Evangelists of the Worldwide Church of God


Evangelists of the Worldwide Church of God

Historically, an evangelist was the highest ranking minister in the Worldwide Church of God under the pastor general, Herbert W. Armstrong from 1934 to 1986, and Joseph W. Tkach, from 1986 until 1985. The term evangelist is no longer used as a ministerial title in the contemporary Worldwide Church of God, although derivative bodies such as the Living Church of God and the Philadelphia Church of God use the term. With the exception of those ordained to the ministerial rank of evangelist while in the employ of the Worldwide Church of God, those who were once members of the WCG but were ordained as evangelists while members of WCG derivative denominations are not included.

Of these, at least fourteen are known to be deceased. Approximately five are known to still be active in or retired (and in good standing with) the current configuration of the Worldwide Church of God. However, approximately sixteen of the evangelists continue to teach traditional Church of God doctrines, though they are scattered in a variety of independent churches and ministries.

Below is a list of ministers ordained to the rank of evangelist in the Worldwide Church of God between 1952 and 1990.

* Colin Adair (19??-1999?): leader of the WCG in the Philippines and Canada. Was a minister of the Living Church of God around the time of his death in the late 1990s.

* Dr. David Albert: (ordained by Joseph W. Tkach in 1988; co-host of The World Tomorrow from 1986 to 1994; Author of "Difficult Scriptures"; Professor of psychology for many years at Ambassador University). Current affiliation is not known.

* Greg Albrecht: (ordained by Joseph W. Tkach during the 1988 Feast of Unleavened Bread, now operates Plain Truth Ministries and publishes The Plain Truth. Although it carries on the name of the magazine founded by Herbert W. Armstrong in 1934, it bears little to no resemblance to the stature of the magazine under Herbert Armstrong. Author of "Bad News Religion". Actively dissassociates himself from so-called "Armstrongism" (a pejorative term used to describe the Church and its members) and even the present-day variant of the Worldwide Church of God.

* Richard Ames: Former Registrar of Ambassador University; Co-host of the World Tomorrow, 1986-1994; Currently resides in Charlotte, NC where he serves as co-host of (Former Registrar of Ambassador University; Co-host of The World Tomorrow from 1986 to 1994; now affiliated with the Living Church of God and a resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, where he co-hosts "Tomorrow's World".

* Dr. David Antion: Left the WCG in 1979, and for a while affiliated with the Church of God, International. Now leader of the Church of God Southern California based in Pasadena. In addition to his work in the ministry, is also a licensed psychologist and marriage counselor.

* Dibar Apartian (19??-present): Came to Ambassador University in the 1950s as a French professor, later head of the French outreach for the Church. Left the WCG in 1995, and now affiliated with the Living Church of God.

* Dr. Garner Ted Armstrong (1930-2003): Ordained in 1955; Ambassador Student Body President, 1955-1956; Ambassador Class of 1956; President of Ambassador University, 1975-1978; Primary host of The World Tomorrow from the 1950s until 1978; Authored The Real Jesus in 1977; Founded the Church of God International, 1978; Founded the Intercontinental Church of God, 1998; Died due to complications from pneumonia in Tyler, Texas, 2003; Buried near the Big Sandy campus of Ambassador University in Gladewater, Texas.

* Richard D. Armstrong (1929-1958): Ambassador Student Body President, 1951-1952; Ambassador Class of 1952; Ordained by his father, Herbert W. Armstrong on December 20, 1952; Died as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile crash near San Luis Obispo in 1958; Is buried in the family plot at Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena, California.

* C. Stanley Bass (19??-1998?): Second and last African-American to be ordained as an evangelist; died in 1998?): From 1990, was on the English faculty at Ambassador University in Big Sandy. As he had graduated from Paul Quinn College many years earlier, he was finally awarded a degree from Ambassador in 1997 at the institution's final spring commencement.

* Dean Blackwell (died in 2003): Beginning in 1953, was the first pastor of the WCG congregation in Big Sandy, Texas; Ordained Evangelist, 1964; Long-time pastor in the Chicago area, later a favorite professor of theology at Ambassador University; Retired by WCG, 1996; Remained with the Worldwide Church of God until his death, though retired at the time and working part-time at Dillards department store in Longview, Texas.

* Carn Catherwood: Ambassador Class of 1961; Leader of the Italian outreach of the WCG beginning in the early 1980s. Remains affiliated with the WCG.

* C. Wayne Cole: Ambassador Class of 1954; Disfellowshipped in 1979 during the receivership crisis. Has been affiliated with both the Church of God, International and the United Church of God. Now living in Tyler, Texas, he served as a fraternal delegate to the 2007 convention of the Church of God (Seventh Day), in which his own family has roots.

* Raymond C. Cole (1926-2001): Ambassador Class of 1952; Ordained by Herbert W. Armstrong on December 20, 1952; Founded the Church of God, the Eternal, 1974-1975; As one of the original six students at Ambassador, he was a roommate of Herman L. Hoeh. Unlike many Ambassador students, he grew up in the Church of God (Seventh Day), the parent organization of the Worldwide Church of God. His break from the WCG in 1974 was largely due to doctrinal changes regarding Pentecost and divorce and remarriage. He believed God had revealed those core doctrines through Mr. Armstrong, and being God's--not man's--they were inviolable.

* Ronald L. Dart: Designated to serve as Ambassador University president in 1978; An active ministerial partner of Garner Ted Armstrong, 1978-1995; Founded Christian Educational Ministries in Tyler, Texas, 1995.

* Robert Fahey: Ambassador Class of 1965; Ordainted 1981; Demoted from evangelist rank; affiliated with United Church of God): Only evangelist to be demoted to the rank of pastor. Now affiliated with the United Church of God. Serves as pastor of the Chicago UCG.

* J. Michael Feazell:(June 1951) Ordained to the rank of evangelist by Joseph W. Tkach in the fall of 1990, just prior to the Feast of Tabernacles; Authored "The Liberation of the Worldwide Church of God" in 2001; Remains affiliated with the Worldwide Church of God.

* David Jon Hill (19??-2002?): Ambassador Class of 1955; Authored "How to Study the Bible" and "Read the Book"; Contributed to "Twentieth-Century Watch" in the 1980s. Brother-in-law of church hymn writer Dwight L. Armstrong.

* Dr. Herman L. Hoeh (1928-2004): Ambassador Class of 1951; Ordained by Herbert W. Armstrong on December 20, 1952; Is buried in Altadena, California): Noted church historian, his two doctoral dissertations laid the foundation for views on world history held by many in the church. Retired by WCG, 1996; Served on Ambassador University board until its closure in 1997; Served on church board until his death.

* Dr. David Hulme: (ordained by Joseph W. Tkach in 1988; co-host of The World Tomorrow from 1986 to 1994; disfellowshipped by Joseph W. Tkach in 1995; helped found the United Church of God and later the Church of God, an International Community; Prolific Author; Currently publishes Vision magazine).

* Charles F. Hunting: Ambassador Class of 1961; Disfellowshipped, c. 1974.

* Harold Jackson: (1911-1991)(First African-American to be ordained as an evangelist; Buried in Altadena, California): The Harold L. Jackson Hall of Humanities on the Big Sandy, Texas campus of Ambassador was named in his memory. Worked with African-American members of the church during the 1960s. Listed as "doctrinal advisor" in 1988 ministerial directory.

* Ronald D. Kelly: (ordained in 1976; co-host of The World Tomorrow from 1988 until 1994): Now retired from the Worldwide Church of God.

* Ellis LaRavia: Vice-President, Ambassador International Cultural Foundation; Ordained evangelist in Tucson, 1979; Now affiliated with the United Church of God.

* Dennis Luker:: Pastor, Garden Grove, CA WCG, mid 1980s; UCG Council of Elders, 1995-200l; Pastor, Seattle UCG, c. 2005; Regional Pastor, Northwest States, UCG, c. 2005.

* Burk McNair: One time pastor of WCG congregation in Big Sandy; Now with United Church of God.

* Raymond F. McNair: Ambassador Class of 1953; Authored "Ascent to Greatness", 1976; Deputy Chancellor of Ambassador University until 1987 when sent to serve in New Zealand; disfellowshipped around 1993; for several years was a ministerial partner of Roderick C. Meredith in the Global Church of God and later the Living Church of God; now operates his independent Church of God ministry)

* Leslie McCullough: Ambassador Class of 1961; Twice served as Deputy Chancellor of Ambassador University in Big Sandy; Currently affiliated with the United Church of God.

* Dr. C. Paul Meredith (1905?-1968?): Ordained by Herbert W. Armstrong on December 20, 1952; died in the 1960s?): Editor of the original Bible Correspondence Course, was the uncle of Roderick C. Meredith.

* Dr. Roderick C. Meredith: Ambassador Class of 1952; Ordained by Herbert W. Armstrong on December 20, 1952; disfellowshipped by Joseph W. Tkach and Joseph Tkach, Jr. following heated exchange in December 1992; founded the Global Church of God and later the Living Church of God; In terms of seniority of ordination, regardless of current denominational affiliation, Dr. Meredith has the most longevity and seniority in terms of ordination.

* L. Leroy Neff: Ambassador Class of 1959; Long-time treasurer in the WCG. Now affiliated with the United Church of God.

* Al Portune: (disfellowshipped around 1974?)

* Stanley Rader (1930-2002): (baptized in a Hong Kong hotel bathtub in 1975, and ordained by Herbert W. Armstrong in Tucson, Arizona, in 1979; Author of "Against the Gates of Hell"and unpublished "Law and Liberty"; died in 2002; Is buried in Altadena, California). Prior to his 1979 ordination, he had not served as a minister. Although he faded from public view after 1981, he remained a member of the Church. His funeral was presided over by Dr. Joseph W. Tkach, Jr.

* Richard Rice (19??-2002?): Director, Mail Processesing Center.

* Larry Salyer: (was for a while associated with Roderick C. Meredith and the Global Church of God; now associated with the United Church of God).

* Dr. Bernard W. Schnippert: (ordained by Joseph W. Tkach in the fall of 1990, just prior to the Feast of Tabernacles): At one time was an assistant to Stanley R. Rader; Continues to be affiliated with the Worldwide Church of God.

* Norman A. Smith: Ambassador Class of 1954; Ordained evangelist, 1957. Retired, 1996.

* Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. (1927-1995): Ordained by Herbert W. Armstrong in 1979; elevated to the office of Pastor General in 1986; Is buried in Altadena, California)

* Dr. Joseph Tkach Jr. (1951-present): Ordained by Joseph W. Tkach in the fall of 1990, just prior to the Feast of Tabernacles; elevated to the office of Pastor General in 1995; Author of "Transformed by Truth"). Received a doctorate in theology from Azuza Pacific University.

* Leon Walker: Long-time director of Spanish work, now with United Church of God. REsident of Big Sandy, Texas.

* Dr. Donald L. Ward: (ordained by Joseph W. Tkach in 1988; disfellowshipped in 1995; President of Ambassador University from 1987 to 1995 (his original appointment as president in 1978 was overruled by Herbert W. Armstrong); affiliated with the United Church of God, 1995-present; Pastor, Houstoun South congregation of the United Church of God)

* Gerald Waterhouse (1927-2002): Ambassador Class of 1956; Disfellowshipped, 1995; Affiliated with the United Church of God, 2005-2003; Buried in Florence, South Carolina; Known for sermons stressing the importance of remaining loyal to Herbert W. Armstrong and his successors no matter what. In the end, he left the Church to which he had pledged undying loyalty.

* Kenneth Westby: Disfellowshipped, 1974; Founded Associated Churches of God (now known as Association for Christian Development).

* Dean Wilson: Ambassador Class of 1962; leader of the WCG in Canada.(now affiliated with the United Church of God?)

* Dr. Clint Zimmerman: (ordained by Joseph W. Tkach in the fall of 1990 just prior to the Feast of Tabernacles; now deceased?): His original profession was chiropractice.


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