COGWA Reports Thousands, UCG Loses Another Elder

Laodicea has many ineffective structures


Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGWA, a recent UCG break-away group) reported the following:

January 8, 2011 – Approximately 400 people assembled in the ballroom of the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky, for the Sabbath service in connection with the organizing conference of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association. Thousands more were connected via webcasts and phone lines…

Richard Pinelli spoke on the work of Elijah that will occur prior to the return of Jesus Christ…

The sound crew in Louisville reported that there were 1,180 web connections and 107 phone connections to the service by congregations and members around the world. Additionally, there were 346 web connections to the Spanish translation of the service.

The Church of God, a Worldwide Association congregation in Houston, Texas, also had 2,476 connecting to its website as it rebroadcasted the Louisville service. Some people may have connected to view it a second time. Houston’s reported breakdown included these numbers of connections and locations: U.S.-2076; Canada-99; Chile-50; Mexico-37; Guatemala-22; Bahamas-19; United Kingdom-15; Singapore-13; Mauritius-13; Philippines-12; Peru-12; Columbia-11; Barbados-11; South Africa-9; Indonesia-7; El Salvador-7; Argentina-7; Germany-5; Sweden-4; New Zealand-4; Bolivia-4; Venezuela-2; Singapore-2; Ecuador-2; Dominica-2; Thailand-1; Trinidad and Tobago-1; Netherlands-1; France-1; Dominican Republic-1; Cayman Islands-1.

I would have reported about this earlier, but spent all morning, day, and much of the night traveling home from Costa Rica yesterday.  Richard Pinelli’s choice of the Elijah subject was unusual given UCG’s historical lack of focus on that subject.  It will probably take several months to know how many intend to affiliate with COGWA instead of UCG.

Here is something that COGWA posted later today, about yesterday’s conference:

January 9, 2011 – The organizing conference of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association was opened at 1:00 p.m. by Mike Hanisko, president of the temporary Board of Directors…

Clyde Kilough then gave an opening address in which he responded to a question that he had been asked. Were ministers just jumping on the bandwagon with those who were exiting our previous organization? Considering that those who recently resigned willingly accepted unemployment, a loss of benefits, etc., he noted that it seems unlikely that what transpired was capricious in nature…

Todd Carey then began a presentation on ethics…

The next presentation was by Jon Pinelli on proposed church names. There were 411 names suggested. After considering the names in terms of identity, mission and legal availability, five potential names were selected: “Covenant Church of God,” Church of God, Ambassadors for Christ,” “Church of God, a Worldwide Association,” “Faithful Church of God” and “Church of God, a Christian Association.” Balloting to select one of these five names will take place on Monday afternoon.

Both Mr. Pinelli and Mr. Kilough noted that the choice of a church name is often intimately personal…

Dave Baker then spoke on interim governance—noting that it was not the intention of this committee to set a precedent for what would be chosen for a long term government, nor how choices would be made, process-wise.

The AC (“Abigail Cartwright”) site reported one more UCG elder loss, bringing its list to 150 ministers and elders that UCG lost in this crisis:

Mr. Eriz Dizon (Elder, Northern Luzon, Philippines) January 9, 2011, resigned from UCG ministry

As I have repeatedly stated, I do not believe that the governmental structure of UCG ever would be effective in proclaiming the gospel to fulfill Matthew 24:14–nor do I believe that those who broke off and will become part of COGWA or other such groups will as well.

If you are or were part of UCG and are confused about what to do, please pray, fast, and study the Bible about this. Decide if you wish to follow the lukewarm or those that Jesus Christ has truly been using to do the work–those who have had the same basic governing principles for over 40 years.

It is my view that those affected by this crisis who wish to support a more effective gospel-proclaiming organization will consider checking out LCG, as it has stood for proper church governance and the work since its foundation (which preceded its formation). It’s decision time for those who have been affiliated with UCG. Most of those part of the COGWA and UCG leadership have already demonstrated, to me at least, that neither group intends to be Philadelphian.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
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? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Those Laodiceans in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will likely be affected sooner by the coming Great Tribulation than the Laodiceans in other lands.

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