Global Church of God is GONE!
(Global is gone, but take heart, there is a new Entrepreneur, with a new "Church of God, Something or Other" who will be ready and willing to do "God's work" of taking your money if you are stupid enough to give it to them. And you will also be able to keep God's Holy Money Days....Ed)
Member letter from Larry Salyer, 9/18/99
Dear brethren in the Church of God and ministers of Jesus Christ.
As the former president of the Global Church of God, a California corporation, I feel duty-bound to explain to all my spiritual brethren the events of the last few weeks, which must have looked very confusing. I also want to help you put these events behind you and move forward toward the Kingdom of God.
As of Friday evening, at 6 p.m. Pacific Standard time, the Global Church of God closed its offices and entered into a voluntary agreement to liquidate all assets in a legal procedure known as ABC, which stands for Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors. This is not a bankruptcy declaration, but it has the same effect, in that any legal proceedings against the corporation are stayed, and all debts will ultimately be discharged. The primary reason for this decision is to ensure an equitable distribution of the assets among all creditors. There were other reasons which will become apparent in time.
More about this later.
Always remember that the Church of God as found in the New Testament is not a physical, corporate organization. The Church is the spiritual Body of Christ. That true Church, founded on the Day of Pentecost in 31 AD, has endured through the ages in spite of persecution and the human failings of faithless people. Jesus, Himself, assured us that the Church would endure till His return and that the "gates of Hell will not prevail against it." Yet He certainly didn't tell us we would be free of trials and tribulations.
We live in a world that does not know God's way and is not concerned with His judgments. But in the end, His judgment is all that counts. Our desire should be to be found without spot or wrinkle at Christ's return, so that we might share in His glory and joy for all eternity. As Paul said to the Philippians, "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain" (Phil. 14-16).
Brethren, as you know, the Global Church of God had accumulated substantial debts from loans prior to certain events at the end of 1998. Based on an agreed upon repayment schedule, the directors of the corporation were making every effort to repay those loans in a timely manner. Those of you who could, even contributed to a special fund for that purpose. After Global's letter explaining this effort, Don Davis, one of many creditors, filed a lawsuit against the Church demanding payment of his loan ahead of all others.
This action by Don Davis interfered with Global's ongoing plan to pay all the loans in their entirety. Our present declaration of assets before the ABC trustee shows that we, in fact, had sufficient resources to do so. This situation changed when Don Davis filed his lawsuit and had all our assets attached. Until this action, we also had every intention of keeping the corporation alive to serve the Church.
The ABC procedure we undertook, effective at the end of the day Friday, September 17, 1999, required us to turn over all tangible assets to a trustee. In this case, he is a former bankruptcy judge. His duty is to take control of all assets and supervise the distribution of them to all creditors in an equitable manner, rather than just paying one creditor (such as Don Davis) before everybody else. This means that the former directors have no authority to hold or use anything that was corporate property, including trademarks, or copyrights. The trustee will see to it however, that the financial records are maintained and that all donors receive a donation receipt for money given. Even though the trustee will keep the corporation active until all financial matters are resolved, please remember that the former directors, officers or employees will have no involvement in it.
Looking back now it is obvious that God has been very gracious to our small group over the past ten months. We have seen His hand in many events and circumstances. Last November, we were faced with staggering financial obligations and a loss of around 80% of our income stream. Unavoidable previous commitments drained our bank reserves very quickly. Yet, by reducing wages, going off the fleet program, negotiating free office space, and a whole range of belt-tightening measures, the Church was able to continue its work of preaching and publishing the Gospel and feeding the flock. Our goods and services were reduced, to be sure, but our mission never faded. Clearly, you brethren never faltered in your eagerness to support the Work of God.
But that's enough discussion of the past. Where do we go from here?
Again I remind you that the Church of God is a spiritual organism. All of us are still brethren, having in our possession the greatest assets available on earth. These assets are spiritual and include the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God and understanding of the Truth. We also have the spiritual fellowship of one another in the presence of Christ and the Father. God's Church can never be destroyed.
Now it is time to exercise and express our faith once again. We must do so with the attitude and zeal demonstrated by the early New Testament Apostles and Church. We read that "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication"(Acts 1:14), and again, "they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42).
All brethren are being invited to observe the Holy Days and the Feast of Tabernacles together in whatever site you choose. Feast sites will be located in Cape Cod, MA, Hot Springs, AR, Palm Springs, CA, and Bend, OR, as well as in selected international locations. It is my understanding that your local ministry is planning to attend these sites to serve you and see that all things are done decently and in order as the scriptures exhort. My family and I will attend the Feast site in Oregon and I am informed that all of Global's former employees and former directors will be attending one of these Feast sites as well. The loss of a corporation cannot still the worship of God. I am happy to see that others have picked up the torch.
I am now informed that one of our brethren, seeing the present situation coming, has already registered a new corporation and is making it available for the use of the Church. It is called The Church of God, a Sabbath Fellowship. As soon as possible, future plans and details of how the Work will be done will be forthcoming.
Though we may be sad when we hear of developments in San Diego over the past few days, this is not a time to grieve. Rather, we should be "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds"(Heb. 12:2-3).
We should recall here the words of the Apostle Paul, describing the faith of those servants of God who have gone before us in faith, "Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in flight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect" (Heb. 11: 33-40).
Perfection is still our spiritual goal. Forgetting those things that are behind, let us press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Feast in Bend.
Your brother and friend,
P.S. Let me highlight two important points above. First is the equitable treatment of all creditors. The second is that we can keep this coming Feast with the confidence that there is now a way to go forward.
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