Remembering evangelist Dibar Apartian

COGwriter and Dibar Apartian


Dibar Apartian died four years ago, on December 8, 2010.  For those unfamiliar with him, he had been an evangelist in the Church of God (COG) for decades.

He was born of Armenian parents and his family had to flee when he was quite young because of persecution from the Turks (known as the Armenian genocide).  He ended up in the French-speaking portion of Switzerland.  During World War II he worked for the US Embassy there and then later came to the USA.  In the USA, he met and married his wife Shirley.

Dibar Apartian lived into his mid-90s (there were debates about the year he was born and he himself did not seem to be certain as his early documents were lost). As many know, he was responsible for the French language work in the old Radio Church of God which became the old WCG, then he was in the old GCG, and then the Living Church of God. He also handled other aspects of Church Administration in and out of the USA for LCG.

For decades, he also taught French at the old Ambassador College (Pasadena, California campus).  He loved the French.  He loved the French language, he loved French food, and he loved the French people.

His voice was well known throughout much of the French-speaking world as he did a radio program for decades in the French-language that was heard in several French-speaking nations.  He used to sometimes write articles that went into the English language publications and sometimes gave sermons in English.

While my wife Joyce and I were familiar with that, we started to become more familiar with him in the1980s.  As WATS line volunteers for the old Worldwide Church of God in Pasadena, sometimes his Friday night Bible studies were played and we would watch them.

After the apostasy in the old Worldwide Church of God, Dibar Apartian did not run immediately to Dr. Meredith and the new Global Church of God as he was unsure where to go. After a couple of years, he ended up with the Global Church of God mainly because of doctrinal issues he had in discussions with the emerging United Church of God.

Within a year or less of that, Dibar Apartian and I met.  We later counted each other as friends. We would spend time together when my family and I used to visit the Garden Grove congregation of the old Global Church of God in the mid to late 1990s.

Prior to the GCG split in 1998, Dibar Apartian expressed his opinion about various actions and decisions that the then presiding evangelist Roderick C. Meredith made.  He personally told me in late 1998, that he told Dr. Meredith if he ever did something like this again that he would not follow him into another organization.  This clarified, for me at least, some of his views of Dr. Meredith.

Dibar Apartian and I worked together on many matters, including when I was looking into a variety of allegations against the late Herbert W. Armstrong (see 15 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong) as well as the Elijah issue (see The Elijah Heresies).

When some claimed that the proclamation work of Matthew 24:14 was completed, he disagreed.  Dibar Apartian was an evangelist who was preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom in the French language over radio while Herbert Armstrong was alive, and he did so after some improper believe that Matthew 24:14 had been fulfilled in total. 

Dibar Apartian continued to preach the Gospel until shortly before he died. When I asked him if Herbert Armstrong ever told him to stop doing this in the event of his (HWA’s) death, Dibar Apartian responded, “To the contrary, he told me he wanted me to go on more stations.”  This ended up being reported in the article Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?

We had various discussions about the Bible and Bible study.  Dibar Apartian used to teach that the Bible was not like other books–you do not simply read it, you need to truly study it and live by it (see Read the Bible). And that is true (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).

Dibar Apartian and I worked together on how to reach people better in the third world, including places like Nigeria. Neither of us cared for how the then LCG director of Church Administration handled some of those matters, and he made suggestions on how to work to support Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20 without getting some things stopped by that director (who was later removed from that position).

Dibar Apartian had a keen interest on prophecy, as well as history.  Notice two items he wrote:

On September 3, 1939, the Allies declared war against Germany after its invasion of Poland, and all stores and restaurants were closed. Some did not heed. Some had even scoffed at the warning. As a result, they suffered the consequences. How about us, today? What is our attitude as we see dark clouds hovering over our heads? Recently, the United States, as well as the rest of the world, has gone through unparalleled calamities. How many more wake-up calls do we need before we heed and prepare for the calamities ahead? The Bible tells us, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise” (Proverbs 12:15).  (Apartian D.  World Ahead Weekly Update, September 8, 2005)

Many are becoming perplexed and wondering what’s really happening to this world? When will earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes end? When will wars and cruelty among human beings come to a halt? We, as God’s people, know the answers but we must constantly be strong and vigilant to help others in the world turn to God, submit to His will, and observe His commandments. That’s our mission. Are we doing our part—zealously? Are we ourselves submitting to God—totally? Hurricane Katrina is one of the wake-up calls, not only to Americans but to all mankind. The question is: Will mankind wake up? And will all of God’s people around the world wake up? Each of us, individually, holds the answer. Remember Christ’s words, “And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37) (Apartian D.  World Ahead Weekly Update, September 1, 2005)

He and I often discussed prophetic, historical, doctrinal, and administrative matters.

Many members in LCG were unaware that Dibar Apartian had issues with LCG’s Tomorrow’s World magazine.  He stated it lacked interest, depth, and relevance.  In 2007 and 2008, he pushed Dr. Meredith to agree to have articles in it from me as he told me that my articles were what LCG needed.  Dr. Meredith agreed, at least at that time.  I agreed, but under the proviso that LCG would first fix errors in its booklet on church history.  Although LCG, numerous times agreed to do that and told me numerous times that it was working on doing that, it never happened as various ones promised.  The reality is that one of the top people did not want the magazine changed and prevented the booklet changes as a reason to not have me submit articles.

Dibar Apartian frequently used to urge me to try to get the other leaders in LCG to correct doctrinal, prophetic, and literature errors.  Although I tried to get him to do more of that himself, he always instructed me to not only do that, but to remind other leaders in Charlotte to keep their promises to fix errors, literature, etc.

But we did have an incident where he got quite angry with me. It was related to something that started on October 3, 2008 when Dr. Roderick C. Meredith (Presiding Evangelist of the Living Church of God) called me and said to me, “God may consider you to be a prophet.” Dr . Meredith and I discussed this in depth as Dr. Meredith was the one who brought the topic up.

Dibar Apartian shown sitting between COGwriter and my wife Joyce, along with his wife Shirley and our sons Michael and Brian (David is in between them, but hard to see) in Evian, France

Later that month, my family and I went to the Feast of Tabernacles in Evian, France.  The conversation with Dr. Meredith weighed on my mind, so I asked Dibar Apartian (who was the Feast site coordinator) and Dr. Jeff Fall (who was my pastor, who also attended there that year) to meet with me before services one morning.  I told both of them about the conversation with Dr. Meredith.

Upon hearing this, Dibar Apartian got upset.  He told me that Dr. Meredith did not say such a thing and I assured him that he had.  His emotions got the best of him and he walked out of the meeting and I completed it by discussing what happened in more depth with Dr. Fall.

A couple of days later, after Dibar Apartian calmed down, he came up to me and said that I was either “the one” or the “biggest threat to the church.” He also came up to me shortly thereafter and told me how much he appreciated a sermonette I gave during that Feast.

We continued to speak over the telephone.  I would bring up issues and Dibar Apartian continued to press me to bring the subjects up to other leaders in Charlotte.  So, I did.  He told me that I needed to remind those in Charlotte about errors they were making and truths that they were not teaching, so I did.

In the Summer of 2009, Dibar Apartian told me, in quite a positive tone, that Dr. Meredith had been stating in meetings that “Bob Thiel may be a prophet.”  He seemed very excited.  I reminded him that I had told him that in October 2008, and he said yes he knew, but essentially the forthright way Dr. Meredith brought it up struck him in a very positive way.

Anyway, we continued to work together and I would bounce doctrinal, historical, and prophetic issues off of him and as far as I recall, he always agreed with what I was advocating.  He kept telling me to remind Dr. Meredith and others of issues there, despite the fact that they often would not resolve matters.

In the late Summer of 2010, I asked Dibar Apartian if he still thought I was “the greatest threat to the church or ‘the one.’ “  He said I was not the threat and said that he would try to talk to Dr. Meredith about my prophetic role, but it is not clear how, or even if, he did before he died later that year. But what was appeared clear was that Dibar Apartian believed then that God had a top/prophetic role for me.

Dibar Apartian got ill at the Feast of Tabernacles in Martinique in late 2010, and never truly recovered from that bout of illness.  Here is something he wrote in November 2010:

Dear brethren in Christ: Since the Feast of Tabernacles, my life has known many changes. Humanly speaking, one wonders if the hardship that follows is worth it. The answer is simple: God knows. He knows what every one of us goes through in life and how much we can each take. This has been my strength. Without such hope, life would be worthless. During the last few weeks, while lying in my bed, I have come to understand more and more that God is in control of everything. You and I are simple servants. We should do what He leads us to do. At times, all seems dark. But just like night and day, the light of the day overshadows the darkness of yesterday.

Dibar Apartian was buried at Forest Lawn cemetery in Weddington, North Carolina.

In one of our last conversations, he concluded with the words, “I love you.” I was emotionally touched.

Some have attempted to discount and discredit what happened between Dibar Apartian and myself, but what is reported here is true.  There should be several in Charlotte who at least used to know this, as well as one or more LCG ministers not in Charlotte who did.

It should be noted that Dibar Apartian had major issues with LCG in general and Dr. Meredith in particular.  And I was not the only one who knew this.  Someone once in the employ of LCG in Charlotte sent me the following:

I just wanted to write you about Mr. Apartian and what he REALLY felt about LCG and its leaders.

I know that Dibar Apartian expressed serious concern for the LCG brethren, as he made comments about the “true colors” of LCG’s upper leadership would come out after his death-which is exactly what happened.

Mr. Apartian told several LCG members, whom he trusted, that LCG was no longer God’s true Church, and was no longer even a Godly church.

Mr. Apartian was against the “falling away” doctrine, just as John Ogwyn was against it also.

Mr. Apartian also knew that Herbert W. Armstrong was vehemently against Rod Meredith being the human leader of the church. Mr. Apartian always felt uneasy about following Rod Meredith, since he knew HWA’s feelings about that.

Mr. Apartian was also having private meetings, near the end of his life, with ministers of different Church of God groups-one of those ministers, whom Mr. Apartian met with, told me about their meetings in person. Those private meetings were about Mr. Apartian leaving LCG.

However, due to his rapidly failing health and a few other reasons, he stayed with LCG.

He did make it very clear though, that LCG was heading the wrong direction, in terms of doctrine and other major decisions as well.

Mr. Apartian was also very upset about Rod Meredith’s lack of compassion and concern for him, while he was near his death.

Rod Meredith had heard about some of Mr. Apartian’s revealing comments about LCG, and Meredith was not happy.

Therefore, Rod Meredith did not visit much with Mr. Apartian towards the end, and Meredith even discouraged other LCG members from visiting with Mr. Apartian-worried that more negative facts about LCG would “get out.”

I hope this info is helpful-God’s people need to know the truth about LCG and about Rod Meredith

. . .

Mr. Apartian actually said that LCG was no longer a Godly church!

He also said that we would all see LCG’s “true colors” after he died.

He made these statements to several LCG members, but most of them are still working at HQ, so they just keep quiet and don’t say a word.

After Dibar Apartian’s death, certain problems with LCG became clearer and certain ones accelerated.  Many of those have been documented at the website.  The “true colors” are out there for those who really will love and believe the truth.  But sadly, most seem to not understand the depth of the integrity issues, etc.

Since Dibar Apartian died, LCG changed several doctrines, including the following:

I left LCG because it had serious integrity matters (see Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God).  Dibar Apartian realized LCG had them as well.  The integrity matters also spill into matters of doctrine and LCG has made many improper changes (see a list in the article What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God?).

Some time ago, LCG ceased to have the ‘Philadelphia mantle‘ (proper leadership authority for the true and faithful church).  It seems that Dibar Apartian realized this would happen, though even today, most within LCG (including those who know about the integrity and other issues) do not wish to take the biblically appropriate steps about that.

Though this is not a total surprise as Jesus prophesied that most in the end would not see the need to change as they should per His comments in Revelation 3:14-21.

Anyway, I considered Dibar Apartian as a friend and still miss him.  For those that prefer to read this post in the Spanish language, here is a link:

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God Several have speculated reasons, but here is the truth. (En el idioma español: ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?)
Journal Report on Continuing Church of God Leader Bob Thiel Bob Thiel was interviewed by The Journal News of the Churches of God related to him being a prophet, the proclamation goals of the Continuing Church of God, and why he left LCG.
Response to a Letter from Dr. Roderick C. Meredith Dated December 28, 2012 In violation of Matthew 18, Dr. Meredith publicly sent out a letter that forced Dr. Thiel to conclude that the Continuing Church of God must be formed. Here is that letter and some of Bob Thiel’s comments about it. Here is a version in the Spanish language Respuesta a una carta del Dr. Roderick C. Meredith fechada el 28 de diciembre, 2012.
What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? This article explains some information and doctrines of the Living Church of God as led by Roderick C. Meredith and some concerns about them. (En el idioma español: ¿Qué hay acerca de la Iglesia de Dios Viviente? ¿Hay diferencias doctrinales con la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios?)
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.