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Roots of the Worldwide Church of God

William Miller (1782-1849)

Predicted Christ would return in 1843 (date later changed to 1844). Gathered a large following. He later went his own way after the prophecy failed. Note: The Branch Davidians (David Koresh) were a break-off from the Millerites (Seventh-day Adventists), just as the WCG was. Their indoctrination and doctrine was very similar to WCG's.
Joseph Bates (1792-1872) Introduced observance of the Saturday Sabbath to the Millerites after reading an article by Thomas M. Preble, who learned about it from Fredrick Wheeler, a Millerite preacher at the time (early 1844) who accepted the Sabbath after a study which began as a challenge from Rachel Oaks, a Seventh Day Baptist. Joseph Bates, with James Springer White, is recognized as co-founder of the SDA denomination.
Ellen G. White (1827-1915) Wife of James S. White. She accepted the 7th day Sabbath after reading and accepting Joseph Bates' articles. Claimed to have been given "the gift of prophecy" around 1844 and had visions and dreams of "Bible truths." Became the highest authority of the 7th Day Adventist Church.
Gilbert Cranmer (1814-1904) Had originally followed William Miller. Accepted the Sabbath after hearing Joseph Bates. Believed in the soon coming of Christ. Started Church of Christ, later known as Church of God, Stanberry, Missouri, later known as the Church of God 7th Day. He taught that the whole Law of Moses was never abolished and was to be observed.
G. G. Rupert (1847-1922) Independent minister of Church of God 7th Day. Observed law of Moses. Ascribed prophetic importance to the year 1933. Believed in time cycles. Taught the Sabbath observing church of God was the only true Christian church on earth by lineage. Published "Remnant of Israel," which Herbert W. Armstrong plagiarized from. (Note: Herbert W. Armstrong plagiarized many of Rupert's writings and this is documented in many places. See: Herbert W. Armstrong's Religious Roots.)
Andrew N. Dugger (1886-1975) Son of Church of God 7th Day's first vice president, A. F. Dugger. He was a minister of Church of God 7th Day since 1906 and president of the General Conference and editor of the Bible Advocate.  He believed he could raise up the continuation of "the primitive" New Testament church. He and C. O. Dodd (who was a Jehovah's Witness) wrote, A True History of a True Religion, which was later known to be deliberately falsified. (Herman L. Hoeh of the WCG later wrote A True History of the True Church in 1959, which was also shown to be falsified. (See: True Original Church/Faith Once Delivered for proof that Herbert Armstrong lied about the "lost" church century.) Dugger split from the Stanberry, MO church and established headquarters in Salem, WV in 1933.
Herbert W. Armstrong (1892-1986) His wife Loma was influenced by Ora Runcorn of the Church of God 7th Day (headquartered in Stanberry, MO) in 1926. Armstrong was ordained to the ministry of this church in 1932, making the split with Andrew N. Dugger in 1933 to the Salem, WV Church of God 7th Day, where he became one of the "Seventy Elders." He had his ministerial license revoked in 1937 after trying to introduce his theory of British-Israelism and holy days. Founded the Radio Church of God in 1934 (name was changed to Worldwide Church of God in 1968*). He preached a version of Millerism and plagiarized the writings of Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism and Pentecostals (the last three groups have occult roots). (For more on the history of Herbert Armstrong see Worldwide Church of God and Herbert Armstrong.)

NOTE: Ask yourself, would God trace His church through false prophets? See ESN's critical review of Chapter 6 of Mystery of the Ages: "Seven Eras of the Church."

UPDATE: In 1995 Joseph W. Tkach instigated new doctrinal changes for the WCG. After he died  in 1995, his son Joseph Tkach became the new Pastor General and President. In April 2009 Worldwide Church of God changed their name in the United States to Grace Communion International. (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.)

ESN's critical review of Mystery of the Ages, chapter 3, pt. 2 (shows HWA's plagiarizing from Jehovah's Witnesses; search for the word "Watchtower)


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