Herbert W. Armstrong became recognized and respected by leaders in government, industry and education around the world. Until the time of his death in January 1986, he remained pastor general of the Worldwide Church of God and editor in chief of the Plain Truth magazine. He was a pioneer in religious broadcasting. Millions around the world heard his voice on The World Tomorrow radio and television program. In 1947, he founded Ambassador College in Pasadena, Calif. He was also founder and chairman of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, known for its cultural, charitable and humanitarian activities. Mr. Armstrong visited more than 70 countries proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and was highly honored by heads of state in such critical areas as Japan, China, Africa, Israel and Egypt. Even in his 90s, he continued to write, broadcast and preach the good news that God will intervene to save mankind in this generation. Among his many books are The United States and Britain in Prophecy and his final work, completed just months before his death, Mystery of the Ages.
When Herbert W. Armstrong died, the Worldwide Church of God posthumously denounced him as a heretic and rejected all of his teachings. As a result, church membership plummeted. More than 70 percent of his followers were driven out or excommunicated from the Worldwide Church of God due to sweeping doctrinal changes. Ambassador College, The World Tomorrow program and almost all of the Ambassador Foundation’s projects are now defunct. Gone also is the world-renown concert series held in the magnificent Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena. The Plain Truth magazine circulation, which topped 8 million free copies per month in the late 1980s, has shriveled to less than 100,000 paid subscriptions.
When these doctrinal changes were in their early stages, Gerald Flurry, an ordained WCG minister since 1973, became alarmed and plunged into an intensive study of the Bible to find the cause of the betrayal he was witnessing. The result of his studies was a book titled Malachi’s Message, which proves that the Worldwide Church of God’s falling away from the truth was actually prophesied millennia ago.
In December 1989, nearly four years after Mr. Armstrong’s death, Mr. Flurry was excommunicated from the WCG for continuing to believe and teach what Mr. Armstrong taught. Mr. Flurry was inspired to establish immediately the Philadelphia Church of God. It started humbly and small -- with 12 members.
The original members of the PCG supported Mr. Flurry in completing the first mail-out of Malachi’s Message in January 1990. In the fall of that year, there were approximately 250 people in the Church worldwide. The Trumpet was in monthly circulation, though it was much smaller and of lower quality than today’s magazine.
In 1991, there was a tremendous increase in the quality and quantity of literature the Church was producing. The Trumpet circulation continued to grow and several new booklets were finished. Since that time, the PCG has released five books and nearly 50 booklets to support this warning message. The church does not ask for money for any of its materials. Over 50 million pieces of free literature have been distributed since 1990.
The Church’s first radio program aired in the summer of 1991. In late 1992, plans were being made to phase radio out and purchase television time in as many markets as possible. The PCG began broadcasting The Key of David over eight television stations on January 17, 1993.
A few weeks later, The Key of David was accepted on WGN, a U.S. nationwide cable station. That was followed with coverage in Canada and Europe. All this happened within a few short months. The television equipment was purchased in late November 1992—and by April 1993 the Key of David program had a potential audience of over 300 million people worldwide.
Today, the television program is available throughout the U.S. and Canada and in many other parts of the world. It can also be viewed at any time on the website http://www.keyofdavid.com.
Opened in 2001, Herbert W. Armstrong College helps to provide an educated ministry and trained personnel for the administrative needs of the church.
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Article Added on Monday, October 19, 2009
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