Saturday, 19 March 2016

Old Time COGs

Recent additions the sidebar now include three "pre-Armstrong" bodies, all separate but related to the larger COG7. One is the Salem, West Virginia church. One distinctive belief of this group relates to the timing of their annual Lord's Supper service (usually referred to as Passover in Armstrong sects and scheduled this year for the evening of April 21). These folk will be marking this observance in a few days time (evening of March 22) due to a different approach to the Hebrew calendar. A second group is based in Jerusalem, Israel, with congregations as far away as Auckland (I well remember experiencing a degree of "culture shock" when I attended one of their services many years ago). This ministry was established by Andrew N. Dugger, who features prominently in the Armstrong autobiography.
Effie & Andrew Dugger
(photo from Friends of the Sabbath site)
Andrew N. Dugger (1886-1975) was the most famous Church of God (Seventh Day) leader in the twentieth century. He was born in Bassett, Nebraska.
Andrew N. Dugger's father, A.F. Dugger, Sr., had been an Advent Christian Minister. When commissioned by his church to do a study refuting the Sabbath, A.F. Dugger instead became convinced that the Sabbath should be observed. The result was a book he later published, called The Bible Sabbath Defended. For more than thirty-five years until his death in 1910, A.F. Dugger, Sr., was a leader in the Church of God (Seventh Day). His son Andrew, a school teacher and farmer, was in his early 20's when his father died.
A bright light in the sky around him seemed to Dugger to be a sign from God that he should follow his father's footsteps in the ministry. A.N. Dugger immediately sold his large farm and equipment, and went to the University of Chicago, where he majored in theology and public speaking, mastering Greek, Hebrew, and German.
Dugger periodically returned to Bassett to visit his mother and Effie Carpenter (1895-1980), a student of his whom he wanted to marry. Although he first proposed to her when she was sixteen, it wasn't until 1925 until they were married. They shared fifty years together.
Soon after college graduation, Dugger was invited by the Executive Committee of the Church of God to move to Stanberry, Missouri, to become editor of The Bible Advocate, a position his father had held before being forced to retire because of ill health. In 1914, Dugger arrived in Stanberry to begin his work in the ministry. For eighteen years he was editor, also serving as President of the General Conference. As field representative, he traveled widely, holding evangelistic meetings and public debates. The famous "Porter Dugger Debate," between Dugger and W. Curtis Porter, a Church of Christ minister, was later published as a book of over 230 pages. In 1919, Dugger wrote The Bible Home Instructor, which publicized the Church of God, and substantially increased its membership during the 1920s.
Two of Dugger's most adamant doctrinal positions were: a scriptural form of church organization with leaders chosen by lot rather than election, and a world headquarters in Jerusalem, Israel. After visiting Israel for only a year in 1931-32, Dugger returned to live in Sweet Home, Oregon. In 1935, A.N. Dugger and C.O. Dodd published A History of the True Church, which traces Sabbath-keepers from apostolic times to modern days. Dugger greatly influenced Herbert Armstrong, who was for years affiliated with the Church of God (Seventh Day) but later formed his own church, the Radio (later Worldwide) Church of God.
Dugger remained pastor at Marion, Oregon until 1953, when he and Effie settled permanently in Jerusalem, and launched the Mt. Zion Reporter. His aggressive leadership resulted in thousands of converts around the world. Andrew N. Dugger died in 1975 at the age of 89. Dugger's son-in-law, Gordon Fauth, continued the Jerusalem work... 
(Adapted from biographical information here.) 
Dugger's educational attainments may go part-way to explain Herb Armstrong's truculent attitude towards him - he seems outrageously overqualified by COG standards even today, let alone the 1920s. A little inferiority complex perhaps?

A third group is the Meridian, Idaho General Council COG7. Links to all three are found under "Smaller COG players".


Black Ops Mikey said...

Perhaps it is quite significant to check the pages of "The Reformed Reader" which claims that the Baptists were reformers before the Reformation and that they represent Christianity -- without ever being a part of the Roman Catholic Church and laying claims that they have an unbroken line all the way back to the Apostles.

Perhaps this is a topic that could also grace Otagosh (leaving out the CoG7 references).

Byker Bob said...

Sheesh! Duggar looks like ZZ Top or someone from Ducks Dynasty!


Connie Schmidt said...

Gavin , please describe your culture shock when you attended the COG7. The strengths , weaknesses etc vs the Armstrong model.

Gavin R said...

Connie, it was a long time ago, so things may be different now. The service was more 'charismatic' than anything I was comfortable with - bearing in mind that I was an arrogant twenty-something year old. In offering prayer, for example, the minister (a middle aged primary school deputy principal) dropped to one knee and raised both arms aloft, putting on quite a performance. Nothing like the low key prayers in WCG. The small congregation was largely Niuean, probably one or two family groups. Quite a contrast to the very white, very large WCG Auckland church of that time.

Black Ops Mikey said...

Connie -- Armstrongists are "Type A" personality; CoG7D folks are "Type B" personality.

This makes the CoG7D really boring for Armstrongists who need the stimulation of doomsday end of the world prophecy inspired by British Israelism. It's boring to believe that salvation is a gift without having to participate in all sorts of physical rituals to earn your way into the kingdom.

Boring, boring, boring. Too laid back. Needs the excitement of chaos which preclude any sort of stability or long term existence without divisions. CoG7D is just too quiet and peaceful.

As one Armstongist put it, "This is just not for me!". Wait. That should be in all caps with more exclamation points.

Unknown said...

The most recent addition (I think) to the CoG7D portfolio is the Assembly of Yahweh (7th Day) headquartered in Cisco, Texas. It is run by a guy named Farris Wilks who is the pastor. He is a multi-billionaire from the oil industry. His church is described as a mix of Old Testament and New Testament Theology. His father was a reader of the Plain Truth Magazine. The church started out as a congregation of the Church of Christ but its affinities led the church to associate with CoG7D. Wilks is Ted Cruz' largest contributor in the current presidential campaign at $15 Million. He is said to be worth around 3.5 billion dollars. Can you imagine what Herbert and Stanley would of done if the had caught scent of all that money? But I think they were both already deceased when Wilks ascended to these heights of wealth.


James said...

One thing that attracted me even more to the wcg was the lack of side show circus theatrics. I never liked the bleeding heart ministries that I saw on the TV.

As a Catholic boy who attended Catholic school and experienced just how miserable the nuns were toward the students, I decided that God would have to wait, and he did until my early thirties. I had questions and the wcg had those answers. So I thought.

The concept of religion is faulty. For a device that is a control mechanism for the masses I found that to be a numbing effect that shut off the inquisitive mind resulting in embracing the irrelevant things of the world. Otherwise, religion is used to promote ignorance and fallacies. But this is now and the days of Dugger's, religion had a different meaning. It was about survival and hope. Now days it is about the prosperity gospel.

Anonymous said...

wow unknown,

that is interesting to see the interweaving between cog7d thought, plain truth, domestic politics, international trade, heritage foundation. On other blogs I have been trying to establish just such links with stan and hwa, albeit in a more rudimentary form.

most are not willing to accept these links.
man, earlier cog people were even connected/friends to benjamin franklin (and his printing press) I don't understand the denial.

I know of other current cog's derived from wcg, involved in minor ways with israel and heritage foundation executives. None to the extent of the past of the Wilks bro's. But with links in the conservative network nonetheless.


Pam said...

"Perhaps it is quite significant to check the pages of "The Reformed Reader" which claims that the Baptists were reformers before the Reformation and that they represent Christianity -- without ever being a part of the Roman Catholic Church and laying claims that they have an unbroken line all the way back to the Apostles."

Just the opposite is true of the SEVENTH DAY Baptists. In an email discussion with a representative of the central organization of the Seventh Day Baptists several years back, I asked about the WCG’s claim that the Seventh Day Baptists were a part of their own “unbroken history” back to the Apostles. He noted:

“We have had in the past some difficulty with the World Wide Church of God who have claimed some of our history and make it theirs in their attempt to establish a kind of “apostolic succession for the Sabbath.” They made an attempt to claim the old meeting house in Newport Rhode Island as theirs because we were the only group that historically were Sabbathkeepers. (In fact the librarian inferred that they practiced exorcism when he said to me “Frankly, they scare the hell out me when they come!”) With the abandonment of the Sabbath [under the regime of Herbert Armstrong’s successor, Joe Tkach, Sr.], they have dropped this attempt. The book by Dugger and Dodd entitled, “The History of the True Church,” is filled with so many inaccuracies and false assumptions that have caused innumerable difficulties.”

Anonymous said...

Pam 10:28
I don't quite get what you are saying. No link between wcg - millerites - baptists?
Or no "unbroken history" for baptists? Or both?
There were reported sabbath keepers in New Amsterdam (New York) at the time also. There have always been non jewish sabbath keepers in history. Not so clear, or no line of succession as the Catholics though.