Front page: Church of God members, Legacy founders, visit old friends: king and queen of Thailand

By Dixon Cartwright

Church of God members Leon and Gloria Sexton of Bangkok recently visited old friends in Sakhon Nakorn, Thailand: King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit.

The occasion was an annual "silk festival," to which the royal family had invited European fashion designers, writers and photographers and the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, Darryl Johnson.

For the Sextons the visit was primarily social and included dinner in the palace at Sakhon Nakorn. Queen Sirikit invites Mr. and Mrs. Sexton to visit the palace several times a year.

The Sextons operate a Church of God ministry called Legacy Institute with addresses in Bangkok and Ohio.

"Gloria and I have had a long-term relationship with the royal family, since the first time I met King Bhumibol," Mr. Sexton said.

Some COG people think Mr. Sexton originally became acquainted with the Thai royals because of Mr. Sexton's history with the Ambassador Foundation in Pasadena, Calif., in the '70s.

But Mr. Sexton says he first met the king because of his earlier employment as a "social worker with the Thai community in Los Angeles."

He later met Queen Sirikit in Thailand while representing the Ambassador Foundation, founded by Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God.

"Gloria and I have maintained a friendship with the royal family and stayed in contact with them, even after our duties in Asia ended after Mr. Armstrong's death," Mr. Sexton said.

The Sextons maintain a residence in Thailand, having moved from the Dallas, Texas, area a few years ago to be close to Legacy's primary work of assisting Sabbatarian Christians in Thailand and Myanmar.

For Mr. Sexton's first-person account of his and his wife's recent trip to Sakhon Nakorn to visit the king and queen, see page 4.

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