Exit and Support Network

Expelled by WCG for Marrying the Man I Loved

I would like to share with you my story about leaving Worldwide Church of God. I was born into WCG and went to services with my parents and tried to honor my parents' wishes and the WCG's rules. I never could get past my revulsion for the place of safety rubbish and the WCG's tyrannical treatment of members. I grew up having nightmares of Christ--we always called him "Christ" not Jesus--wielding a sword to destroy all the children at school. I was told this was just lack of faith, etc., on my part. I was a child, what did I know? 

When I was in High School it got particularly difficult. Somehow it occurred to me that maybe if I got baptized I would understand. So I got baptized. What a mistake. Of course that didn't make anything WCG said make any more sense than it had before. After that my parents would throw my baptism in my face any time I did anything they didn't like. Ugh.

When I was in college I met a wonderful man and we fell deeply in love. He, of course, was not in the WCG and had no intention of joining. My parents went into the most hideous tantrums about it. At one point they informed me that they would prefer that I married a man who beat me every night but was in "the church." Sadly, this was actually the trend among husbands in our local WCG area. I and my fiancé went and talked to the local pastor about our intention to get married. I'll comment here that throughout everything that happened my policy was to be honest, forthright and kind with everyone involved. The pastor told us that "interdenominational marriage" was frowned on and hemmed and hawed a lot. After that, every Saturday he would rant about dating outside "the church" while staring directly at me. It got so bad that I actually had old men coming up to me and asking if I had listened to the sermon. Not very subtle! I actually endured this treatment for over a year. Oddly enough, an elder in the local congregation told me the policy about interdenominational marriage had been changed. He was so confident of this that he offered to officiate at our wedding. To his credit he was always nice to me and my husband and supported our marriage. He told me later that he was not allowed to help us with our wedding.

My husband and I got married and started our new life together. About 4 months after our wedding I got a form letter from headquarters telling me that if I had repented I could return to services. I was shocked! No one had ever bothered to inform me that I had been expelled. No one told me that I wasn't supposed to attend services, though I felt extremely unwelcome. Repent? What on earth could they mean? How do you repent for getting married to the man you love? I wrote a letter to headquarters to ask what was going on? Some minister called my home to chew me out and inform me that I was clearly unrepentant. At that point I told him exactly what he could do with the whole stinking cult.

What followed were a couple of really hard years. I had to inform my family that I was quitting the "church." In return I got more guilt trip letters and phone calls. After all that had happened, I was very bitter. I spent several years unlearning all the junk I'd grown up with. For a long time I felt like if WCG was right about God, I would rather die in the lake of fire than be with that kind up god. It took time but I have cut, torn and thrown out of my soul the ugly hate-filled god of WCG and have found a loving Jesus in Christianity.

Most of my family are still in WCG and splinter groups. At times it is a struggle because I know that their "churches" matter more to them than anything else.

I left WCG about a decade ago. It has been the best decade of my life. I would like to thank you at ESN for your interesting web site. I wish all of you the best.

By Rita - Child survivor of WCG
August 25, 2001

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