Remember the Global Church of God, publisher of The World Ahead?
A gaggle of the good and the great departed from the Tkach Dominion in an effort to turn back time. Principal among them, Roderick C. Meredith and Raymond F. McNair.
To cut a long story short, the Global Board dumped the Meredith ego, but the dumbest of the sheep followed the Imperious One into exile. A new all-Meredith sect was established - one where all the less-than-leading evangelists (i.e. everyone other than Rod) - knew their place. Thus was the Living Church of Rod formed.
Meredith took the mailing list, Global was gutted, the GCG defaulted on loans, crashed and burned. A few of the loyalists - those who knew Meredith too well to go whoring after the Imperious Leader - ultimately, like Larry Salyer, ended up in UCG.
The brave attempt to see Meredith off occurred nine years ago, and to mark the occasion Bob Thiel has posted a little revisionist account of the event. Rod is the noble hero, along with his boot-licking cabal. LCG, Bob tells us, has had 2,600 baptisms since then.
Well, with the amount of tithing and obligatory fasting LCG requires, it'd be surprising if there hadn't been a swag of baptisms, and 2.6k indeed sounds impressive compared to some other Armstrong sects.
But what I'd like Bob to share with us all is the retention rate. How many of those who sign up to the pseudo-Philadelphian Work of Rod last twelve months, 3 years, five? WCG itself had a revolving door, and turnover in PCG and the micro-splinters can reach well beyond 50%. How many have been seduced by Chuckie Bryce, Dave Pack, old Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all? In the time I've been following the fortunes of LCG there has been a consistent pattern of hemorrhaging.
The big drama is still in the future when the sweet chariot swings low for the Imperious Evangelist himself. Hands up all those who think there will be a smooth and enduring transition? Alas, Rod's hierarchical mentality can only bequeath a bunfight among the pretenders to the throne. Then the question of the hour will surely be which way Bob will jump.