The pastor general noted in his letter that God could heal him, but he would praise Him whether he is healed now or in the resurrection.
Sources close to the Tkach family said the WCG leader had decided not to undergo radiation treatment.
Mr. Tkach, who has presided over far-reaching and controversial doctrinal changes in the WCG, wrote,
"God has blessed me to see the beginning of the golden age of the Worldwide Church of God. He has given me overwhelming joy to witness his Holy Spirit at work in a miraculous way to lead us out of entrenched doctrinal errors into the pure light of his glorious gospel!"
He also wrote that, for the "stability and continuity of the [WCG]," he had appointed his son as deputy pastor general and that the younger Tkach would become pastor general upon his death or inability to continue his duties.
In the letter Mr. Tkach said he ordained his son to the position Sept. 5 at a meeting attended by Gregory Albrecht, Michael Feazell, Dean Blackwell, Ralph Helge (WCG attorney), Herman Hoeh, Ronald Kelly, Joseph Locke, Richard Rice, Bernard Schnippert, K.J. Stavrinides and Richard van Pelt.
A news release from WCG public-relations officer Tom Lapacka said the meeting, held in Pasadena, Calif., was a "board meeting."
Before his promotion, the younger Tkach was director of church administration.
During the meeting at AU, to which members of the press were refused entrance, "Dr. Duke was pretty emotional," a source who asked not to be identified told In Transition. "He often cried, and stopped eight or nine times, but kept his composure pretty well."
Dr. Duke also discussed "different ways to deal with grief and said we need to go forward," the source said. "He [Dr. Duke] said that we're moving into the golden years of Ambassador. He said we're in the black, but under financial duress, which he said was not uncommon for nonprofit entities."
Dr. Duke also said AU will begin taking applications and nominations for the position of university president. Dr. Duke has been president pro tem since June 16, when the previous president, Dr. Donald Ward, resigned.