UCG on Its Governance

Ancient Laodicea


In its last posted council meeting notes, UCG reported:

Doug Horchak agreed that there needs to be consistency between the governing documents. He said that the Bylaws are subservient to the Constitution, and the Bylaws speak to specifics. He mentioned that there is a reason why there was a distinction when the governing documents were originally drafted. He stated that the discussion then was about whether the Council manages or gives direction to management—and when he was last on the Council, it was that the Council gives direction. So the way it currently is written, he continued, is how the Council saw its role in working with management.

Scott Ashley said that he sees that there is actually more detail in the Constitution than in the Bylaws with regard to the activities of the Council. Bill Eddington said that this amendment spells out the direction the Council has wanted to go for the last two years or so. Doug Horchak said that the current wording of the Bylaws addresses the way the Council directs and controls. Paul Kieffer said that the six putting forth this amendment believe just the opposite about this issue. He commented that some people quote from the Constitution and some then quote from the Bylaws to establish their position on the issue of the Council’s interaction with the administration.

Victor Kubik stated that he has very little recollection of how these two statements came about. In the beginning the Transitional Board of Directors was acting as management. Since then we have varied in how much direct involvement the Council has had in management. The Council has the right to step in when and where needed. There has been an ebb and flow of involvement over the years. He further commented that some organizations have an institutional board, being distanced from day-to-day operations, but we have been somewhere in the middle where the Council has been more involved in matters, such as with the functioning of Elder’s Forum.

Roy Holladay commented that over the years many of the members of the General Conference of Elders have quoted the Bylaws—the Council only has oversight—while others have quoted the Constitution—the Council has direct involvement in the affairs of the Church. This amendment will make it consistent between both of those governing documents.

In his opinion, Paul Kieffer said, the Council should not be involved in the day-to-day affairs of the Church. Bill Eddington mentioned that the words “direct and oversight” are not very descriptive and the Roles and Rules Committee was given the job of defining what those terms mean.

Paul Kieffer asked if the other five (Jim Franks not being present) members of the Council would support this proposed amendment. Robert Berendt, Aaron Dean and Darris McNeely each lent their support…


Darris McNeely started the next session by presenting the findings of the Branding Task Force. Branding, for the Church, is about a compelling story of the gospel—a story of telling people what the meaning of life is. It is about creating a crystal-clear message about what God the Father and Jesus Christ are doing.

With Clyde Kilough as chairman, Darris McNeely mentioned that the other members of this task force were: Roy Holladay, Larry Salyer, Darris McNeely, Peter Eddington, Linda Register, Scott Moss and Brian Shaw. He said that four agencies made presentations to the task force at two different meetings. After meeting with these agencies, the task force made its recommendation that the Northlich Company of Cincinnati would serve the needs of the Church the best…

Where Do We Go From Here?

Aaron Dean presented the “Where Do We Go From Here?” document as edited by the Strategic Planning Committee. Jason Lovelady asked the Council to consider the potential real estate investment of the Denton, Texas, property with the idea to hold on to it for five years or so, with expectations of appreciation in its market value and a better chance of receiving a more advantageous sales price later. He further mentioned that this is not a good time to sell the property. Aaron Dean responded that there is talk of appreciating value, but the opposite could be just as likely with today’s economy.

Doug Horchak mentioned that he is not against selling the Denton property, but does not want to sell the property to send a message that Cincinnati is where we are. He stated that he is worried that “quick” could mean losing money on a sale of the property.

Jason Lovelady asked the Council to consider how the Church can maximize its value in this property. He said holding on to the property may bring substantially more than the original purchase price.

Aaron Dean then moved, Scott Ashley seconded and, of the 11 Council members present, 10 voted “yes” and one voted “no” (Doug Horchak), to adopt the following:

Whereas, the Council recognizes the need to preach the gospel, yet recognizes that the deteriorating economic and job situation in the U.S. will most likely result in decreased income, and

Whereas, the Denton property is an isolated asset that tied up considerable cash, and

Whereas, the Council wishes to reevaluate its space needs and options locally,

Now therefore, it is hereby resolved, that:

1. There be no new study on home office relocation at the present time.

2. The Denton property will be listed for sale and sold when an acceptable offer, as determined by the Council in conjunction with the treasurer, is made.

3. That a space-needs study be undertaken to determine what we can do with and without expansion of the present home office building.

4. That administration do a cost-benefit study of off-site space relating to residential housing for approved UCG education/training programs.

5. Although some pastoral trainees may need to take part in the ABC program, it shall remain a nine-month program. An additional period of education/training, if implemented, will be part of the pastoral training program, not ABC, and is for pastoral candidates and the occasional ABC student who would be asked to participate in the additional period.

Upcoming Teleconference

Chairman Holladay mentioned that there are three issues the Council still must address, not including the retirement policies presented earlier in these meetings. These issues can be addressed by teleconference. Chairman Holladay then called a teleconference of the Council for Monday, Aug. 24, 2009, at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time to discuss those issues.

For all of the 14 plus years since it formed, UCG has had problems and inconsistencies related to its governance.

I started to point some out shortly after it formed.

UCG leadership simply rejected the form of governance that all its ministers claimed to support when Herbert W. Armstrong was alive.  And it certainly appears that the fruits of its governmental practices remain other than hot.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
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.
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?
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?

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

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