Saturday, June 12, 2010

Case Study: Living Church of God - Roderick Meredith

The next casestudy among the major splinters from the WCG is the Living Church of God, presided over by Evangelist Roderick C Meredith.

Roderick C Meredith in the beginning insisted upon being called Dr. - and wrote this in numerous articles until this was pointed out on Ambassador Watch (and other sources). It is however still used on their website in the "About Us" page.

In this connection it must be remembered that in the world of Armstrongism, it is traditional to always adress any of their ministers with "Mr. Lastname." No first names - even in personal conversations or during counseling.

In the world of coaching it has long ago been established that the best forms of coaching happen in a power-free environment. Much like when you go to a therapist to get some form of advice. You pay for a service, but the therapist has no authority over you. He (or she) can give all forms of advice without insisting that you do as you were advised to do.

In the world of cults, there is a clear line of authority - and the Living Church of God is NO exception.

Richard Ames has been appointed as the future leader in the event Roderick Meredith passes away.

As was the case with the original WCG much emphasis is put on "passing on the baton" as Herbert Armstrong did with Joseph Tkach - and Roderick Meredith wants to assure a trouble-free transition since statistically he doesn't have much time left.

There is widespread speculation about a potential power struggle if Richard Ames passes away shortly after Roderick Meredith, a.k.a. "Spanky".

Shootings and suicide are among the skeletons in the LCG-closet. Terry Ratzmann is one example, and when the ministers say you can know a tree by its fruits, it's safe to say the LCG-tree isn't nearly as healthy as some would like to believe.


  1. Ah, the tales I could regale you with, about ol' Spanky. I could tell you about the time we had Spanky AND Waterhouse speaking at the Feast one year....Those were some REALLY long days...and Spanky was in top form...preach for fifteen minutes, then just as everyone's starting to nod off, YELL AND POUND THE PULPIT. Everyone jumps, babies cry, and Spanky proceeds as if status is quo...rinse, lather, repeat, for three more hours....Always all about "discipline, discipline, discipline" (so help me I think Spanky would rather have been one of those BSDM dudes, instead of an evangelist; but evangelist pays better, see....)

    We were picketed by fundagelical protesters that year, too (I want to say this was before Herbie died, but I never have been too certain what year it was exactly. After keeping twenty years' worth of them, all the Feasts kind of blurred into one another, after awhile.), and one of them even ran into the auditorium (through the back doors), yelling at Waterhouse "You're going to hell!"

    Waterhouse didn't even bat an eyelid...."...and he says I'm going to hell. Turn with me in your bibles to....[Some verse in Revelation that propped up the governmental list he was preaching on], brethren...." and he went on for another THREE HOURS.

  2. I very vividly remember the two tapes - almost 2½ hours with Gerald Waterhouse. He was an incredible speaker in the sense of being able to say a lot without a script, but I later learned that it was mostly the same BS he kept repeating, so it was no wonder he could speak for ages.

    Spanky IS indeed an authority freak, and he is running in circles around the same theme.

    Thanks for your comment. :-)

  3. Two and a half hours? That was it? You definitely got the edited version!

    Three hours was the BAREST minimum for a "Waterhouse special", and that was usually if he was falling down "sick"; every sermon I was ever unfortunate enough to have to sit through by the man, ranged from four to six hours!

    Spanky was no slouch, in that department, either; he gave at least two epic barnstormers, at that Feast I mentioned above, that were at LEAST three hours long.

    Two and a half hours? That was usually the local pastard's record. "Evangelists" were held to a higher standard, see, and they had to provide the "Godly" example of having more stamina than the local ministurd!

  4. Do you have an email address? I've got something in the works I'd like to discuss with ex-WCG bloggers. Or you can email me at . Thanks.