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.
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.