Minor Splinters

 

Most of the hundreds of splinters that fell from WCG’s fallen tree are so small, they rarely make waves or do anything publicly noticeable. Internet ministries have gained popularity, along with the so-called “Living Room Churches of God” that have popped up across the country. In some instances, isolated communities of Armstrongites have taken to remote bunkers.

Many of these smaller groups, in their starvation for attention, tend to be more extreme than the larger, more carefully PR-controlled cults. Yheir leaders are often crazier and work very hard to differentiate themselves from the greater COG and resort to attacking other groups in hopes of pulling members away. These splinter groups have at times become dangerous, more so than their bigger counterparts, and it’s these we strive to keep an eye on.

*Please note that Silenced does not endorse the content of these sites. This is merely additional information for educational purposes to make the public aware of how these cults present themselves so their scams can be more easily identified.

Church of God, The Eternal
Official Name: Church of God, The Eternal (COGE)
Estimated Membership: 300 worldwide
Leader: Jon W. Brisby
Headquarters: Eugene, Oregon

One of the first splinters from WCG, COGE was started in 1975 by the late Raymond C. Cole, one of the first students to attend Ambassador College. Cole, WCG minister Bryce Clark, and others had departed WCG during the “East Coast Rebellion” where many ministers from the northeastern United States parted ways over the mother church’s seeming unwillingness to change various doctrines.

Today, it’s led by Jon W. Brisby and has congregations in America, Switzerland, the Philippines and Kenya.

Related Resources*
Church of God, The Eternal

Global Church of God
Official Name: Global Church of God (GCG)
Estimated Membership: 1,000 worldwide
Leader: none
Headquarters: London, England

The Global Church of God is a Sabbatarian church based in England and founded in San Diego, Califorina in 1992 by Roderick C. Meredith. Following the dissolution of most church operations in the United States, the GCG’s operations shifted to the United Kingdom and it reestablished a presence in North America under new organizational identities.

Rod Meredith established Global in response to a number of major shifts in the long-standing doctrines of the WCG. Similar in fashion to Armstrong’s approach, Meredith and the GCG soon established a magazine and television program, both under the name ‘The World Ahead’.

The Global Church of God experienced upheaval of its own after dispute between Meredith and the church board over governance issues in 1998. Meredith in response formed the Living Church of God.

Membership in the GCG declined to the point that it ceased operations under that name in the United States. Most members either affiliated with Meredith’s new church or were later absorbed into the United Church of God.

Administrative affairs for the GCG shifted to the church’s office in the United Kingdom. The GCG reestablished a presence in the United States and Canada as The Church of the Eternal God, based in San Diego, and the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship, based in Summerland, British Columbia.

Groups that formed out of the GCG breakup in 1998:

  • Church of the Eternal God (CEG)
  • Church of God, A Christian Fellowship (CGCF)
  • Restored Church of God(RCG)
  • Living Church of God (LCG)
  • Church of God Fellowship (CGF)
  • Sabbath Church of God (SCG)
  • Church of God-21st Century (COG21)

Related Resources*
Global Church of God
Wikipedia: Global Church of God

Church of the Eternal God
Official Name: Church of the Eternal God (CEG)
Estimated Membership: 250 worldwide
Leader: Council of Elders
Headquarters: San Diego, California

Formed in the midst of the collapse of the GCG, Church of the Eternal God is a small church that is still affiliated with the remnants of Global. It holds a single Feast of Tabernacles observance every year at a different site, and has only released Holy Day Calendars to its members up to 2012, as its a commonly held belief that 2012 will be the beginning of the End Times. Their literature is usually recirculated or reprinted versions of old WCG and Global publications and booklets, and their weekly church services are usually streamed online. They do publish a periodical called ‘Standing Watch’.

Related Resources*
Church of the Eternal God
Standing Watch

Sabbath Church of God
Official Name: Sabbath Church of God (SCOG)
Estimated Membership: 300 worldwide
Leader: Council of Elders
Headquarters: Little Rock, Arkansas

Formed in the midst of the collapse of the GCG, the Sabbath Church of God is a small church looking towards an imminent end time series of events.

It publishes a weekly newsletter called The Countdown and a broadcast an online radio show called The Proclamation of Jesus Christ.

Related Resources*
Sabbath Church of God


Church of God Fellowship
Official Name: Church of God Fellowship (COGF)
Estimated Membership: 500 worldwide
Leader: Harold Smith
Headquarters: Spokane, Washington

The Church of God Fellowship is a mostly internet-based collective of former and current COG members who have come together on the internet to share sermons, literature, and attend phone-in church services. Some members are also members of its corporate sister groups, but others are stay-at-home practitioners with a background in the teachers of Herbert W. Armstrong. It is a splinter from the Global Church of God.

There are handful of actual congregations scattered throughout the United States and United Kingdom bearing the COGF name, but most of these meet in members’ living rooms and connect to internet podcasts of church services conducted by other groups.

COGF does publish some of its own literature, mostly produced by Harold Smith, but usually circulates the ‘best’ of the content produced by other COG groups, in accordance with its statement of beliefs. Members of other larger groups, such as UCG or LCG, will often disdainfully refer to COGF as ‘The Living Room Church of God’.

Related Resources*
Church of God Fellowship

Church of the Great God
Official Name: Church of the Great God (CGC)
Estimated Membership: 400 worldwide
Leader: John W. Ritenbaugh
Headquarters: Fort Mill, South Carolina

Church of the Great God (CGC) was founded in 1992 after WCG pastor John W. Ritenbaugh resigned his post citing disagreements with the doctrinal changes at the time.

This sect only has four elders servicing tiny congregations in Australia, Canada, France, Africa and the southern United States. They have a large cache of booklets, sermon tapes and literature on their website which serves as its primary hub of activity. CGC members usually join with larger COG groups for holy days.

Related Resources*
Church of the Great God

A Congregation of the Church of God
Official Name: A Congregation of the Church of God (ACOG)
Estimated Membership: 20??? (in Arizona)
Leader: Darryl Henson
Headquarters: Freedonia, Arizona

A Congregation of the Church of God (ACCOG) is run by Darryl Henson and Nelson Nichols, who decided to start their own splinter sects after disagreements over calendar issues during their time with the Church of the Great God.

Henson is building a small town outside of Freedonia, Arizona after being inspired by similar towns in Utah constructed by Mormon splinters. The Arizona strip is well-known for being home to polygamist communities seeking to be separated from the rest of the world. Luckily for Henson, Arizona usually allows polygamists and others isolationist religious communities to operate without hassle.

Related Resources*
A Congregation of the Church of God

Obedient Church of God
Official Name: Obedient Church of God (OCG)
Estimated Membership: 60 worldwide
Leader: Lawrence Nowell
Headquarters: Online

COG cult leader Lawrence Nowell has expressed his readiness to kill the disobedient, meaning those who don’t conform to Armstrongism’s teachings. His very tiny cult following is mostly based online, yet seems to have some followers overseas, as evidenced by Feast of Tabernacles photos he posts online.

Nowell primarily posts sermon tapes and long, rambling tracts on his poorly-designed website and has taken on a tone reminiscent of the more extremist COG ministers. Aside from instituting the controversial COG-doctrine of New Moon observance, he also believes in UFOs and preaches about them frequently.

Related Resources*
For the Nations

intcogIntercontinental Church of God
Official Name: Intercontinental Church of God (ICG)
Estimated Membership: 200 worldwide
Leader: Garner Ted Armstrong (deceased)
Headquarters: Tyler, Texas

ICG was founded in 1998 after Garner Ted Armstrong left COGI amid allegations of sexual assault. The church is small and connected to the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelical Association. It has scattered congregations comprised of charter churches, local churches and extended churches, which are often just small handfuls of families.

Related Resources*

Intercontinental Church of God

Wikipedia: Intercontinental Church of God

Church of God Faithful Flock
Official Name: The Church of God Faithful Flock (COGFF)
Estimated Membership: 300 worldwide
Leader: Alton B. Billingsley
Headquarters: Modesto, California

The Church of God, Faithful Flock, is one of the smallest splinter groups still operating. It’s led by Pastor General Alton B. Billingsley and operated out of Modesto. It has a handful of congregations and Feast of Tabernacles sites, but many of its members latch on to UCG or LCG events.

Like most of the smaller splinters, it focuses a great deal on the life and work of Herbert W. Armstrong and one of its tenants of faith is that Armstrong was an Apostle and prophet. It also runs an online home school association aimed at COG families.

Related Resources*
Church of God Faithful Flock
Church of God Homeschool Association

Church of God, an International Community
Official Name: Church of God International (COGIC)
Estimated Membership: 2000 worldwide
Leader: David Hulme
Headquarters: Pasadena, California

David Hulme (born in Bolton, England in 1946) is president of Vision Media Productions, publisher of the quarterly Vision Magazine, and lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Southern California. He also founded the Church of God, an International Community.

He was one of Herbert W. Armstrong’s lieutenants and latched on to UCG in the wake of WCG’s schism. From 1986-1994, Hulme was a presenter on The World Tomorrow television program, and from 1995-1998, was the president of the United Church of God. However, in 1998, when it was clear that UCG was not going to institute the ‘one-man rule’ of WCG and instead establish a ‘General Council of Elders’ with a rotating president, David Hulme left to form COGIC. He moved it to Pasadena, the spiritual home of WCG and all of its daughter churches.

The Church of God, an International Community claims to follow the “original” teachings of Jesus Christ as taught by the first-century Church. COGIC has regional offices in nine countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. COGIC publishes the quarterly print journal ‘Vision: Insights and New Horizons’ . COGIC has produced three television documentaries: “Cheating God Out of Christianity,” which aired on The Discovery Channel and CNBC, “Quest for the Real Paul” and “Message to the Seven Churches.” It also publishes an online biblical study course called Foundations.

Related Resources*
Vision Media
Wikipedia: Church of God, an International Community
Wikipedia: David Hulme

Independent Church of God
Official Name: Independent Church of God (ICOG)
Estimated Membership: 1000 worldwide
Leader: Ronald L. Dart
Headquarters: Portsmouth, Ohio

The ICOG started as a small, home-based splinter of WCG, and many of its members are refugees from Church of God International.

Ron L. Dart, one of the chief evangelists in WCG, founded it along with Christian Educational Ministries in 1995 following the schism. He had formerly been a minister with Garner Ted Armstrong’s Church of God International but left amid GTA’s sexual assault scandal.

Related Resources*
Born to Win
Independent Church of God
Independent Church of God Sabbath Fellowship Group
Christian Educational Ministries
Ron Dart Homepage

Christian Biblical Church of God
Official Name: Christian Biblical Church of God (CBCOG)
Estimated Membership: 500 worldwide
Leader: Fred Coulter
Headquarters: Hollister, California

The CBCG was founded in 1983 by WCG minister Fred Coulter and seven other members.

Related Resources*

Christian Biblical Church of God
Church at Home
Beware of Fred R. Coulter!
Christian Biblical Church of God–An Ungodly Experience Nobody Should Have To Endure
You Saved Me From Fred Coulter’s Group

God’s Church, Worldwide
Official Name: God’s Church, Worldwide (GCW)
Estimated Membership: 300 worldwide
Leader: David Moore
Headquarters: Sorrento, Florida

God’s Church, Worldwide was founded by David Moore in the wake of the 1995 WCG schism. They mostly distribute Herbert W. Armstrong’s works and writings and don’t produce any literature of their own. Their members primarily attend the events and Holy Day services of other splinters.

Related Resources*
God’s Church, Worldwide

Church of God, In Training for the Kingdom
Official Name: Church of God In Training for the Kingdom (COG-TFK)
Estimated Membership: 100 worldwide
Leader: Dan Cafeo
Headquarters: Palo Cedro, California

Dan Cafeo’s Church of God, In Training for the Kingdom is similar to other Armstrongite churches. Cafeo waxes poetically about how dangerous it is to be intellectualhow to raise kids, that there will be no entertainment in the Kingdom and how praying for those in office is a sin. This one-man show is small and primarily rooted online, but it’s trying to setup a tithing structure and draw members away from the larger COG churches through attacks on the current ministry.

Related Resources*

Church of God, In Training for the Kingdom

End-Time Assembly
Official Name: End-Time Assembly of God (ETA)
Estimated Membership: 200 worldwide
Leader: David Nix
Headquarters: Woodruff, South Carolina

The End-Time Assembly is a splinter from Church of God International originally headquartered in Fredericksburg,Virginia, before it’s leader, David Nix, declared himself a prophet and claimed to be receiving messages from God, which he published in two books. Nix moved the cult to South Carolina. Both towns have small congregations comprised mostly of former CGI members and they still hold regular Sabbath services. To add to its sketchiness, it has a 1-800 number as its primary “toll free” line and its website is infected with malware.

Related Resources*

End-Time Assembly of God (MALWARE WARNING PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK)

House of Yahweh
Official Name: The House of Yahwew (HOY)
Estimated Membership: 300? (in Texas)
Leader: Yisrayl ‘Buffalo Bill’ Hawkins
Headquarters: Abaline, Texas

The House of Yahweh is a fundamentalist sect founded by former Worldwide Church of God member Yisrayl “Buffalo Bill” Hawkins. He predicted that nuclear war would commence on September 12, 2006. Obviously, this prophecy was wrong. He then moved the date to June 12, 2008, and since that date has passed, he has not made another prediction. HOY has been in the media’s crosshairs as well as that of cult watchdog groups for accusations of polygamy and bigamy. They are centered in an Abaline, Texas compound and are extremely enclosed and exclusive.

Their beliefs mostly mirror those of Herbert W. Armstrong, though Hawkins has taken a more extreme tone and has set himself up as a prophet and has made several doctrinal changes. An entire website could be devoted to the allegations and abuses directed at House of Yahweh. Below are some informational links on the sect.

Related Resources*
House of Yahweh
Wikipedia – House of Yahweh
Rickross – House of Yahweh
CBSNews – House Of Yahweh: A Darker Sect Than FLDS
The House of Yahweh & Yisrayl Hawkins
Yisrayl Hawkins
Wikipedia – Yisrayl Hawkins
House of Yahweh: A Dangerous Cult

Other Related Splinter Groups

There are hundreds of other online ministries and small living room-based COG sects throughout the world. As some become more notable, they’ll be specifically profiled. In the meantime, here’s the list of current COG splinter sites. We’re keeping track of new cults and the extinction of others.

7th Day Church of God
Akron Fellowship, An Inter-Dependent Church of God
Ami Israel Torah Study
Associates for Scriptural Knowledge
Association for Christian Development
Barnabas Ministries
Believers in Christ Church of God
Bethel Church of God
Bible Insight
Bible Sabbath Association
Central Highlands Christian Publications
Century One Foundation
Christian Biblical Church of God
Christian Churches of God
Christian Fellowship Ministries
Church Counsel Inc.
Church of God (la Iglesia de Dios)
Church of God, Berean Fellowship
Church of God, The Body of Jesus Christ
Church of God Christianos
Church Of God, Colorado
Church of God Dallas/Ft. Worth
Church of God, Downers Grove
Church of God, The Eternal
Church of God Evangelistic Association
Church of God Home School Association
Church of God, Kingston, NY
Church of God Lafayette, LA
Church of God in Miami
Church of God at Northeast Ohio
Church of God Proclaimed
Church of God Sabbatarian
Church of God San Antonio
Church of God Seventh Day
Church of God, Southern California
Church of God, Speaking to the Remnant
Churches of God Cyber Auxiliary
Churches of God Outreach Ministries
Church of the Great God
Congregation of God
A Congregation of God
The Congregation of God
Congregation of God Seventh Day
Congregation of Yahweh
Emissary Publications
End Time Assembly of God
Eschatology Journal
Eternal Church of God
For All Nations
Giving & Sharing
Guardian Ministries
History Research Projects/Origin of Nations
Hope of Israel Ministries
Hold Fast to “All” Things
Israel of God
Keith Hunt Biblical Studies
Living the Way
Legacy Institute
MarkTab Ministries
Mid-Missouri Church of God
New Jerusalem Philadelphia Church of God and Jesus Christ
Northeast Church of God
The Oasis
Pabco’s Home Page
Port Austin Bible Campus
Remnant Church of God
Restoration Church of God
Restoration Fellowship
Sabbatarian Network
Sabbath Central
Sabbatarian Singles Fellowship Forum
Seven Times Newsletter
Steve Burns Calendar Page
Triumph Prophetic Ministries
United Christian Ministries
Via del Rey
Zion Ministries