Sam

I don’t remember a lot about exact dates (I’m 75), but I think I yanked my wife and small children out of the Baptist church and into Radio Church (later WCG) around 1961. She became “the Unconverted Mate.” Just the use of that old epithet gives me the creeps, but I’ve had lots of time to repent of that ugly attitude.

I had dragged her and our small children from Catholicism to Southern Baptist-ism. She was actually the first to respond to Herbert Armstrong. She had heard “The World Tomorrow” on XERF, Del Rio, TX. She sent off for The Plain Truth (then a small black and white folder) and “Does God Exist” and “7 Proofs God Exists” — also black & white — odd shaped and hard to store and keep track of.

We lived in Fayette County, TX, near Schulenburg. Each Sabbath I would pack peanut butter sandwiches and kool aid (we were poor as church mice), load up the children, and drive 167 miles down old Highway 90 (before I-10) to sabbath service in San Antonio, TX. It was an all day event — we left at dawn and got home well after dark. A few times my wife accompanied us, but she refused after I scolded her for putting on lipstick before sabbath service — I said something like…”none of the other women will be wearing it, you’ll look weird”. Later I was “given permission” to attend sabbath church in Houston, only 110 miles but much of it interstate, as I-10 had been completed as far as Columbus, TX by that time.

Frank McCrady, a “local elder” at the time, counseled me that my marriage was “on the rocks”. He tried to convince me I should skip every-other sabbath to stay home with my wife and children; but I was just too hypocritical (read: “dedicated to G-d”) to do that. We had seven children before we were divorced in 1983. Neither she nor I have remarried and she owns the farm.

I was booted (“disfellowshipped”) from WCG in 1974, but I would drive over 100 miles to find a sabbath service in which I felt I would not be recognized. I snuck in as the opening hymn was in process, ducked out before the final “amen”. I had learned by that time how to circumvent the security system in place to keep out the unconverted and unapproved, manned by deacons.

In 1978 I went with Garner Ted and Ron Dart to CGI (Church of God International). I stayed until Ted was sacked for an alleged peccadillo — I think in the late 80’s. I was “booted” from that outfit around 1988 for “living in adultery”, but they were lackadaisical about maintaining security; so a few other adulterers and I sort-of continued in a home fellowship for a year or two.

As an educator I’ve always urged students to avoid blaming others for downturns that will come along with all successful individuals. “If it’s going to be it’s up to me…” Therefore, I look at my history with WCG as a good thing, not a bad thing. It was an episode that helped me become successful in the other things I’ve accomplished in life — a 30-year lesson learning experience (read: how NOT to behave!!). Had I not known Ted or his father I would have missed an important dimension in acquiring skills needed to see through fallacy.

I have not been involved in any religion of any kind since 1990 and consider myself a “sovereign state” (anarchist — but I think it is important to understand what anarchy actually means before making judgements). I do not call myself “atheist” (which itself is more-or-less religion as I see it); but I believe you have an absolute right to believe and proclaim as you see fit, and I will not denigrate any thesis you put forth.

6 thoughts on “Sam”

  1. I’m not certain I read correctly whether or not we were allowed to post contact info on this site. Would be glad to chat with you.

    Sam

  2. You are welcome to post your own contact info, but I suggest you obfuscate it in some way to avoid it being harvested by sam bots, e.g.:

    myaddress at example dot com

  3. i really enjoyed reading youre sight and all the comments. i to grew up attending the wwcog i was never baptised and stoped attending when i was 17 about 20 years ago now. I am still friends with the children i grew up with in the church . We all still have a good laughf with are stories about growing up in the church. Keep up the good work.

  4. Hello. I use to a member of WCG. I also left back in the late 90’s. I went to the Central Church location in Cincinnati oh. I strongly believed this experience has caused me to struggle and suffer now in life. I was born into that church. I am now 37. All the mental abuse that we had to endure. Its a wonder Im not athiest. All the control,fear and misleading information. When I left I was afraid I would be stuck dead as they lead us to believe. We were so secluded from reality and the misconception of people not in the church “pagans”. A few I heard even commited suicide because they were afraid they did not measure up to Gods standard. I’ve been on the Painful Truth website and sad to report that I could relate to a lot of the pain and post on there. When the church broke away, lots of us were left in the dark, because we were always taught how evil the world was and it was very hard to adapt on the rose colored glasses came off.

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