Cartwright’s Journal Out: SEP camp, Sasha Veljic, and Big Sandy Buildings


The latest issue (says #183, print date April 30, 2016) of The Journal was sent out electronically and just received. This was another relatively short edition.

Items covered included claims about the SEP camp, Sasha Veljic, and Big Sandy area buildings.

The Journal covered some of the history of the old SEP camp:

What started out as a primitive campground developed over the years into the Worldwide Church of God’s first-class Summer Educational Program (SEP) for thousands of WCG youths, adult counselors and college- student-age workers.

THE JOURNAL contacted Floyd and Mardell Kielczewski of Orr, who lived and worked at the camp for many years.

In 1965 the WCG’s first camp director, Floyd Lochner of Pasadena, Calif., contacted the Kielczewskis to ask them to move to Minnesota in February of that year to begin preparations for the camp to open in July. At the time Mr. Kielczewski (pro- nounced kill- CHES -kee) was working as a guide and trapper in Canada.

After 35 years of employment as everything from guide to campsite manager, Mr. Kielczewski lost his job with the WCG in May 2000. Housing development The WCG sold the SEP property in May of that year.

A firm called Taylor Construction bought it and at this writing is busy developing it as sites for private residences. “Back in 1965, before Scott Erick- son donated the property, he consid- ered dividing the property up and selling lots,” Mrs. Kielczewski said. “Now that is what Taylor Construction is doing.”

The new owners have conducted auctions to sell the contents of the buildings. In one case an auction took place one day and a demolition crew was there the next day with the wrecking ball to knock down a building. The Kielczewskis report that all the old buildings except two dormitories and two houses are gone.

Here is some of what The Journal reported about about Sasha Veljic:

NOVI SAD, Serbia—Each year the municipal authorities of Novi Sad present the city’s October Award to one “merited citizen” and have been doing so since 1944. In October of that year the city was liberated from Hungarian occupiers who had put themselves in charge in an effort to create an ethnically pure Hungarian state.

The October Award for 2016 has been presented to a Church of God member, Aleksandar “Sasha” Veljic. Leading up to Mr. Veljic’s nomination and selection for the award was his book Genocide Revealed: New Light on the Massacre of Serbs and Jews Under Hungarian Occupation.

After reading the book, Tomislav Lovrekovic, a journalist, nominated Mr. Veljic. His nomination went to a committee comprised of representatives of ruling local parties. A statement from the award-selection committee talks about Mr. Veljic’s accomplishments . . .

“In [only a few years] Aleksandar Veljic has succeeded to achieve what no historian has done in the last 75 years following World War II. His dedicated, conscientious work has been done in obscure technical conditions, with very modest financial means at his disposal and in spite [of] the incessant sabotages and distractions that have come his way . . .

“This popular writer, historian and true activist has revealed the truth about Razzia 1942 (a genocide com- mitted by Hungarian occupiers) and proved that Miklos Horthy (Hungarian regent and Hitler’s ally in World War II) committed genocide in this area. He has exposed the details of Horthy’s gruesome crimes against civilians . . . “

He has gained the name, reputation and respect of honest and honor- able individuals. He has also been crucified by those who share no such virtues, yet he has maintained a dignified approach to such opponents . . .

“The main trait in Aleksandar Veljic’s character is honor—that by itself is a sufficient argument for this Committee’s positive response of this Committee to this nomination.”

For those unfamiliar with him, Sasha Veljic was the first (and only as far as I know) Yugoslavian to attend the old Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas. He and I correspond fairly regularly.  The articles at that are in the Serbian language were translated by him (find those directly on the following link: He also has done some writings in English. He and I plan to work together on one or more CCOG booklets in Serbian.

The back page of The Journal had short pieces about two COGs that recently acquired buildings in the area of Big Sandy, Texas.  One by COGWA and the other by LCG:

GLADEWATER, Texas—The Church of God a Worldwide Organization (CGWA), known informally as Cogwa, has acquired a building for its Sabbath services, T HE JOURNAL has learned. The property, at 24345 County Rd. 3107, formerly housed the Golf Club at Gladewater.


BIG SANDY, Texas—The Living Church of God has a storefront location in downtown Big Sandy for Sabbath services at 103 E. Gilmer St.

The Journal also listed the following:

Several groups, including the former Worldwide Church of God and its derivatives, own or rent buildings in the Big Sandy area. They include the following: „

Big Sandy: Church of God Big Sandy, Grace Communion International (formerly WCG), Living Church of God, United Church of God. „

Flint: Intercontinental Church of God. „

Gladewater: Ami Yisrael, Church of God a Worldwide Association, „ Tyler: Church of God International, Tyler Sabbath Fellowship.

Many other small Church of God groups, possibly dozens, meet in East Texas in and around Big Sandy. Christian Educational Ministries is also based in the area, in Whitehouse, but is not a church.

Because of the Big Sandy campus of the old Ambassador College, that is probably why many COG groups have a presence in that area. 

Ambassador College was started by the old Radio Church of God, which became the old Worldwide Church of God. Neither the college nor that church organization exist today.

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. More of the real work the COGs should be doing are in the article The Final Phase of the Work.

The Journal itself is available by paid subscription (though Dixon Cartwright says some subscriptions are free to those who cannot afford it). It tends to have a non-Philadelphian approach to many matters.

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