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Church of God Worldwide Association
selects Jim Franks as first president

Encouraging Communication among the Churches of God

Church of God Worldwide Association
selects Jim Franks as first president

by Dixon Cartwright

The Church of God a Worldwide Association (CGWA) selected Jim Franks of Austin, Texas, as the first president of the recently formed COG group.

The ministerial board of directors, which elders voted into office on Aug. 8, 2011, held its inaugural meeting in Orlando, Fla., from Aug. 29 through Sept. 1.

Freedom for officers

The first item of business was the board discussing its relationship with the group's new administrative officers (who at that point were yet to be selected). In a letter dated Sept. 1, the seven members of the board stated: "The new governance structure was designed to give more responsibility to the president and administration, with the board assuming its legal oversight while leaving the day-to-day administration to the president and his team."

Since the new church formed when a group of elders left the United Church of God an International Association (UCG) in December 2010, some history of that organization is pertinent as background to the decisions of the new organization.

The relationship between the board (called the council of elders) and the administration (spearheaded by the president) had been a source of friction since the beginning of UCG in 1995. (After the recent split, it appears that the friction between the two entities in the UCG is no longer present.)

When the president sought to exert more power than the board was comfortable with, board members attempted to rein him in. When the board sought to overly micromanage the president, the president sought to spread his wings.

After the CGWA's new board completed its discussion of its relationship with the proposed administration, it selected the three officers: Mr. Franks as president, David Johnson as secretary and Jason Lovelady as treasurer.

Selection expected

The choice of Mr. Franks as president of the CGWA had been expected by many because he was a powerful figure in the UCG, serving on its board for many years and as director of the ministry.

The Journal had published two articles by columnist Dave Havir predicting that Mr. Franks would become the president of the UCG in 2005.

In an article titled "Columnist Predicts Jim Franks Will Be Next President of UCG" (in the May 31, 2004, issue of The Journal), Mr. Havir guessed that the UCG board would not reaffirm Roy Holladay as the church's president in the spring of 2005 and that it would name Mr. Franks as president.

In February 2005, when the board chose not to reaffirm Mr. Holladay as president, Mr. Havir wrote an article titled "Here Is How Council Will Select Jim Franks as UCG President" (in the Feb. 28, 2005, issue of The Journal), reaffirming his prophecy about Mr. Franks.

However, the UCG board at that time chose Clyde Kilough as president of the UCG, and Mr. Kilough chose Mr. Franks as the UCG's director of the ministry.

The Journal asked Mr. Havir about his previous failed prediction and about the CGWA's selection of Mr. Franks.

"I never thought it would take six years and a different church organization for Jim to become a church president," Mr. Havir said. "Good luck to Jim in his new opportunity."

New headquarters

Another item of business was to consider establishing a small head office for the church. Board members selected a task force of Mr. Kilough (chairman), Mr. Johnson, Dave Evans and Mr. Lovelady to make a location study and report to the president and board before a meeting set for Dec. 5-8, 2011.


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