Global Church of God

A Christian church with a focus on prophetic teachings and a belief in the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

Religion: Christianity
Denomination: Armstrongism
Founder: Roderick C. Meredith
Founded: 1992
Ended: 1998 (reorganized into other groups)
Location: Primarily in the United States, with followers worldwide
Offshoot of: Worldwide Church of God
Other Names: Worldwide Church of God (prior to 1992), Church of God, International

The Global Church of God (GCG) was founded in 1992 by Roderick C. Meredith in Glendora, California, following doctrinal disagreements and leadership disputes within the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). Initially, the GCG sought to continue the teachings and practices of Herbert W. Armstrong, the founder of the WCG, especially emphasizing the observance of the Sabbath, the Holy Days outlined in Leviticus 23, and a literal interpretation of biblical prophecies regarding the end times.

The early years of the GCG were marked by rapid growth and expansion. However, internal conflicts soon emerged, particularly concerning the church’s governance and doctrinal stance. A pivotal moment in the church’s history came in the late 1990s when a significant leadership dispute led to the ousting of Roderick C. Meredith from the GCG, which was seen by some as a political maneuver that went against the wishes of the majority of the church’s Council of Elders. This schism was not just a matter of leadership but also highlighted deeper issues within the GCG and the broader Armstrongist movement, including debates over doctrinal purity, the interpretation of prophecy, and the church’s role in society. In response to his expulsion, Meredith founded the Living Church of God (LCG), taking a substantial portion of the GCG’s membership with him, which led to a decline in the GCG’s membership and influence, prompting the remaining leadership to seek new directions and affiliations.

The aftermath of the GCG’s turmoil saw the emergence of several offshoots, each claiming to uphold the true legacy of Armstrong’s teachings. These groups include the Church of God, A Christian Fellowship in Canada, the Church of the Eternal God in the U.S., and the Restored Church of God, among others. Each of these entities represents a facet of the original vision of the GCG, emphasizing various aspects of Armstrongism, from prophecy to church governance.

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