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Gerald Waterhouse tells why he joined UCG

By Gerald Waterhouse

ST. LUCIE, Fla.--After serving in two wars (World War II and Korea), I was very pessimistic in regard to any future for our children and future generations.

A bright future unfolded when I went to Big Sandy for the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread in 1953. After being baptized by Mr. Armstrong, I spent the following seven days in the most informative, encouraging and electrifying time of my life. Mr. Armstrong delivered all the sermons (two services per day) and covered the meaning of the Sabbath and annual festivals through about seven sermons.

This developed the plan of God so graphically, which opened up such a marvelous purpose for mankind, which changed the direction of my life in such a positive manner.

As Mr. Armstrong sent me to various overseas countries--England, Australia, the Philippines and South Africa--I knew the importance of grasping the overall Plan of God so the brethren would have a proper frame in which the pieces of the "puzzle" would fit and help develop the picture more clearly.

In and out of season

As I mentioned to Mr. Armstrong one morning at breakfast, "the festivals did so much good for me that, wherever you sent me, I preached on the Plan of God not only in season but a whole lot out of season."

Apart from the means of developing a meaningful Plan and purpose in the minds of those brethren in those pioneering days (February 1957 to August 1965), I couldn't have been successful. Christ knew and led me in the way He knew was necessary.

In January 1966 I began my world tours--11 over a period of 25 years. I reached 144 churches my first tour and 747 the last.

The Plan of God is so etched in my mind I could never turn my back on it or the Sabbath and Holy Days, by which the understanding came.

When it was officially announced Jan. 7, 1995, that the WCG no longer believed the Sabbath and Holy Days were required for Christians, that confirmed in my mind that the WCG had moved off of the foundation of God's Church and coming Family. Therefore, I knew support to the WCG could not continue.

I quit attending services and in April of 1995 learned that the regional pastors and others were going to meet in Indianapolis to formulate plans to serve and provide meeting places for the thousands who had left the WCG and wanted ministers to provide their needs.

I witnessed evidence of Christ through the Holy Spirit leading the ministers in their discussions. When it became obvious in their meetings that progress was not being made, they dismissed to go to their rooms and spend time in prayer about the subject under discussion. Upon returning to continue their discussion, they experienced a more unifying attitude.

Unifying attitude

This obvious intervention occurred throughout their meetings, and such a unifying spirit continued through the general conference. There was a definite unifying attitude throughout the entirety of the meetings.

I am completely satisfied with my decision and have seen astonishing progress in what has been accomplished in the 16 months since the UCG has been established.

In closing, I would like to quote an excerpt from an article by the president of the UCG. It is from a message on "the godly community" in New Beginnings of July 22.

"A vision statement is a way of expressing the overarching goals and purposes of any individual or group. It is meant to give overall direction to both individual and collective efforts. In our case, of course, the vision statement finds its expression in the pages of the Bible. For this reason any vision statement crafted by me will have to be firmly and clearly anchored in God's Word.

"We belong to the Church of God, not our own church, or the church of a particular person. That has been the problem of those who have started their own churches. As I have said many times, I don't believe any individual can claim he started the United Church of God, an International Association. It came into being by God's doing--a manifestation of His hand at work in preserving His people and the truths He had taught them through His Word and through imperfect human instruments."

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