Founders of two splinter groups from the formerly heterodox Worldwide Church of God (WCG) have been booted by their own boards.
In December, the Church of God, International (CGI), of Tyler, Texas, revoked the ministerial credentials of Garner Ted Armstrong, who for 30 years was part of a WCG radio and TV saturation.
Armstrong created his own organization in 1978 after being excommunicated from the WCG by its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, his father.
The CGI board said it pulled Garner Ted Armstrong's credentials in the wake of both a sexual harassment suit by a Tyler masseuse and the discovery that Armstrong had a five-year extramarital affair.
According to Bronson James, secretary of the CGI's ministerial council, the organization "will continue to do the work of the church in a freer fashion than before, without a cult of personality" that had grown up around Armstrong. "It was painful to have to exercise biblical judgment" of Armstrong's actions, he says, "but it was a wake-up call for all of us."
Armstrong has started an "evangelistic association" in Flint, Texas, and has tried to rally support via mass mailings and an Internet-based campaign.
On January 20, in a separate development, the United Church of God (UCG) in Arcadia, California, fired its president, David Hulme. A former presenter on the WCG's World Tomorrow television program, Hulme led a movement to start the UCG in 1995, winning an estimated 17,000 WCG members dissatisfied with the older church's doctrinal shifts to orthodoxy (CT, June 16, 1997, p. 66). Hulme's dismissal involved differences regarding a plan to move headquarters to Cincinnati.
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