Sentenced To 200 Years In Prison

Former Catholic priest Rodney Rodis (see prior story) was sentenced Thursday night by a jury to 200 years in prison. Rodis was convicted by a Louisa County jury on ten felony counts of embezzlement. The retired Roman Catholic priest prosecutors said stole more than $1 million from two rural Virginia churches.

According to testimony at his state trial, Rodis said he stole the money to help his family and others in his native Philippines. But Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney Thomas A. Garrett Jr. said that Rodis invested in properties in his native country, including an upscale waterfront property.

"I feel like I can put it back behind me now," St. Jude parishioner Rosemarie Ayres said after the verdict. "I can finally put it to rest. It's over."

That was the sentiment shared by many of the parishioners who have followed the Rodis trial.

He didn't testify in his two day state trial, but after being convicted on all ten embezzlement counts, he addressed the court; more directly he apologized to the flock he once used to shepherd.

Rodis says he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from two Louisa County churches so he could send money to his native Phillippines, but neither his apology, nor his explanation scored him any points with the jury. The eight women and four men who sat in on the case sentenced rodis to 200 years in prison, the maximum penalty they could levy.

"Certainly the nature of the offenses was pretty serious," Louisa County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Garrett said after the verdict. "As embezzlement goes it doesn't get any worse than this."

"I'm disappointed that the court rejected our legal defenses and that the jury rejected our factual defenses," said defense attorney Jack Maus, "but clearly the jury felt that there was no basis for those and found him guilty based on the facts they heard."

Rodis' side claims he's made attempts to re-pay, saying he's in the process of turning over the deeds to ten properties he bought with church money. But as the man who once led St. Jude and Immaculate Conception prepares to go away for the rest of his life, his parishioners say they're still sorting through emotions.

Several parishioners testified that their faith was shaken by Rodis' violation of trust.

"He's the biggest con man. Everything he says, you can't believe," said former St. Jude parishioner Kathleen Pfeiffer. "It's like a family member violating you."

Rodis was already serving about five years in a federal prison for mail and wire fraud connected to this case. Thursday's sentence means he likely will spend the rest of his life in jail.

Father Rodis also had a wife and three children, said Rusty McGuire, a deputy prosecutor in Louisa County, VA. He was married in 1987 and lived in Fredericksburg with his family, violating priestly vows while embezzling church money away from his trusting parishioners.


Rodis Upcoming Trial On Embezzling Counts $1 Mil

An upcoming trial against a former priest accused of stealing from two Catholic parishes caught our attention. The internal authoritarian governance structure of the WCG association has been compared to that of the Catholic church hierarchy, and some of the constitutional legal arguments advanced on behalf of the priest have some surprising similarities to those advanced on behalf of Herbert Armstrong.

A judge has ruled the required constitutional separation of church and state doesn't mean the government can't prosecute charges. A similar argument was made in the defense of the WCG during the receivership proceedings, which had real potential for criminal charges to be filed against WCG corporate officers and church association executives.

Judge Timothy K. Sanner denied a request filed on behalf of a former church pastor to have embezzlement charges against him thrown out for constitutional reasons.

Former priest Rodney L. Rodis, 52, is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 29 on 10 counts of embezzling money donated to Immaculate Conception and St. Jude's Catholic churches while he was pastor of the Louisa County parishes in Virginia.

Rodis' defense lawyer, John R. "Jack" Maus, filed a motion to dismiss the charges, claiming that prosecuting Rodis for misusing church money amounted to an illegal intrusion of the state government into church business. Does that 1979 constitutional red herring sound familiar?

Judge Sanner disagreed with the defense motion. "This court sees no reason why members of the diocese . . . should not be able to resort to the courts," for criminal prosecution, he said. The judge likened the matter to legal jurisdiction that states or the federal government maintains over such matters as polygamy, which is against the law, or the use of banned substances for religious rituals.

The First Amendment to the Constitution bans the government from settling issues within churches that would require interpretation of faith or doctrine. Nothing in the embezzlement case would require secular authorities to wade through such a "religious thicket," Judge Sanner said.

Rodis was pastor of the two churches for 12 years before retiring in 2006 for health reasons. In the fall of that year, a suspicious donation deposit led to a criminal investigation and charges that he diverted for personal use as much as $1 million raised during major capital campaigns for both churches.

In a related federal case that concluded in February, he was sentenced to a five-year prison term for mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. He was ordered to pay back $591,484. Evidence in that case revealed that Rodis wired money to the Philippines, where his family purchased property.

Maus called to the witness stand Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, head of the Richmond Diocese, and probed the administrative ties between the diocese and local priests for an accusation of misappropriating of church money.

When questioned by Rusty McGuire, Louisa's deputy commonwealth's attorney, DiLorenzo said he supported the criminal case. He also said church leaders who review wrongdoing have an obligation to turn certain matters over to secular authorities for prosecution.

"There's no question about that," the bishop said. "I have a reporting responsibility."

Investigators found that Rodis was married and living with his wife and children near Fredericksburg while head of the two churches, flouting a centuries-old Catholic prohibition against priests having sex or marrying.

But now parishioners are trying to reconcile the saint they thought Rodis was with the sinner authorities say he is. In federal court earlier this year, Rodis entered into a guilty plea agreement and was convicted of multiple counts of money laundering, wire fraud and mail fraud.

He was sentenced to 63 months in prison on those federal convictions.

If convicted by jury on the upcoming Commonwealth of Virginia embezzlement charges, he could face up to 20 years on each of the 13 state counts.

Unlike Father Rodis, Herbert Armstrong escaped being charged with financial fraud by refusing to have his books examined, refusing to testify, and spending literally millions of dollars on an essentially frivolous, birdbrained first amendment legal defense strategy. When that dodo argument didn't fly in the courts, he turned to the legislature to put in the fix. And unlike Father Rodis, he had "new truth" revealed regarding "God's law of divorce and remarriage". No one is the in the WCG could legitimately marry or remarry without grueling sexual investigation and selective approval by Herbert's ministry. When the "new truth" was revealed to Herbert, he decided to marry a divorcee old enough to be his granddaughter; then divorcing Ramona was no problem, when the real truth about Herbert's past became an inconvenient truth.


January 10, 2007 - Retired priest Rodney Lee Rodis is indicted on a felony embezzlement charge.

  • He is accused of embezzling money from St. Judes Catholic Church in Mineral and The Immaculate Conception Church in Bumpass. Representatives of the diocese of Richmond say Rodis took more than $600,000 over five years before retiring in May 2006.
  • Rodis' bond is set for $100,000. He is scheduled for another bond hearing the next day.

January 11, 2007 - Bond for Rodis is reduced to $10,000.

January 14, 2007 - Court documents list 50-year-old Rodis as living with a wife and three children in Fredericksburg, but it is unclear whether Rodis is the children's father.

  • Parishioners, the Richmond diocese and Rodis' neighbors all say they are shocked by the news.
  • The diocese suspends Rodis.

January 15, 2007 - Rodis is free on bond. He denies reports that he's married but does not say if the three children living with him are his daughters.

  • If convicted, he could face 20 years in prison.

January 17, 2007 - State police investigators say the embezzled funds could be $1 million.

January 18, 2007 - In court, Rodis says he had not retained an attorney but lawyer John Maus appears with Rodis in court.

  • Maus tells judge that Rodis estimated he would need two to three weeks to make arrangements to retain counsel.
  • Rodis is set to appear in court on February 26 with representation or proof that he has retained representation.

January 20, 2007 - NBC29 learns Rodis wrote an email to parishioners at St. Jude's Catholic Church in Mineral.

  • In the email, Rodis writes: "I'm sure that at this time you are aware of what has been going on...This is to express my heartfelt apology for the trouble this might caused you."
  • He continues: "Whatever the Chuch May decide regarding my case, I will fully accept the consequences. Please include me in your prayers."

February 26, 2007 - Rodis appears in court to retain his attorney, John Maus.

  • In court, Maus says they are in the process of working with the state and may be in a position to enter a plea in two weeks on March 12.
  • Rodis' alleged wife and children have relocated to New Mexico. Maus says that the four women living in the house are considered "family."

March 12, 2007 - At his arraignment, Rodis faces 12 more embezzlement charges, making the total 13.

  • If convicted, he could face up to 20 years on each of the 13 counts.
  • NBC reports they've found court records listing Rodis and Joyce Sillador-Rodis as husband and wife on a deed of trust for a mortgage on a house they shared.

March 30, 2007 - Rodis waives his right to a jury trial and pleads not guilty to 12 counts of embezzlement.

  • His bond is set for $25,000.
  • His trial date is set for October 1.

May 21, 2007 - Rodis' bond is revoked after leaving the state to visit a sick relative. He will be held in jail until his October trial.

August 9, 2007 - Hearing scheduled for August 27 on whether to dismiss 13 embezzlement charges against Rodis.

  • Rodis' attorney claims Rodis should not be prosecuted in court if he mishandled money donated to the two parishes. Instead, he says the Catholic Diocese of Richmond should handle the case.

August 21, 2007 - Rodis indicted by federal grand jury. He now faces federal mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering charges.

  • Rodis is held without bond at the regional jail in Orange.

September 6, 2007 - Rodis pleads not guilty to federal fraud and money laundering charges.

  • His trial is scheduled for October 25 in Richmond.

October 26, 2007 - Rodis pleads guilty to embezzlement.

  • His federal sentencing is set for February 21, 2008

When available, Ambassador Reports plans to report on the results of the upcoming trial on state charges.


Survey Now Online

The much anticipated David Barrett survey is now online. Barrett notes this survey is only for members and ministers of offshoot Churches of God in the Worldwide family, so is not for (a) members of COG7 or other Sabbatarian Churches, or (b) members who have remained in WCG. Former members who no longer belong to any Church are welcome to answer whatever questions are relevant to them. More about David Barrett from his book bio:

David V. Barrett
has been a teacher of Religious Studies and English, a computer programmer and intelligence analyst for the British and American governments, and a journalist. He
has been a full-time freelance writer since 1991. As an author he now researches and writes mainly on religious and esoteric subjects. His various books have so far been published in thirteen languages and seventeen countries.

Barrett is a regular book critic; his work has appeared in newspapers and magazines, including the TLS, Independent, Literary Review, New Scientist, New Statesman & Society, Spectator, City Limits, Fortean Times, Catholic Herald, Gnosis, and British Book News, among many others. He has contributed to several specialist encyclopaedias, and is frequently consulted by publishers and by other writers.

His highly recommended book THE NEW BELIEVERS (Cassell 2001) is a major study of new religious movements. In 1997 he began working on a Ph.D. in Sociology at the London School of Economics, studying new religious movements; he is a frequent speaker on this subject at conferences, and on radio and television.

The introduction to the survey says:


I am researching my PhD at the London School of Economics, part of the University of London, England, on the schisms in the Worldwide Church of God following the death of Herbert W Armstrong. This questionnaire will give me valuable information about the opinions of members and ministers who left Worldwide to join one of the offshoot Churches. The more responses I receive from members of different Churches, the more accurate and useful my research will be.

Throughout this questionnaire:

  • The word “Church” refers to individual Church of God organisations such as Worldwide Church of God, United, Living, Philadelphia, CGI, etc.
  • The word “organisation” means both Churches (e.g. United, Living etc) and teaching/support ministries (e.g. Giving & Sharing).
  • The phrase “Worldwide family” means the historic WCG and all the offshoot Churches and ministries.
  • The word “leader” refers to the person currently at the head of each individual Church – Roderick Meredith, Gerald Flurry etc.

This questionnaire is only for members and ministers of offshoot Churches of God in the Worldwide family, so is not for (a) members of COG7 or other Sabbatarian Churches, or (b) members who have remained in WCG. Former members who no longer belong to any Church are welcome to answer whatever questions are relevant to them.

The events of the last few years have clearly caused a lot of disruption and distress for many ministers and members. It is not my intention to add to this. Please excuse me if any of these questions cause you offence. Feel free to ignore any questions you wish, or which are not applicable to you. Please add additional comments or reasons for your answers if you wish.

Thank you for your interest.

The questionnaire will go live during Monday October 20th, and I would be most grateful to you for taking the time to fill out this questionnaire and helping me with my research.

David V Barrett, October 2008

The web link for the Barrett survey is: www.quest.thenewbelievers.com

Entry to the questionnaire is password-protected to prevent false entries by people outside the [COGs]. The password is six letters followed by four numbers: the town where HWA first began his radio ministry, and the year this occurred.

Barrett's accredited, peer-reviewed, worthy scholarly research could give new insight into what happened and why it happened in the post-Armstrong era of the WCG. It is a welcome addition to the already published surveys and research available, such as Dr. John Buchner's Examination of the Doctrinal Reformation of the WCG, already highlighted here at AR.


Raymond McNair Dead

Ramond F. McNair has died after a long bout with prostate cancer.

McNair was ordained a minister of the Radio Church of God by H.W. Armstrong over 51 years ago. He served as pastor over 14 different churches in the United States, Britain and New Zealand. In 1954-1955, he founded the Chicago Church of God, the first WCG Church east of the Mississippi River. He was next employed as Armstrong's director in the UK from 1958 to 1973.

In 1960, he was appointed deputy chancellor of Ambassador College, near London.

In May 1963, McNair was awarded an unaccredited Ambassador College Masters of Arts in theology for (read it here):


A thesis presented to the Graduate School Committee, Ambassador College.

In partial fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Theology.

London, England

by Raymond F McNair

May, 1963

McNair also was on the STP doctrinal team in Pasadena in 1974.

In June 1976, McNair published Ascent to Greatness- the Incredible Story of America's Rise to World Super Power (read it here).
In Ascent, McNair interprets American history through the assumptions of divine guidance working through British-Israelism. McNair believes Ephraim and Manasseh are the forerunners of Great Britain and the USA, who modernly fulfill bible prophetic promises made to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

Mr. McNair more recently was founder and president of the Church of God 21st Century, headquartered in the San Diego area.


Spanky's "Canons of Evangelistic Discipline of the Living Church of God"

Rod Meredith replies in his Global interview response to the question "are you as rotten as people say you are?"

"I just had a strict personality and (they) had so many visits per week they were supposed to get in, so many reports and so on- which is overdone- the system is what bothered people, plus an intense personality. I have mellowed as I've gotten older and we are getting rid of that system." (full interview at Ambassador Watch)

Has Spanky really mellowed? Those unannounced Gestapo white glove test ministerial "visits", looking for white sugar and dissident literature, among other sins on the checkoff list, may now be well a thing of the past in God's true church. No more ministers sneaking around the corner in their fleet car to fill out a lengthy report to HQ, exquisitely detailing any personal or family problems encountered on each visit for Spanky's thick file.

And no more Manpower Committee (linked) meetings for Meredith where he can weigh in on the future implications of the major and minor private peccadillos of the student body:

"Mr. Meredith feels a lot of this apparent haughtiness and cockiness is the results of the English class distinction bred in him.... The English people tend to be that way.... The English do this naturally."

Meredith incorporated the Living Church of God in California on December 16, 1998; it was then merged into the surviving Living Church of God (International) North Carolina corporation on June 30, 2005. It was stated that "member approval was not required for the merger" and that only a "sufficient vote by the board of directors" of both corporations was needed to authorized the corporate merger. In fact, both Living Church of God corporations have absolutely no members, as specified in the filings. A lot more tidy than than the messy WCG member votes recorded after Meredith cast his director's vote in favor of changing it from Radio Church of God to Worldwide Church of God.

On April 20, 2007 Meredith had filed the restated Articles of Incorporation for the Living Church of God (International), his North Carolina church corporation.
Just click on the images below to read the Living Church April 2007 filing:

And in the incorporation papers Meredith filed for Living University, should Living University be closed, any remaining assets first are to be distributed to the Living Church of God (International), Inc., a North Carolina nonprofit religious corporation (NC SOSI: 0783290) (meaning the Living church corporation, in the same way Ambassador College assets were credited back into the California WCG corporation, which is controlled by the WCG Association).

In the event the religious corporation cannot take title to the Living University assets, the assets then go to:

9.1 The Council of Elders of the Living Church of God, an unincorporated association, of which Roderick C. Meredith, Presiding Evangelist (or his successor Presiding Evangelist in terms of the Canons of Evangelistic Discipline of the Living Church of God), is the principal or leading principal, or in the event it is unable to take title for any reason, then to:

9.2 The organization, corporation or other entity appointed by the Chair of the Board of Regents of Living University, a North Carolina nonprofit corporation.

Meredith then, has formed an unincorporated association, in a similar way to the way Armstrong did. Meredith's hidden unincorporated association has controlling legal authority over both religious corporation and university and their assets.

The phrase "Council of Elders of the Living Church of God, an unincorporated association" has a certain familiar ring to it. But how about "in terms of the Canons of Evangelistic Discipline of the Living Church of God"?

Exactly what are the "Canons of Evangelistic Discipline of Living Church of God"? Can any of you LCG members out there explain that one for your church, and please forward the inspired text for review? If you can't, maybe Rod hasn't really mellowed. Yet.


The Pack Shack - Follow the Tithe Money!

Frontage View

Back View

Ambassador Reports presents front and back views of the Packatollah's humble triple-tithe estate in Wadsworth, Ohio. Did Pack mention it is 100% paid for, and titled solely in his own name? I can hear it now...

Even so, as real estate has severely depreciated recently, and a real financial crisis in the Work is emerging, brethern! A dig deep, empty your savings, cash out your home equity, special emergency offering may be necessary- to restore Restored triple tithe income, in line with all expenses. Go get all your assets, and get them here in God's work. Get all you have, and give it now! So the Restored gospel of this great end-time work may go forth in power around the world!

Public information on the Restored apostle from Medina County, Wadsworth, OH county website.


Parcel Number: 040-20B-11-251
Location: Wadsworth City
School District: Wadsworth City
City Lot: 6999
Latitude/Longitude (of map center): 41.0337 -81.7110

Percentage: 100.00

Sales and Tax Info

Sales HistorySales Price

Home Facts

Estimate Range$193,080 – $246,713
Living Area2,884 Sq feet
Lot Size14,810 Sq feet
TypeSingle Family
Year Built1989
Total Rooms9
Number of Stories2
Legal DescriptionLOT 6999 WH

To round out the solid gold Restored tour with some better photos than above, click here, and here; try this link for the vulture view, or this link; from Medina County, OH.

Capice? ;)


Tkach Travels Worldwide Airlines; Fall Cruises for Beer

Tammy Tkach posts some interesting information about herself and the "first family" of the WCG on the internet at AC Reunion:

Tammy (Hall) Tkach

Married Joe Tkach in 1980 and lived in Phoenix, Arizona until fall of 1986. Moved to Pasadena with baby Joe who was born in January. Baby Stephanie came along in 1988. Been hanging out in Southern California all these years, working and traveling for WCG. I've been to over 20 countries in the last 20 years.

I'm on a Tuesday morning bowling league, and have an average of 170. Tried golfing but not very good at it. I garden, walk for exercise, and am becoming a do-it-yourself handywoman around the house.

I love to make my own greeting cards with rubber stamps and have been a Stampin' Up! demonstrator for five years.

Joe III graduated this spring from Digipen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Washington, with a degree in some kind of video game production. He's staying in Washington to start his own video game company.

Stephanie completed a certificate in massage therapy and is about to leave for a position on a cruise ship. We're about to be empty nesters.

Favorite Music: C&W
Favorite Books:
Favorite Movies:
Star Trek
Favorite TV: CSI shows


Tammy says she has been "working and traveling for WCG. I've been to over 20 countries in the last 20 years."

So is Tammy Tkach just another six-figure, VIP salaried employee of the Church? The Tkach family and entourage, together and apart, have been jet-setting like British royalty in first class luxury around the world, schmoozing, cruising, feasting, and boozing on Worldwide for the last twenty-two years since Armstrong, using the WCG's bottomless nickle. Unreported, under the table. And for what good reason?

Claiming to visit only 20 worldwide countries, might just be a WCG Airlines reward mileage program underestimate. ;)

Anne at JLF provides some interesting details about a new Tkach Jr. video interview of himself, by lifelong Imperial Schools buddy, appointed WCG VP Mike Feazell (interview video which Tkach has posted on the WCG website); and some blogging by Stephanie Tkach on a 2004 Tkach church cruise:

The Worldwide Church of God has just launched the first in a series of online interviews under the title "WCG Together"

First out of the gate is the rather less than enthusiastic looking WCG President, Joseph Tkach Jr. The interview itself seems to drag painfully along with little life in it.


As of late the WCG HQ seems been making a number of attempts to sell people on the church.

Highlights of note in Tkach's interview:

- the mention that he has been "serving" as President almost gives the sense that a term of office exists for the President/Pastor General office.

- Tkach talks about the miracle that his father experienced in the "Old" WCG.

- Tkach called to ministry because of peoples' healing of their souls in the "Old" WCG.

- He sensed a movement of Christ in peoples' lives.

- They do not address but skip around the cult versus true Christian church issue. Just that Christ was clearly at work back then.

- "A True Christian is someone who is responding to God's Love" Joseph Tkach Jr.

- mentioned that his father Tkach Senior made both good and bad decisions. That his father's long prayers were a bit of an embarrassment to him as a child/youth.

- his hobby is beer brewing.

AND ... Tkach devotes the last 2 minutes of the interview to the state of the church today.

1. the church has planted about 70 new congregations in the last 10 years.

(Come on Joe. :-( How many congregations and ministers did you lose? How many members do you have left?)

2. There is a renewed focus on Youth ministries with 25 camps instead of the previous one camp in the USA plus the few others in other countries.

(Once again Joe ... how many kids attend compared with before? How the camps must be locally funded because the church hemorraged money?)

Just these two little items tacked on to the end of this interview.

Be interesting to see who is interviewed next.

And Stephanie Tkach does some blogging about Joe Jr. cruising for the beer, on his October 2004 WCG all-expenses-paid fall festival cruise:

"...the first day of the cruise we were in Newport, Rhode Island (have you ever wondered WHY island has an "S" in it....oddness...) it was the cutest town!! it was all little and quaint and old fashioned and so adorable!! and sadly...NO cute guys.....a few ugly ones though...

the second day we were in Gloucseter, Massachusetts. of all the places to go on a cruise..it was so not a tourist town. why did we go there??!!!! what a waste of a city..there was nothing there! it is a small fishing town and it was dirty and gross and it smelled (strongly) like rotten fish and pooey!! and we all know my feelings about fish and so right away i wanted to get back on the ship. the farther we walked into town, the worse the smell got...so we decided to stop going that direction...and i was a little sad cuz apparently the Witch House (a kind of museum thing about the salem witch trials) was not far from that town, and i wanted to see it but did we go? no...turned out not to be a bad thing though, cuz shawna (the girl i met on the cruise) went and she said it was lame...and that is all the time i am going to waste talking about Gloucseter...

the third day we went to Bar Harbor, Maine. (aparently all the locals pronounce it "Ba ha ba" becuz of there accent, but i never heard anyone say it that way..except people making fun of how the locals say it lol) Bar Harbor was such a sexy town! it was a little like newport, so adorable! and i can't really remember what we did, so moving on....

day 4 we were in Halifax, Nova Scotia. that was fun. it was such a cute town. it looked like it could have been England. and my dad, being the "beer conasuier" that he thinks he is, found "brewery tour" on the list of tourist attractions and wanted to go there. i must confess this did not excite me. over the years, whenever we travel, my dear father always manages to find a brew pub or some such silliness.in truth i think half the reason for us going to some of the places we do for supposed "church visits" is just an excuse to go find a pub...i have seen more brew pubs and brewery tours than i have hot guys. when i was like ten, i think, we went to pennsulvania and new york, and i swear we went at least 2 pubs a day...but i digress. so he wants to take us to this place called "Alexander Keith's Brewery" and i was about to groan loudly and dramaticly when he said they did a reenactment of what it was like in...i don't remember the time period...but my point is they were in period costumes. and of course i love that type of thing so my tune changed and i was like "well what are waiting for, lets go!"...

days 8 & 9 was Quebec City, Quebec. we spent the night in port. day 8 we went out and shoped and such and, of course my dad had to rake us o this brew pub....we walked around for an HOUR AND A HALF looking for the dumb place.and did i mention we kept going in circles? my dad kept asking people, and i think, becuz we were so obviously tourists, that they were messing with our heads. one person told us to go that way, and then once we were there, another person told us to go back, and i think we asked like 20 people and they all said something different...damn french canadians..but we finally found it...

Stephanie Tkach's Blog


So who will WCG video interview next?

Whoever it happens to be, alleged WCG church growth, NextGen, GC2, more youth camp emphasis, and church ministry "multiplication" is sure to be an upcoming topic. The WCG could just learn basic addition and subtraction with some real numbers, before drinking in some yeasty, fermented, heady, exponential church growth and "multiplication". Then someone at Glendora might be able to figure out a budget for church approval, and some real denominational financial statements, past due from the Tkach first "family" for years.


Tkach's 1987 WCG Restatement - or Corporate Amendment - Which?

The 1987 Restatement of Articles of the Worldwide Church of God, signed by Joseph Tkach Sr. on June 2, 1987:

1987 Restatement of Articles Of The
Worldwide Church of God
A California nonprofit religious corporation

Joseph W. Tkach and Gene M. Michel certify that:

1. They are the Chairman of the Board and the Assistant Secretary, respectively, of the Worldwide Church of God, a California corporation.

2. The following Restated Articles restate the entire text of the Articles of Incorporation of said corporation as amended to date:


The name of the corporation is the "Worldwide Church of God" (the "corporation")


The purpose, business and pursuit of the corporation shall be:

A. The purposes of the corporation are religious, as the word is exemplified in the Bible as defined and as expounded by the "Church of God", also known as Worldwide Church of God, an unincorporated association, of which Joseph W. Tkach is the presiding Pastor General" ("the Association"). The corporation is organized under the Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law of California exclusively for religious purposes, within the meaning of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

B. To purchase, acquire, lease, sell and dispose of property, both real and personal, and to use, encumber, pledge, mortgage, lease, and otherwise deal in the same at pleasure to the same extent as a natural person can do.

C. To make and execute deeds, mortgages, releases and instruments of indebtedness, negotiable or non-negotiable, and to enter into and execute contracts of every kind and character with any person, firm, or corporation.

AR Note: Parts B and C above are commonplace clauses listing a broad range of various types of business transactions for the WCG corporation. It permits a wide range of activities for the California nonprofit religious corporation to engage in, without any restrictions.

D. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Articles, the corporation shall not carry on any activities, not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from Federal income tax under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law) or (b) by a corporation contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).

E. No substantial part of the activities of this corporation shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation and this corporation shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

AR Note: Parts D and E are in the WCG Articles to comply with IRS tax regulations for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations, to which charitable contributions are tax deductible. Part E simply repeats the federal tax code verbatim regarding what 501(c)(3) orgs are permitted to do legally. The permissible range of activities of 501(c)(3) organizations, statutorily exclude that of "carrying on propaganda", influencing legislation, and political campaigns.

Propaganda is an ironic kind of restriction for the WCG to acknowledge here, when the very name of the magazine is the "Plain Truth". Also, that HWA politically influenced the passage of the California Petris bill legislation - at the 11th hour, after several expensive appeals to the California and United States Supreme Court failed to save his neck. Add to that political influence: WCG support in the upcoming California gubernatorial election campaign for AG George Deukmejian was extended. The AG was influenced thereby to cancel HQ sworn depositions, drop criminal charges, and deep-six mounting evidence in the tithe-fraud investigations. Armstrong got off the legal hook by wasting millions in frivolous, dilatory legal arguments instead of showing off his deceptively audited accounting books. He nor his WCG was exonerated of wrongdoing.


The county in the State of California where the principal office for the transaction of the business of this corporation is to be located is Los Angeles county.


The number of directors of the corporation shall be six, until changed by an amendment to the by-laws increasing or decreasing the number of directors.


This corporation is not organized, nor shall it be operated, except as permitted by law, for pecuniary gain or profit, and it does not contemplate, except as permitted by law, the distribution of gains, profits or dividends to the members thereof or to any private shareholder or individual.

AR Note: Article V is a non-profit clause reciting that the gains, profits or dividends of the non-profit corporation are not to accrue to the benefit of individuals. To do so other wise would violate the tax exempt public trust of any non-profit corporation. Yet Armstrong and his closest associates benefited monetarily the most, not those who needed charitable assistance, in the WCG or otherwise. In the end, Armstrong had no problem getting money out of the corporation for what ever he wanted. That included millions upon millions of mandatory third-tithe sacrifices compelled for support of widows and destitute orphans wasted monthly on jets leased by Armstrong and then Tkach. A detailed accounting at this point of how the compulsory triple-tithe millions and special funds donations were actually comingled with other funds, laundered and wasted by the Pastor Generals might be superfluous, but compelling.


In the event that the corporation's charter is surrendered to, taken away by, or revoked by the Association, the corporation shall be dissolved.

AR Note (Article VI's Significance): Under the new 1987 Tkach Article VI, the unincorporated Church Association unambiguously and categorically holds the legal power, (through the Pastor General and his Advisory Board of Elders) to take away the corporation's charter. As written above, the Association specifically has the completely legal power to revoke the church corporate charter; to dissolve the California church corporation out of legal existence, shut it down, and transfer out any remaining assets elsewhere.

Upon the winding up and dissolution of this corporation, after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the corporation, and after compliance with Section 680 of the California Religious Nonprofit Corporation Law, the remaining assets of this corporation shall be distributed to one of the following organizations, corporations, trustees or other entity, in the order of their preference as listed:

AR Note: This section details the procedure for winding up and finally dissolving the WCG Church corporation by the Association. Section 680 of the California Religious Nonprofit Corporation Law covers the required legal procedures for winding up such a nonprofit corporation in California. It is put into place to try to prevent private inurement, or individuals benefiting from the disposition of any remaining nonprofit assets. After all debts, loans and WCG corporate liabilities have first been completely paid off (such as any WCG bank loans, credit cards, or lines of credit outstanding; or pension obligations, if any remain outstanding to employees or retirees) any money or assets remaining must go to:

A. The Association, or in the event it is unable to take title for any reason, then to

AR Note: The unincorporated WCG Church Association, then, has FIRST preference to get any remaining assets on the WCG corporate books.

B. The individual members of the Advisory Council of Elders of the Association in trust for religious purposes, as exemplified in the Bible as defined and as expounded by the Association, or in the event they are unable to take title for any reason, then to

AR Note: Next, the individual members of the Advisory Council of Elders of the Association, of which Tkach Jr. is a member, get the money (to be held in trust, of course). The assets or property would not be titled in their own individual names, but held in a trust for religious purposes, apart from any unincorporated Association entity itself, unless it too was dissolved for another reason. The individual members of the Advisory Council would be probably be the specifically named trustees in care of this religious trust under this provision.

C. The organization, corporation or trustee or other entity supported by the Pastor General of the Association, or in the event such power or appointment is not valid for any reason, then to

AR Note: Third preference in line is the Pastor General's personal pick (as if preferences A and B were not his decision.) The Pastor general has a power of appointment to place the remaining corporation assets into any other another organization he supports; some organization, another corporation, some other trustee or any other entity he supports (use your imagination here- very few restrictions on the Pastor General's pick exist in this provision).

Or, if the WCG corporation is dissolved without a name change, he could theoretically perhaps place any leftover Association controlled money if he wants in another newly created entity such as "Grace International Communion", an idea previously promoted by Tkach in February of 2006.

D. Ambassador College, a California nonprofit corporation.

AR Note: Ambassador College, where are you? Founded in Pasadena in 1947, Ambassador College is alive and well and now doing business as Grace Communion Seminary.

Think Ambassador College shut down? It is currently an active California nonprofit corporation, in good official standing with the State of California. The California Secretary of State will verify this for you online. And now Ambassador College, doing business as Grace Communion Seminary, is now standing in line to receive all of the remaining assets of the dissolved WCG religious corporation Armstrong founded in 1946. The Tkach Chair of Reform School Theology at Ambassador College's Grace Communion Seminary has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? It certainly beats working for a living.

3. The Restated Articles do not themselves amend the Articles of Incorporation of said corporation and no approval of this certificate by the members is required.

AR Note: My comment on the "is it a restatement or amendment of WCG law" issue is below.

4. The execution and filing of this certificate was authorized and has been approved by the Board of Directors by resolution duly adopted by unanimous written consent on June 1, 1987.

Dated: June 2, 1987

(Signed) Joseph W. Tkach
Chairman of the Board

(Signed) Gene M. Michel
as Assistant Secretary


Each of the undersigned declares under penalty of perjury that the matters set forth in the foregoing certificate are true and correct of his own knowledge and that this declaration was executed on 2nd day of June, 1987, at Pasadena, California.

(Signed) Joseph W. Tkach

(Signed) Gene M. Michel

Filed June 11, 1987.

AR Note: The so-called 1987 Restated Articles above (claimed to be merely a Restatement of WCG corporate Articles, but denied by Tkach Sr. to be an corporate amendment, which might then legally require a vote of approval by the "members") are significant in that it is the first time such a detailed order of preference for the distribution of any remaining corporate assets of the WCG is introduced into WCG doctrine.

Then in complete control of WCG by June 1987, Tkach was probably anticipating a future potential "earthquake" from the upcoming doctrinal changes to be made, and a possible impending complete dissolution of the WCG corporation was on the mind of his lieutenants. What might happen to the WCG corporate millions Tkach now controlled in the WCG piggybank, if it was going to be smashed open and wasted?

So when Tkach Sr. rather defensively and strangely claims that it is only a Restatement and, rather oddly, that no vote of approval is required by the "members", exactly which set of "members", according to the bylaws, is Tkach Sr. referring?

Tkach Sr. signs the above "no approval of this certificate by the members is required," which could in general perhaps legally refer to either church members, or church corporate members. Church members ordinarily would probably think of of themselves as members of the Church Association, not as members of the corporation.

However, the most recent set of WCG corporate bylaws we have specifically define only one class of corporate members, who have voting powers of approval:

"There shall only be one class of corporate members. They will be referred to as the "Members of the Corporation." "Members of the Corporation" shall mean the Advisory Council of Elders of the Association as it shall from time to time be constituted."


Please note that "Members of the Corporation" by the June 1987 time frame had a specific, legally defined meaning and should not be confused within the WCG corporate bylaws with "church members."

The corporate bylaws also state:

"Each member of the Board of Directors, each committee member or each officer of the Corporation must be a Church Member of the Association at the time of his appointment and must remain such during his term in office. If for any reason he does not remain a Church Member of the Association during his term in office, then he shall be disqualified from serving as a director, committee member or officer, which disqualification shall constitute his removal from his respective office without the necessity of further action."

The Tkach Board of Directors of the WCG corporation approved the 1987 Restatement unanimously in writing. According to the bylaws just quoted, the Board members of the WCG corporation MUST also ALL be Church Members of the WCG unincorporated Association at the same time.

If all Tkach needed a vote of his appointed WCG corporate members to approve what is legally asserted above to be a corporate restatement, he could easily have accomplished this. However, the restatement oddly and specifically stipulates that "and no approval of this certificate by the members is required."

Really? Perhaps instead the line ought to read, "and no approval of this certificate by the WCG members is required or desired". But what if in fact it was not a just corporate restatement as Tkach claimed, and rose to the required approval level of a corporate amendment? Obviously, Tkach Sr. did not craft this corporate restatement without assistance. all by himself. But no court has yet ruled on the corporate legality, or lack theeof, of this Tkach 1987 WCG restatement, one way or the other.

Nevertheless, under what conditions would a church member vote of approval for an corporate amendment be required, if ever?

Armstrong's original 1946 corporate constitution Article V might shed some light and set historical precedent on this issue of corporate member voting in the Radio Church of God, but the following 1946 electronic version has quite a few important blanks from whatever was in the original:


The authorized number and qualifications of members of this corporation, [___] different classes of membership, if [___], the property, voting and [____] rights and privileges of each class of membership, and the liability of [____] and all classes in [____] of membership [____] the method of collection thereof shall [_____] forth in the by-laws of this corporation.


The name of the existing unincorporated association wishing to be incorporated is "Radio Church of God".


The by-laws of this corporation shall be adopted by the directors named in these articles of incorporation, and may thereafter be amended or repealed by [___] [_____] provided in the by-laws.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the persons who are to act in the capacity of first directors of the corporation this 3rd day of March, 1946.

President, managing director, and


Filed March 13, 1946.

The next WCG, or 1948 constitution added this in regard to local congregations voting: "minister of evangelist used of God in raising up and organizing the local congregation shall, after fasting and prayer, appoint and ordain the local pastor, elders, and deacons. In no case shall there be worldly politics, or voting, or selection of these officers by the members themselves. In the absence of a credentialed minister or evangelist in the raising up and organizing of a local church, such appointments and ordination shall be made by the general Pastor of this Church."

But on the other hand, the 1948 WCG constitution, Section 3 on membership requires a member voting process to effect the disfellowshipment of a member - with a two -thirds requirement: "it shall be the duty of every member of the Radio Church of God...shall upon approval of the pastor and two- thirds of the members present at any meeting be excluded from membership and disfellowshipped by the congregation"

Therefore, according to the 1948 bylaws, local church members were not permitted to vote or participate in the selection process of local ministers, elders, and deacons; but were permitted a vote to disfellowship their own fellow church members!

The 1948 WCG constitution goes on to say:



Section 1. These articles may be amended at any unusual or special business meeting called for that purpose, upon recommendation of the changes by the President and Pastor with the approval of a majority of the members present.

So a majority of the members present may vote to amend the articles at a business meeting, called for that purpose, to approve recommended changes by the Pastor General. Is that why Tkach Sr. made such a point of declaring the Board Action of 1987 a Restatement, and not an amendment? In fact, that is just what a majority of the members is said to have approved of on October 24, 1948:

* * * *

This CONSTITUTION has been recommended by the Pastor, and approved by the majority of the members present at this annual meeting, this 24th day of October, 1948.

One wonders if anyone remembers that 1948 meeting, besides Rod "Spanky" Meredith. It says the new constitution was approved by a majority of the members present on October 24, 1948. At that fledgling time with few members, the WCG bylaws may not have yet defined a special group of Members of the Corporation who purportedly became the only ones legally permitted by the bylaws to vote on such matters-such as approving a new 1948 Radio church constitution. A majority vote of members at this fall festival annual meeting was required to legally change from the rather mercifully short, original 1946 WCG constitution. At the very least, it could have received some advance notice, a recommended mention by the PG and perhaps a quick voice vote. But how was it in actual fact legally approved by the real "members" that day in October 1948, according to the then corporate bylaws?

On another note, Loma Armstrong switches hats from counting the money as the first corporate Treasurer for the WCG in 1946, to Vice-President of the Radio corporation in 1948. Somebody had to count the incoming money. Who better to trust counting the incoming Radio cash, besides his own wife? Maybe that's why the 1948 constitution called for an internal auditor - "An Auditor, in supervision of auditing and bookkeeping department, who shall audit all financial records of The RADIO CHURCH OF GOD and its auxiliary organizations or institutions at least once each year, and report to the President". It's not easy to con a con.


Pastor, and President of corporation


Vice President




Elder and Director


Deacon and Director


Deacon and Director

The next publicly known corporate transaction to require a minimum quorum meeting of the members of the Radio Church of God is supposed to have allegedly occurred at 363 Grove Street, located on the AC campus, January 5, 1968. Herbert Armstrong perjured himself on a sworn document he signed under penalty of perjury, when he claimed exactly 5,051 WCG members, properly and with required notice, voted to approve a board of directors corporate resolution to change the name of the Corporation from Radio Church of God to Worldwide Church of God. If anyone has incontrovertible proof to the contrary that exactly 5,051 of Armstrong's members voted on changing the corporate name from Radio to Worldwide on that day, let them provide it.

"That at a meeting of the members of said corporation, duly held at 363 Grove Street, Pasadena, California, on January 5, 1968, a Resolution was adopted, which resolution is identical in form to the directors' resolution set forth in Paragraph 2 above.

4. That the number of members who voted affirmatively for the adoption of said resolution is 5,051, and that the number of members constituting a quorum is 2,500."

One has to ask the obvious question about the 1968 voting rights of the membership in the WCG and the bylaws, "Why did Armstrong find it necessary to claim that exactly 5,051 of his members voted for approving the resolution of his Radio corporate board, and then criminally perjured himself in a sworn document about it?" If Rod Meredith voted to approve the board resolution and knew there was no required member vote of 5,051 taken to approve this board resolution, he knowingly permitted a fraudulent corporate transaction as a member of the WCG board of directors.

To continue, a known subsequent addition (by 1977) to the 1948 version of the WCG constitution adds to the corporate bylaws: "The Board of Directors shall be vested with authority to appoint a ministerial committee and adopt procedures for it. Such committee, however, shall have no authority to suspend, disfellowship, or reinstate a Church member who is also a corporate member."

So by 1977, the WCG corporate bylaws contained separate definitions for WCG church members and a WCG corporate members. These kinds of technical legal distinctions on membership are often made in non-profit organizations or associations, which can define various kinds of membership. The provision above states the ministerial committee has no authority to disfellowship someone who is a corporate church member and a church member. Undoubtedly, Armstrong's bylaws by this time stipulated only the "Church Authority", (legally defined in the church bylaws as the Pastor General or President) has the sole authority to disfellowship either a "dummy board" corporate member or member of the advisory board of elders of the unincorporated Church Association, or some or all of the board members, without cause or notice.

Tkach claimed in his certification that, "The following Restated Articles restate the entire text of the Articles of Incorporation of said corporation as amended to date". Well anyone, after reading the text of the 1948 Constitution and Bylaws of the Radio COG here and the WCG Constitution here can tell they differ tremendously from this 1987 Tkach restatement, even Mr. Magoo. If his 1987 Restatement was in fact only a restatement as Tkach wants us to believe, there was a great deal of amending done behind the scenes to get from the entire lengthy text we have of the 1948 Radio Articles of Incorporation, renamed to Worldwide in 1968, to the Articles Tkach claimed to have only just "restated" in 1987.

If anything, the very short 1987 Restatement by Tkach hides and conceals more than it reveals about the 1987 corporation in the document on public file with the California Secretary of State. The 1987 Restatement only provides the corporation, or the Pastor General, a set of prioritized rules for the disposition of the former tithes and donations extracted out of church members, should the Pastor General of the WCG Association dissolve the WCG corporation for any reason. This list of prioritized preferences as to where the assets wind up (again basically to Tkach Jr.'s control) may be the bare minimum the State of California requires to be publicly filed in a restatement of nonprofit corporation articles.

To paraphrase AR58:

"In the final analysis, all WCG doctrines, policies, assets, and personnel are controlled legally by the whims, caprices, and fantasies of but one human being - Joe Tkach Jr. In a very real sense, therefore, the Worldwide Church of God is Joe Tkach Jr."

If anything, Joe Tkach Jr. today has more dictatorial, lifetime legal control in the articles and bylaws of the current WCG corporation and unincorporated worldwide Church Association and its millions that Herbert W. Armstrong ever dreamed of.

Tkach Jr. owes the church a full, candid explanation for these 1987 restatement discrepancies and legal inconsistencies with the historical WCG corporation and church Association articles and bylaws. To do anything less than publishing the WCG's constituent documents, and fully explaining how his church operates under what set of bylaws shows a lack of grace and is nothing less than a complete dereliction of duty to his employer.

Update: Ambassador Reports welcomes the 16,170th visitor hailing from Glendora, California while on a safari. Macintosh 1680 x 1050, that is. Saa-Lute!

Domain Name
rr.com ? (Commercial)
IP Address
76.175.75.# (Road Runner)
Road Runner
Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : California
City : Glendora
Lat/Long : 34.1321, -117.8511 (Map)

English (U.S.)
Operating System
Macintosh MacOSX
Safari 1.3
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/523.10.3 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0.4 Safari/523.10
version 1.5
Resolution : 1680 x 1050
Color Depth : 24 bits
Time of Visit
Aug 14 2008 1:25:07 am
Last Page View
Aug 14 2008 1:25:07 am
Page Views
Referring URL
Visit Entry Page
Visit Exit Page
Out Click

Time Zone
Visitor's Time
Aug 13 2008 11:25:07 pm
Visit Number

Comments on any and all of the above as usual are open, unmoderated, and greatly appreciated. Thank-you for your support.