The United Church of God in October suspended an elder in Texas from his ministerial duties, and in November an elder in California resigned his employment with the UCG.
The ministerial-services department of the Ohio-based church announced Oct. 19, 2010, it had relieved Larry Salyer of his ministerial duties.
Mr. Salyer only recently had moved from Ohio to Marshall, Texas, to pastor congregations near Texarkana, Texas, and in Ruston, La.
Victor Kubik of UCG ministerial services said the church "suspended" Mr. Salyer "after he held meetings in the congregations he pastors after services in which he openly criticized the leadership of the Church. This is unacceptable conduct by a minister ..."
On Nov. 4, 2010, Ken Giese of Roseville, Calif., resigned "as an employee" of the UCG, explaining that he could "no longer in good conscience support the current administration or the overall direction of the council majority."
Mr. Giese and his wife, Kathy, reportedly met with UCG president Dennis Luker and Mr. Kubik on Oct. 31 to inform Mr. Giese that "the Reno [Nev.] and Sacramento [Calif.] congregations were divided over my perceived lack of support for the Council of Elders."
Mr. Giese said Mr. Luker and Mr. Kubik offered to transfer Mr. Giese to another area, but, after prayer and fasting, he and Mrs. Giese decided he would resign from the church's employ.
"I simply can no longer in good conscience remain a part of this organization."
That position places Mr. Giese, along with Mr. Salyer, among the "conservatives" in the UCG, or former UCG, leadership. "Progressives" currently outnumber the conservatives 8-4 on the 12-man council.
The issues ultimately boil down to who's in charge, as outlined and analyzed in a recent article in The Journal. (See "UCG's Crisis Is the Latest in a Long Line of Ups and Downs Since the Church's Founding in 1995," issue No. 140, dated July 31, 2010.)
For continuing news of the UCG's trials and tribulations, see the UCG's site (members.ucg.org), Abigail Cartwright's blog (ucgcurrentcrisis.webs.com) and other Web sites that will turn up in a search of the Internet.