Thursday, August 25, 2016

BREAKING: Grace Communion International to Move HQ To North Carolina

While we have long enjoyed our home office being located in Southern California, the location in the USA isn’t necessarily a huge factor impacting our international operations. However, when we focus on how we can better serve our US congregations, location becomes a more important factor. Southern California has served us well, yet over time the cost of living has reached the point where consideration has to be given to relocating. It reminds me of an old joke that is still funny every time I hear it. A man walks into his boss’s office and says: “Sir, I’ll be straight with you, I know the economy isn’t great, but I have three companies after me, and I would like to respectfully ask for a raise.” After a few minutes of haggling, the boss finally agrees to a 5% raise and the employee happily gets up to leave.

“By the way,” asks the boss, “Which three companies are after you?” The employee quickly answers, “The electric company, the water company, and the phone company!”

A major consideration for relocation is that we can cut our overhead (i.e., cost of doing business in California) by $500,000 per year. While this may seem reason enough to move out of California, there are other advantages. Our Glendora church property has significantly increased in value; by relocating, we would access some of that accrued equity to go directly into our mission of the gospel proclamation.

Every time I attend any of our regional conferences or visit one of our churches, several members and ministers suggest their location as a great venue for our church headquarters. It is true there are many locations with a lower cost of living.

Another significant factor to consider in relocation is 65% of our congregations are in the eastern half of the continental US.

We are confident we can relocate to an area where the business environment is good for both business and non-profits – in other words a place of economic growth and development. Our management team has been searching for an area with good quality of life and access to more affordable housing for our employees.

After much prayerful deliberation, our Board of Directors has concluded that relocating to North Carolina would fulfill these desirable requirements.

For some, it may seem like an historic move since this is only the third time our headquarters has relocated. Just as our relocation from Pasadena to Glendora ten years ago had virtually no effect upon our churches, this move will be similar. Mostly the impact will be on our staff in successfully relocating.

We are on sound financial footing, and we strive always to be the best stewards we possibly can be. We were pleased when Capin Crouse LLP, our external auditors, gave a “clean and positive” report to the Board in June, 2016. During the presentation of the report, the auditors also shared a “Letter to Management” outlining any suggestions they may have for changes or improvements. The report did not make any suggestions for improvements. The presenting partner shared, “It is unusual to have a letter to management without any suggestions, because we always try to find something!” She complimented management on the Church’s financial systems. 

Read the full letter here:  Donor Letter
And here: About the GCI Board and Plans Relocate Our Home Office


Byker Bob said...

Are they positioning themselves to pick up the pieces when Rod croaks? Or are they moving to NC to be closer to NASCAR? It surely is amazing that Ohio, Texas, and now North Carolina seem to appeal to multiple groups. What's wrong with the Cayman Islands?


Anonymous said...

This is about the next generation of leadership for GCI: Greg Williams, Jeff McSwain, and Anthony Mullins. Williams is in charge of CAD (Dan Rogers' old job) and McSwain and Mullins each have key roles to play in the denomination. They are to current GCI what Tkach, Feazell, and Rogers were 20 years ago. Williams grew up in Asheville, McSwain is from Durham, and Mullins lives in Lenoir where his wife's adult children and other extended family live (it's a second marriage for both of them.)

The plan will be for Tkach to retire around the time of the move and his job will be split into two positions. Williams will become President of GCI-USA and Tkach's international role as Pastor General will be handed off to someone with a more international background, such as Charles Fleming.

Naturally, this next generation of leaders wants to live where they have so many longstanding ties. In the same way that GCI could have moved out of Southern California in the late 90s but didn't because that is where Tkach, Feazell, and Rogers wanted to live. Mullins is about 15 years younger than Williams and McSwain and may be Williams successor in a decade, assuming GCI survives in something like its present form. So the relocation to NC accommodates future leadership for the next 20-25 years.

Nothing wrong with it, of course. Tkach's rationale for moving out of CA is still perfectly valid. The Williams, McSwain, Mullins connection just explains why the move will be to NC instead of the many other places in the eastern US that they could go. Odds on favorite would be the Charlotte area: largest city, best airport, and relatively close to Durham, Lenoir, and Asheville. Second best guess: Asheville itself.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Guess they are getting ready to take over LCG when Spanky kisses eternity.

Know-it-all Malm has dropped the ball once again!

Anonymous said...

While other groups are leaving North Carolina or moving their events away, like the 2017 NBA All-Star game and, announced today, the University of Vermont women's basketball game against the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Joey is moving his posterior into North Carolina.

Way to go, Joey! The anti-LGBT crowd will be proud.

Minimalist said...

"were pleased when Capin Crouse LLP, our external auditors, gave a “clean and positive” report to the Board"

Means absolutely nothing! Bernie Madoff's accounting firm also gave glowing reports!

Anonymous said...

Looking at what LCG was trying to hide in its latest audit, their bank will likely foreclose soon on the mortgage of LCG's HQ building soon. GCI may be in a sweet position to sweep in and get a really good deal, while also bailing LCG out of a complete disaster.

Anonymous said...

Those employees that move will sell their homes for huge profits and will be able to buy even larger homes in NC for significantly less than the price of a CA home. Then the church will pay all their moving costs. Life sure is grand for the elite.

R.L. said...

GCI finally joins a general exodus of ministries out of California - most likely to save money, though they might slap the state for being ultra-liberal as they do.

UCG and LCG left Cali, of course. But James Dobson moved from L.A. to Colorado Springs two decades ago. And GCI might want to look up their ol' buddy the Bible Answer Man, who's in Charlotte now.

P.S. Can't see GCI moving to Asheville. Lovely as that city is, it has a reputation as a flaky place.

Anonymous said...

If they move to Charlotte, they could meet in the Masonic Lodge on Sundays.

Minimalist said...

This is fantastic Tkach is Broke! Well not him personally, but his money cult
- the pitiful vestige of Herbie Empire:

There used to be 1300 members in my area, now there's about 6!
And these are urban poor, very difficult to milk for money, as Tkach is finding out!

DennisCDiehl said...

Well if it's Asheville, NC Joe has picked the retirement capital of the South in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mtns. Asheville is a wonderful place having spent hundreds of hours there and taking most of my seminars there over the years of living down the hill in Greenville. I suppose it's best I have moved out of the Asheville/Greenville area before Joe moved in. lol or not lol. I have the say, the man knows how to retire nicely while doing the Lord's work .

Asheville is a bit quirky but beats Charlotte by a long shot. Lots of Evangelical types along with a New Age flair.

Black Ops Mikey said...

The GCI still exists?

Anonymous said...

Barely! The Pasadena area had well over 4,000 members and employees at its peak with services in the auditorium, fine arts hall and Imperial gym, in addition to the numerous congregations in the Southern CA area. Now GCI's two largest congregations are the Glendale/Eagle Rock group and the West Valley who still cling to the old ways as much as possible. Thousands have left either to join some of the splinter cults, join mainstream churches or to leave all religion behind. Members are leaving the GCI every week. It cannot draw in new members any more than the hundreds of splinter cults can.

James said...

Moving out of California is like moving out of the Soviet Union.

Black Ops Mikey said...

One wonders of GCI members have problems with alcoholism to the same extent as Armstrongists.

Connie Schmidt said...

I just spoke with Andy, Barney, Goober and Aunt Bea and others on the phone (I think Sarah the operator was listening in too!).

They told me in NO uncertain terms, that they do not want the criminal Tkach gang coming to Mayberry any time soon. They love their peaceful and nostalgic town just fine, and do not want their town disturbed with the remnants of a sick hierarchal cult. Otis the drunk, although curious about having new drinking buddies, had a terrible time though in pronouncing the name Tkach.

Byker Bob said...

One of the points Joe Jr. made in his book was that rather than simply disbanding and having members seek out teachers who had more education, skill, and experience in teaching the "new" doctrines, the WCG needed to continue because of the common bond and special needs of the people who had spent years in the Armstrongist faith. This safety net or support group would go away if the members simply matriculated into mainstream churches.

I don't know that that could ever work from a practical standpoint. If you take a family as a microcosm, you have the people who were never members, who had watched in horror as their relatives became immersed in the cult and abused their children. You have the people who joined Armstrongism, still believe the original doctrinal platform constituted "God's true church" and think of people who embraced the new doctrines as having fallen away, and you have the people who did embrace the new sadly regarding those who stuck with the old as still being deceived. Now, if you extrapolate this into hundreds or thousands in a church, can we all imagine how newcomers who entered that environment after the changes might feel? The various cliques or subgroups would make for a very unpleasant environment, when there are numerous less polarized, less charged alternatives in the same geographic areas.

There really was no solution on a group level to the Armstrong problem. Solutions only exist as an individual endeavor. And that is basically what the former empire is trending towards with the continued shrinkage and splintering. Even if there had never been A polar opposite introduced through new doctrines or increased understanding, in the minds of some everything in the movement became frozen for all time on the day that HWA passed away, no longer subject to change because the only one who could authorize change was no longer present. It was at that specific time that the church became a non-dynamic nostalgia act, with all of the emerging leaders simply perceived as being temporary substitutes for HWA.


Anonymous said...

Apparently, Tkatch chose North Carolina since it was the path of least resistance.

Of all states, it's the one that businesses (and groups, conventions, entertainers etc) are pulling out of, because of their recently passed legislation allowing overt anti-gay discrimination.

Tkatch and friends(his 'dummy board' of directors) heard a sucking sound in North Carolina and realized it means a good deal with bargain prices.

Has Joe Junior's church had a vote yet- for someone to succeed him in his coveted 'position of power' - as he promised so many many years ago?

Have Joe Junior's church's finances finally become transparent, as he promised so many many years ago?

Dear Joe Tkach (and Debbie Nickel, your sleazy secretary), are you ready to disclose your finances, as in disclosing what the various properties sold for?

And what's up with that 'amicus curiae' brief that your church's lawyer filed a few years ago? Does that mean that you're prepared to say that your church OWNS the church buildings that individual congregations have paid for on their own?

Joe Tkach Jr, maybe if your wife Tammy were to sell her sports car, you could put that money toward your ostensible great task of "preaching the Gospel"?

Anonymous said...

I just spoke with Andy, Barney, Goober and Aunt Bea and others on the phone (I think Sarah the operator was listening in too!).

They told me in NO uncertain terms, that they do not want the criminal Tkach gang coming to Mayberry any time soon. They love their peaceful and nostalgic town just fine, and do not want their town disturbed with the remnants of a sick hierarchal cult. Otis the drunk, although curious about having new drinking buddies, had a terrible time though in pronouncing the name Tkach.

But Connie,
What about the episode where Floyd the barber rubs his hand over Junior's hair, goes into a trance, and says, "His hair is so prickly. Only hair like that is approved by Jesus!" and then Opey says, "Hey Junior, Aunt Bea told me Clara will kick your ass and then we'll go to the diner and Waneeta will kick your ass, too."

Anonymous said...

And the citizens of North Carolina all said, "Who?"

Minimalist said...

"Now GCI's two largest congregations are the Glendale/Eagle Rock group and the West Valley"

How many in these groups today?

Lake of Fire Church of God said...

I always thought watching the WCG demise from afar, that little multi-millionaire Joey Tkach, Jr. threw the baby out with the bathwater. NOT EVERYTHING Herbert W. Armstrong said, did or wrote was wrong. When the curtain was raised in the mid 1990s, Tkach could have further obfuscated the doctrinal changes by re-publishing some of HWA's works (edited of course because WCG owned the copyrights) in serial form in the Plain Truth to further confuse the dumb tithe slave sheep. It might have deflected some of the criticism and kept more tithe paying members in the mother Church.

One such example could have been HWA's "Seven Laws of Success", which on the surface is probably HWA's least controversial doctrinal writings. Can you image the "cognitive dissonance" that would have been created publishing this work alone in serial form while the WCG was in doctrinal upheaval?

If the Charlotte re-located WCG (now GCI) wants to market itself to LCG members to bring them back into the mother Church, perhaps they can use one of HWA's edited works in that manner rather than treating HWA as excommunicated from his own Church. I don't know if WCG sold ALL its copyrights to PCG, but otherwise I find it difficult to believe any LCG members will go back until HWA is given some respect by the mother Church.


Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Self-correction to my previous post, HWA's "Seven Laws of Success" was not a "doctrinal writing" as much as it was HWA communicating a set of beliefs. Regardless of what you call it, it was a more harmless "nice to know" booklet produced by WCG that little Joey Tkach could have used while shrinking the Church and committing financial suicide with the $200 Million a year income stream from the dumb tithe slave sheep. Offer the updated booklet free as a re-introduction re-marketing strategy to LCG members (and other splinter members) with an HWA by-line and some people might come back to the mother Church since they are so brain dead!


nck said...

"The seven laws of success" To me was HWA's powerful expression that one needs to to whatever is necessary to achieve ones potential, but that it is of non importance if God is not a part of it.

To me personally, in my 23 year sojourn in the cult, the booklet clearly indicated that I should not have any doubts seeking medical attention if in need of such. But of course not leaving God out of the picture.

Perhaps it was not "doctrinal" but it was "foundational", not just a set of belief. This foundation was also expressed in the letters on the AC campus. "The word of God is .....etc etc".

Unfortunately mans vain attempts in practical application of these concepts have led to misfortune aswell, I do acknowledge. Just talking about the baby in the bathwater.


Lake of Fire Church of God said...

Thank you nck! I was looking for the right word, and still didn't get it right the second time. "Foundational" was the right word to express what I was trying to communicate.


Anonymous said...

It's taken GCI 13 years longer to work out that California is too expensive and too far from the USA Eastern seaboard where many members live. It also makes sense if you want to travel to Europe and Africa

Wonder if they used LCG's 2003 letter as a template!

Joanie said...

Especially, Ronald Washington!

Anonymous said...

Good bye glendora. Great golf in north Carolina.