Cartwright’s Journal out and he’s leaving, also Feast of Tabernacles, leaving an organization vs. leaving the COG, CEM, back page items, and Calendar ads


The latest issue (says #199, print date September-October 2017) of The Journal: News of the Churches of God was just posted online.

There was information regarding Feast of Tabernacles’ sites, leaving an organization vs. leaving the COG, CEM, back page items, and advertisements related to calendar postponements.

Before getting to those, notice the following:

In January, after a run of 21 years, The Journal will come to an end

The writer and his wife, Linda, are publishers of THE JOURNAL .

By Dixon Cartwright

BIG SANDY, Texas—After 21 years of publishing THE JOURNAL: NEWS OF THE CHURCHES OF GOD , we plan to shut down this newspaper after three more issues. The last issue, No. 202, will be dated Jan. 31, 2018, and be printed and mailed out the first week in February. Since this is a subscription-based publication, many subscribers will still have issues due them past our shut- down date. For example, they may have recently renewed for 12 or 24 issues but they will receive only three more. Therefore, we at THE JOURNAL plan to mail refunds to subscribers who have paid for more than the length of their subscriptions. Present plans are for our website,, to continue under the oversight of Alan Ruth. Plans also are, over the next several months, to post an archive on the site of all 202 issues as PDFs, beginning with issue No. 1, published in February 1997

I knew that The Journal was a lot of work for Dixon Cartwright, but was unaware he was going to drop out. Alan Ruth has managed The Journal’s webite for years.

Here is some of what The Journal reported about the Feast of Tabernacles:

The following reports are in alphabetical order.

15 FESTIVAL SITES ARROYO GRANDE, Calif.—The Continuing Church of God ob- serves God’s holy days, sometimes called festival or feast days, through- out the world. In 2017 Feast of Tabernacles services began the evening of Oct. 4 and continued until the Last Great Day, which was Oct. 12. The Continuing Church of God had 15 festival sites located in countries all over the world. For information related to 2018, check out Feast of Tabernacles sites for 2018 at Bob Thiel.

TEXAS AND MISSOURI FEASTS BIG SANDY, Texas—While visiting his grandparents, Dixon and Linda Cartwright, in Big Sandy after the Feast, 8-year-old Cater Cart- wright of Nacogdoches, Texas, grant- ed an interview with his grandparents, publishers of THE JOURNAL , about his 2017 festival experience…

FEAST IN MUSIC CITY NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Here is information about some of the festival messages at Feast of Tabernacles 2017 in Nashville sponsored by the Church of the Great God, which is pastored by John Ritenbaugh ( …

CHURCH PROVIDES VENUE FOR ANOTHER CHURCH’S FEAST OBSERVANCE TULSA, Okla.—I attended the Feast this year as much as I was able (I have health challenges including being legally blind). I attended the Feast observance sponsored by the Christian Biblical Church of God (CBCG), based in Hollister, Calif., and founded by Fred Coulter. The Tulsa Church of God, pastored by Steve Andrews, was kind enough to allow Fred’s group to conduct Feast services in its building this year. We heard Fred every day through a remote connection, and on one of the days Fred’s CBCG provided a catered meal for us. We had an enjoyable and profitable festival. Attendance varied from about 20 to about 40 over the course of the eight days. Bill Wax is the local host of the group. Leon Avery, Tulsa, Okla.

For some photographs and other information, see also the article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2017.

The Journal  re-ran an article titled By Don Hooser:

MCKINNEY, Texas—When is it right to leave the church? Can it ever be right? Would I be falling away if I left the church? These are monumental questions, and ones that weigh heavily on the minds of many church members. Here is part of the answer: It is never right to leave the Church—the spiritual Body of Christ—the group of believers in which the Holy Spirit dwells. It is usually not right to leave a church organization to which you believe God called you. Sometimes leaving a church organization is the right thing to do even though the leaders may be urging you to stay put.

Basically, I agree with that. I believe that God called me decades ago to support the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God. As far as why I had to leave my prior COG organization, check out the article:Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God. While I do not know Don Hooser, I suspect he would agree that I did need to leave my prior COG organization.

The Journal had a article about changes with CEM:

WHITEHOUSE, Texas—Larry S. Watkins of Big Sandy, Texas, is the new vice president and general manager of Christian Educational Ministries (CEM), based in Whitehouse. CEM’s board of trustees announced the appointment as effective Oct. 16, 2017. A press release provided to T HE JOURNAL by CEM noted that Mr. Watkins had retired from the employ of CEM in 2011 and will now be responsible for “ongoing operations of the ministry” and “will assume duties he previously held prior to his retirement.”

CEM’s founding Ronald Dart and his wife, Allie Dart, founded CEM on Nov. 9, 1995, to, in their words, “fulfill the great commission of Matthew 28:18-20” and to provide training for “personal evangelism” along with Christian literature including periodicals and audio-visual materials as Christian outreach to people of all faiths. The Darts’ aim was also to “assist churches and individual Christians in finding affiliations with other like- minded persons and congregations.” CEM, known in some other countries as Christian Educational Services, is the sponsor of the syndicated Born to Win radio program, featuring the voice of Mr. Dart, who died in January 2016. Born to Win broadcasts on dozens of stations in the United States and elsewhere. Linda Benton of CEM’s home office, the ministry’s editorial staffer, informed THE JOURNAL that the ministry plans to continue all of its current services as a Christian outreach and expand its presence on social media and its collaboration with other ministries including churches. Mrs. Dart died Aug. 9, 2017.

Mrs. Dart’s death (see CEM’s Allie Dart died) and other CEM related matters (see ‘Ronald L Dart Evangelistic Association’ announcement) were posted at this COG News page in August 2017. For more on CEM, check out the article: Teachings of Christian Educational Ministries.

The back page of The Journal, had the following:

Gary Klar dies

TOLEDO, Ohio—The As Bereans Did blog reports that elder Gary Klar died during or shortly after his observance of the Feast of Tabernacles, presumably in October. The blog mentioned that he and his wife would have soon celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. “Gary tried his best to make a genuinely better church,” the blog writer said. “It’s quite remarkable, really, what he w as able to accomplish with what he was given.” …

CG7 worldwide

DENVER, Colo.—The world- wide umbrella organization of the Church of God 7th Day, which includes the Church of God 7th Day based in Denver but also several other CG7 groups such as the one based in Meridian, Idaho, will celebrate the Annual World IMC (International Ministerial Congress) Sabbath on Nov. 4, 2017. The IMC began in 1978 to unite the CG7 groups and individuals, support doctrinal unity and coordinate evangelism.

Cogwa planning for ’18 Feast

ALLEN, Texas—The Church of God a Worldwide Association (CGWA)’s pastor Jim Franks announced plans for a new Feast of Tabernacles site in 2018. The CGWA, also known as Cogwa, reportedly has five small congregations in Western Europe b ut none in Italy. Mr. Franks also announced the church’s plans to buy a six-acre plot of land in McKinney, Texas, a Dallas suburb not far from the current church headquarters. …

Gooey eyes

TYLER, Texas—Vance Stinson of the Church of God International (CGI) responded to a provocative blogger’s comment that accused the CGI of greed. “There is one reason and one reason only why CGI are all gooey eyed over the joining of CEM to them. Money money money,” the blogger reportedly posted.

Mr. Stinson’s response to the accuser of the brethren: “Totally false! We don’t want anything from CEM . . . except the friend- ship of its affiliates.” The allegation came after the recent announcement that a CGI elder, Larry Watkins, has accepted a top managerial position at CEM, based near Tyler. Continued Mr. Stinson: “We do not in any way anticipate any increase in numbers, whether dollars or members, from Larry’s involvement with CEM.” Further, he said, “CEM is not ‘joining’ with us any more than it’s ‘joining’ with other groups. The CEM board’s intention is to help out with facilitating cooperation between groups.

On the back page of The Journal, I was surprised to see the following:

The Thiel report

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif.— Continuing Church of God pastor Bob Thiel announced his church has increased its membership in Africa to around 3,000, mostly in East Africa

I was surprised as I did not submit any report to The Journal about membership size–so Dixon Cartwright apparently saw that information online.

There was also some advertisements somewhat related to an old article from the late evangelist Raymond McNair on postponements that was re-ran earlier in The Journal.

The most paid space was by a calendar group, called Church of God in Truth–here is a link to an article about them: Church of God, In Truth.

Information on postponements and other calendar issues, including an article from Raymond McNair, follow:

Calculated or observed calendar? Did Jesus use a calculated calendar? This article addresses this issue that many wonder about.
What are Postponements? This is by the late evangelist Raymond McNair and explains a lot about postponements and calculations.
Hebrew Calendar and “Postponements” This late evangelist John Ogywn writing explains why the most faithful in the Church of God use the calendar that we do and answers such questions as “Did Jesus Observe the Postponements?”
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?

As far as The Journal goes, it also had the usual letters to the editor and other advertisements, various comments, and opinion articles. The advertisements mainly seem to be from possibly Laodicean groups and/or individuals (not all seem to be COG) who seem to think that the ads are somehow doing the work of God. More of the real work that the COGs should be doing are in the article The Final Phase of the Work.

The Journal itself has been  available by paid subscription (though Dixon Cartwright says some subscriptions were sent free to those who could not afford it). It has tended to have a non-Philadelphian approach to many, but not all, matters.

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