Garner Ted Armstrong
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Garner Ted Armstrong (1930–2003) was a televangelist, the son of Herbert W. Armstrong, and co-founded the Worldwide Church of God with his father. He had an adultery scandal[note 1] which led to him being excommunicated from the Worldwide Church of God in 1978 to found his own Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association and Church of God, International. At the same time, his excommunication was at least partly the result of a power struggle to succeed Herbert between Garner and the church's general counsel Stanley R. Rader.
Armstrong taught British Israelism and Sabbath-day (Saturday) worship. He was caught in yet another adultery scandal in 1997, which was exposed on the Geraldo Rivera television show on 11 July 1997 and as a result stepped down from leadership in the Church of God, International to found a new splinter denomination, the Intercontinental Church of God. He died in 2003.
Church of God International
The Church of God International (also written Church of God, International or CGI) is an organization that split from Herbert W. Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God in 1978; its founders included Garner Ted Armstrong, who led it until 1998. It is headquartered in Tyler, Texas. It claims to have "ministers and congregations throughout the United States and Canada, and also have churches in the United Kingdom, Jamaica, the Philippines, and Australia." It operates through a combination of traditional local churches, television, internet, booklets, and CDs.
It has various doctrinal peculiarities. It seeks to restore many Jewish elements to Christianity and attempts to strip Christianity of all syncretic and pagan influences, which means no Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day, or any of the other holidays Hallmark loves so much. In contrast it celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).
It believes Hell is a matter of annihilation, not fire and brimstone, for unbelievers. It also has elements of British Israelism, consistent with its philo-semitism. And while it denies unitarianism, it also denies trinitarianism: it is binitarian, disputing the Holy Spirit is separate from either God or Jesus.
Intercontinental Church of God
The Intercontinental Church of God (ICG) is a splinter group from the above CGI, founded by Garner Ted Armstrong in 1998, and also headquartered in Tyler, Texas, and with many of the same beliefs. It is strongly focused on spreading its mission via mass media, internet, and print publications, as well as traditional churches. Again, its observances are heavily influenced by Judaism, with its holy days being: Passover, Days of Unleavened Bread (part of the Passover commemoration), Pentecost (a Christian feast celebrating the divine spirit passing into disciples), Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), Atonement (Yom Kippur), Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), and The Last Great Day (inspired by Revelations 20)
- Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
- Church of God International website
- Intercontinental Church of God website
- Why, oh why, is this so predictable?
- Church Founder Excommunicates His Son, Garner Ted Armstrong, New York Times, July 2, 1978
- Garner Ted Armstrong and Geraldo Rivera: Sex, Crimes and Videotape. hwarmstrong.com, April 2009.
- Garner Ted Armstrong Exposed. exitsupportnetwork.com,
- Garner Ted Armstrong, 73; TV Evangelist Formed Own Church After Break With Father, LA Times, Sep 16, 2003
- See the Wikipedia article on Church of God International (United States).
- About Us, CGI UK
- About, CGI
- Feast of Tabernacles, CGI website.
- See the Wikipedia article on Intercontinental Church of God.
- Mission and Goals, ICG website
- Holy Days, ICG website