Monday, February 22, 2010
He began listening to Herbert W. Armstrong’s radio broadcasts along with his mother, Jicie, in the late 1950s and began attending services in 1960.
He married Barbara Brewer, September 5, 1964, and they had a daughter, Laura, in 1967 and a son, Stephen, in 1970.
In 1964 Mr. Flurry was ordained a deacon in Worldwide Church of God and in 1970 received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Ambassador College in Pasadena, California.
From 1971-1973 he served as a ministerial trainee in the Norwalk, California congregation of the WCG.
In 1973 he was ordained to the ministry in Worldwide Church of God. He served as Pastor of the Tri-cities, Washington and Eastern Oregon congregations from 1975-1985. In 1985 he was transferred to Oklahoma, where he served as Pastor of the Oklahoma City & Enid congregations until 1989.
After Herbert W. Armstrong died in 1986, Worldwide Church of God leaders began rejecting everything he had established. Within a few years, massive doctrinal changes swept the Church, culminating in the leaders denouncing Mr. Armstrong as a heretic. More than 70 percent of his followers were driven out or excommunicated from the Church he founded.
The results were staggering. Over the next 10 years:
• The famed performing arts series was canceled, all humanitarian projects closed, and the Ambassador Auditorium sold.
• Ambassador College shut its doors and the campuses were sold.
• The World Tomorrow program was discontinued.
• Plain Truth circulation plummeted from its peak of 8 million to just over 95,000 subscriptions today.
In December 1989, when these changes were in their early stages and after serving as an ordained minister for 16 years, Gerald Flurry was excommunicated from the Worldwide Church of God for resisting the changes.
In order to preserve the teachings and legacy of Herbert W. Armstrong, a new work had to be raised up. Mr. Flurry immediately established the Philadelphia Church of God in Edmond, Oklahoma, on December 7, 1989, and set about raising the ruins of Mr. Armstrong’s fallen work.
• In 1990, he began publishing the “Philadelphia Trumpet” magazine, in the tradition of Herbert W. Armstrong’s PLAIN TRUTH magazine.
• In 1993, he began the weekly "Key of David" television program in the tradition of Mr. Armstrong’s WORLD TOMORROW program.
• In 1992, he founded Philadelphia Youth Camp, pattered after the Summer Educational Program established by Mr. Armstrong.
• In 1996, Gerald Flurry founded the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, establishing a concert series in Edmond and supporting humanitarian projects abandoned by the WCG in Jordan and Israel.
• In 2001, he founded Herbert W. Armstrong College, a four-year liberal arts college in the tradition of Ambassador College.
• In January 2008, Mr. Flurry broke ground on Armstrong Auditorium, an 800-seat, $18 million performing arts center located on the Armstrong College campus. The center, pattered after Mr. Armstrong’s famed Ambassador Auditorium, is scheduled to open in February 2010.
• In August 2008, he founded Imperial Academy, a primary and secondary school pattered after Herbert W. Armstrong’s Imperial Schools. In 2009, Imperial expanded its educational reach to the Internet and began its second year with students from seven nations on its roster.
Today, after nearly 20 years, Gerald Flurry and the Philadelphia Church of God have raised the ruins of the fallen work of Herbert W. Armstrong. Though smaller in scale, every major institution, publication and program has been rebuilt in Edmond, Oklahoma.
With the support and backing of the membership of the Philadelphia Church of God and others, Gerald Flurry continues the work begun by Herbert W. Armstrong; preaching, writing, publishing and broadcasting the wonderfully GOOD NEWS that Jesus Christ is about to intervene to save mankind and usher in the beautiful, peaceful, happy World Tomorrow, as well as a message of warning that many of God’s true people are going astray in this end time.
Gerald Flurry was born in Oklahoma City in 1935. He grew up in Oklahoma with a less-than-ideal home life before his life turned around. He wrote that from his father he received “a lot of severe discipline. Some of it I certainly needed, but many of my needs went unfulfilled. So when the time came, I was happy to move out on my own. I wanted to live the ‘exciting life’ everyone in the world was living. Yet it wasn’t that way at all. Soon I felt life was hopeless and empty. I even started trying to prove whether or not there was a God. The more I tried to prove it, the more I thought God did not exist. This discouraged me even more.”
Mr. Flurry’s mother joined the Worldwide Church of God, led by Herbert Armstrong, in 1957. “[F]rom that time until 1961 she tried endlessly to convert me. I rebelled against that and persecuted her for what she was doing,” he wrote. “Whenever Herbert Armstrong came on the radio, she would turn up the volume so I could hear him, and that upset me. I was antagonistic against him and his message—that is, until my life had finally become so miserable and hopeless I would do anything to change it, even if it meant getting interested in ‘mom’s religion.’” Mr. Flurry eventually came to believe in what Mr. Armstrong taught from the Bible, joined the church in 1961 and was baptized. He wrote that since his father had not been taught how to teach him, he came to look to Mr. Armstrong as a father.
Barbara Jeanne Brewer joined the church in her late teens in St. Louis, Mo., and was baptized in the spring of 1964. On November 15, 1964, the two were married. They had a daughter, Laura, in 1967 and later a son, Stephen. Mr. Flurry attended Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, and graduated in 1970. He briefly worked as a writer for the Plain Truth magazine, and then was ordained a minister in 1973. He and his family moved to the Pasco, Wash., area in 1975 and then back to the Oklahoma City area in 1985 where he was a pastor of nearly 500 members. Mrs. Flurry was known to pop in on members with home-cooked meals, a helping hand in cleaning their homes, even tips on used furniture and houses. She was also known for her many phone calls and cards to brethren all over the world; one member in Washington State said, “It was like she lived down the street.” When Herbert Armstrong died in 1986, Mr. Flurry supported his successor, Joseph Tkach. However, when Mr. Tkach and his administration rejected Mr. Armstrong’s teachings and eventually fired Mr. Flurry for continuing to support them, Mr. Flurry founded the Philadelphia Church of God in 1989. He established the Trumpet magazine in February 1990, and a radio program that summer. He established The Key of David television program in January, 1993. He founded a cultural foundation in 1996, a college for church members in 2001 and a grade school in 2008.
Gerald Flurry is a native Oklahoman born in Oklahoma City in 1935 to parents Clarence (deceased 1977) and Jicie (deceased 1997). He married Barbara Jean Brewer, September 5, 1964, and they had two children, Laura and Stephen. Barbara Flurry died in 2004 after suffering a stroke.
Gerald Flurry became a member of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) in 1960 and graduated from Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, in 1970. He then worked for the church’s editorial department and wrote for the Plain Truth magazine before being ordained a minister in 1973.
For over 35 years he has remained in the ministry full time. Mr. Flurry served as a pastor in the Worldwide Church of God until the church disowned its founder, Herbert Armstrong, and his teachings after his death in 1986.
Upon witnessing the changes in church doctrine away from Mr. Armstrong’s teachings, Mr. Flurry plunged into an intensive study of the Bible to seek the cause of the betrayal he was witnessing. The result was a manuscript titled Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today. Originally written in the spring of 1989, when the new direction in the Worldwide Church of God was, to many of its members, not very perceptible, the book was primarily intended to alert the ministry of the WCG as to what was really happening, and secondarily to alert the Church membership. When an early draft of the book was brought to the attention of WCG leadership in Pasadena, California, Gerald Flurry and his assistant, John Amos, were fired from their positions as WCG ministers. Mr. Flurry immediately founded the Philadelphia Church of God on December 7, 1989 in Edmond, Oklahoma.
After the Worldwide Church of God ceased printing Armstrong’s writing and existing supplies of his major works were exhausted, Mr. Flurry successfully defended the Philadelphia Church of God’s right to publish and freely distribute 19 of his works, obtained through a six-year legal battle against the WCG, which attempted to use the books’ own copyrights to keep them out of print.
Gerald Flurry has visited over 20 countries in such critical areas as the Middle East, South Africa, Europe and Asia, meeting with key international news analysts. He has authored over 30 books including Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today, The God Family Vision, and The Last Hour.
As presenter of the Key of David television program, which he began in 1993, Gerald Flurry examines world events in the light of Bible prophecy and proclaims the soon-coming return of Jesus Christ to Earth—to save mankind alive and usher-in the peaceful, happy, wonderful World Tomorrow. Through broadcast, print and personal appearance campaigns he also prophesies again in the tradition of Herbert W. Armstrong a sobering warning of the unprecedented world troubles just ahead, which will precede Christ’s second coming.