Glimpse Inside a Global Work
The ring of old familiar voices echoed in the atrium of the Trumpet offices in mid-June. The energetic buzz and punctuation of laughter marked a working homecoming of sorts as dozens of ministers returned from around the world to the Philadelphia Church of God campus for the 2014 pcg ministerial conference. The conference included 60 ministers, plus their wives, who drove and flew to the headquarters of the pcg (and of the Trumpet) from 15 American states and nine other countries.
Whether they were crossing the street or completing 8,000-mile, multiday journeys from the other side of the world, every minister expressed enthusiasm as he met other ministers from Europe, Africa Asia and beyond, as well as old friends and colleagues on the staff of the Trumpet, The Key of David, Herbert W. Armstrong College and pcg administration.
Most of the ministers’ waking hours in Edmond revolved around an intensive five-day schedule of lectures by Trumpet editor in chief and pcg Pastor General Gerald Flurry and by 12 other ministers from the United States, Canada, England and Australia. Mr. Flurry anchored the daily lectures each morning in Armstrong Auditorium with his series of messages focusing on the prophetic book of Ezekiel and its connection to current developments in the United States, Britain and Israel.
In addition to hearing more than 30 hours of lectures, ministers shared meals, receptions at Mr. Flurry’s home, dinner with the headquarters staff, an evening social, and a musical performed by Imperial Academy students.
The conference, which occurs every 18 months, marks one of the year’s biggest events for ministers and for headquarters.
“We’ve learned a lot,” said Local Elder George Githembe, who serves members in Johannesburg, South Africa, and throughout the continent. “[T]he application of that truth will change our lives.”
After the conference, ministers took the instruction and insight and began applying it in 147 congregations in 52 countries.
Some of the men travel extensively to bring spiritual support to scattered pcg members. Regional Director Alex Harrison travels three out of every four weeks, visiting members in six U.S. states and 16 Latin American countries as far away as Chile and Argentina. Regional Director John Macdonald oversees the Eastern Hemisphere, including congregations in Christchurch, New Zealand; Suva, Fiji; Harare, Zimbabwe; Cape Town, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
For members around the world and in media initiatives reaching into 206 countries the pcg attempts to fulfill the two-part biblical commission of the Church: to warn of the coming time of trouble before Christ’s return; and to teach the Church God’s wonderful way of life.
“Even though we’re small, we have a tremendous reach,” Mr. Flurry said, “and God has given us the tools to do the job.”