Living Church of God makes plans, reports growth

The Living Church of God has grown since it formed last November when Dr. Roderick C. Meredith was "forced out of" the Global Church of God, which he had founded in 1993, said Bill Bowmer, executive editor of publications for the LCG.

About 6,000 attend services with the new church around the world, he said, citing LCG church-administration estimates, and near the end of its first full year of existence it will sponsor Feast sites in several countries.

Sites will include Anchorage, Alaska; Gatlinburg, Tenn.; Jackson, Wyoming; Lake of the Ozarks, Mo.; Panama City, Fla.; Tucson, Ariz.; Niagara Falls, Ont., Canada; Cranbrook, B.C., Canada; Montreal, Que., Canada; and Oaxtepec, Mexico.

Living will also have sites in Scotland, France, Malaysia, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Chile and the Philippines.

Media efforts

The new organization also quickly launched into media efforts, Mr. Bowmer said. "The Tomorrow's World telecast, with Dr. Meredith and Richard Ames as presenters, airs every Sunday at 6 a.m. eastern time on cable superstation WGN and at 6:30 p.m. every Sunday on Canada's Vision network," said Mr. Bowmer. "An additional 70 or so public-access stations also carry the program."

He said responses to WGN and Vision have increased 25 percent over last year.

"The Tomorrow's World magazine began publication in May this year, and the October issue will be mailed shortly after the Feast," said Mr. Bowmer. He said the magazine will go bimonthly next January.

The LCG has published three new booklets: Build a Joyous Marriage, Should You Be Baptized? and What's Ahead for America and Britain?

"The Marriage booklet is now in its third printing; the other two booklets are in their second printings," he said.

The church is also developing a correspondence course.

News of the Net

"Our Internet efforts also continue to expand," said Mr. Bowmer.

Traffic on the church's two Web sites, and, "has been steadily increasing. Since the sites were established in January 1999, we have received more than 800,000 hits from more than 50 countries."

Many visitors to the sites have requested free literature using an online request form, and many more have downloaded versions of church publications to their own computers.

Mr. Bowmer also said that, besides the public areas, a members' area is reserved for people with a Church of God background. They can access it using the identification word member and with the password galatians220.

According to LCG treasurer Fred Dattolo, income for August is running at about 87 percent of Global's income last August (three months before the split that formed Living).

"Regular income in each month from June through August has surpassed the last, with August the highest-income month yet for LCG," said Mr. Dattolo.

The Living Church of God is headquartered in the same complex in Rancho Bernardo, in northern San Diego County, at 16935 W. Bernardo Dr., Suite 260, San Diego, where the Global Church of God is headquartered. Mr. Bowmer said The Journal has incorrectly stated that the LCG and Global are headquartered in Escondido. The facility is near Escondido but not within its city limits, he said.

"Living Church of God is renting about one third of the space that the Global Church of God occupied before the split, plus space in a nearby building which houses our mail-processing and industrial-video department," Mr. Bowmer concluded.

The LCG has 25 employees at its headquarters, including six elders, with 28 paid elders serving in the field. Brethren are also served by 81 local elders and more than 100 deacons and deaconesses.

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