COG preachers may like to make fun of the Roman Catholic practice of holy relics, but you have to wonder at the bravado of doing so when you consider the dessicated corpses that are regularly trotted out in the cause of the COGgish gospel.
Of course, we're not talking actual body parts here, but the analogy is still pretty close. In Edmond, Gerry Flurry can hardly complete a sentence without referring to "Mr Armstrong." Herbert's body lies a moldering in his grave, but he still gets trundled out in each and every issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet to validate Gerry's ministry. Lo and behold, the same thing is true in Wadsworth, Ohio; and other locales where splinter ministries have sprung up like weeds in a cemetery.
Out in Texas, the holy family endures in the form of Mark Armstrong, grandson of Herb, son of the once heir apparent. Mark recycles his father's TV shows, and you'd scarcely know that Garner Ted was dead judging from his website. Presumably the aging tapes still ensure a steady income stream.
Ernest Martin is also long gone, but you can still "ask ELM" over at the ASK website, where David Sielaff dusts off his master's finery each month like a high-class rag and bone merchant.
Maybe we're just a remarkably backward looking bunch. The glory days of slick magazines, saturation TV and radio, and carefully coiffed college campuses has passed into history, and the giants of the faith - or is that ogres? - have toppled (or soon will!) None of the inheritors, despite healthy egos, has the chutzpah of Herbert Armstrong who, unlike his pale imitators, felt absolutely no need to call on the authority of his predecessors - men like Andrew Dugger.
The COGs are walking backward into the future, eyes firmly fixed on the past. It's not a recipe for survival.