yo-yo, up and down on a roller coaster."

Well, if nothing else, it appears he is still moving up and down, like a yo-yo or on a roller coaster.............and I hope he is still enjoying the ride.

It's not over for him...........


Allen C. Dexter said...

Hearing that a COG offshoot is going downhill is upliging news! I just can't feel any compassion for any of these guys. I just hope those who leave keep moving like I did. Saved my life!

Anonymous said...

"Is this really correct?"


I was on the faculty in Big Sandy when the college achieved accreditation and one of the deans told me that accreditation is not retroactive. However, as a practical matter it usually doesn't matter because very few colleges and even fewer employers ever compare the date of accreditation with the date of graduation.

Also, an institution is accredited and not a degree or a degree holder. It is correct to say "I graduated from an accredited college" (if in fact you did) but it is incorrect to say "I have an accredited degree" or "I am an accredited degree holder".

However, I don't recall that the administration made much effort to point out this distinction. They mostly let people draw their own conclusions and I don't think Joe Sr. ever understood this at all.

Anonymous said...

"David Hulme and the Hulmerless Church of God Terminating Ministers and Losing Members"


Lake of Fire Church of God said...

By strange co-incidence, I was cleaning out a closet over Thanksgiving weekend, and found in a box my complimentary inaugural copy of Ambassador International Cultural Foundation’s (AICF) large slick magazine titled “Human Potential”. Later, AICF changed the name to “Quest”. The Executive Editor was Stanley Rader, and while the publication personnel credit box had names familiar to those of us from the WCG – people like Dexter Faulkner, Brian Knowles, Garner Ted Armstrong, etc.; there is NO credit mention of David Hulme in the forerunner publication.

There were plenty of slick ads throughout the publication including a back full cover advertising Dodge Chrysler.

Of course, I took one look at it, and said to myself, “What a waste and a piece of crapola”.


Anonymous said...

Autobiography of HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG, Volume 1

Chapter 3: Learning to Write Effective Advertisements

Subheading: Overhauling and Simplifying a Vocabulary


To be able to pour out a torrent of big words incomprehensible to any but the highly educated had appealed to intellectual vanity.

But--at age 20--Mr. Boreman changed all that.

"When you write advertising," he explained, "the purpose is not to impress the readers with your superior vocabulary. Your purpose is to sell goods, services, or ideas! The purpose of words is to convey thoughts, facts, ideas--a message! When 98% of the people do not understand your words, they do not receive your message. They only become confused and turn to something interesting. In advertising we must reach the 98%--not the 2%.

It looks like David Hulme has tried to do the exact diametrical opposite of what Herbert W. Armstrong had taught in his autobiography. It looks like David Hulme wanted to impress just the snooty, uppity 2% rather than try to reach and teach the 98% + 2% = 100%.

As Dr. Phil McGraw might say to someone like David Hulme, "And how is that working out for you?"

Anonymous said...

The Ad for the Dodge said "One Look and You're Hooked"

Just like Hulme after he became a millionaire and spotted his Trophy Wife?

Trophy Wives don't like it when the money runs out.

Byker Bob said...

Shoot, I wonder if I could apply my AC credits , my PCC credits, and my AA equivalency degree in drafting from a correspondence school towards a B.A. of some sort at ASU. Oh, well, it's not as if that would make me more bankable, or would give my career any sort of boost at this late date. It'd beat the hell out of saying I had two years of worthless credits at a bogus theology school, though.


Anonymous said...

wow, James Tabor exposed (Dennis mentions him). I just began reading a book by him "The Jesus Dynasty". Not a book I would normally read, but I found it in the "discarded" pile at the library.
It had started to sound a bit familiar. Now I find out he used to be in first impulse is to throw the book away immediately, but then he is a good writer and no capitals.
It makes me feel like I have come full circle, reading a book from an ex-WCGer. Yes it definitely dilutes his credentials to me, so I understand why it would not be mentioned. But N.Carolina, isn't that the new headquarters of a lot of the left over WCG, Meredith for instance.

Anonymous said...

The "open door" that Herbert W. Armstrong was given to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God to the entire world was obviously slammed tightly shut on David Hulme from the very start--and locked!!!

David Hulme has just wasted all his followers' time and money.

Anonymous said...

"The 'open door' that Herbert W. Armstrong was given to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God to the entire world was obviously slammed tightly shut on David Hulme from the very start--and locked!!! David Hulme has just wasted all his followers' time and money."

Well, you're right about David Hulme wasting his followers' time and money, however, it's dubious that it's for the reason you seem to be saying. If ol' Herb was "given" an "open door" to "preach the gospel of the kingdom of God to the entire world," the ones who "gave" it were the suckers he managed to con out of their hard-earned money. If that "door" shuts, it does so because there aren't enough suckers to prop it open with gobs of cash.

Anonymous said...

Gossip and assume facts all you want, but to be so cruel and disrespectful to his wife ( who is also someone's mother and child) is just rude and immature. That has nothing to do with what may or may not be happening In the group.