Your New Evangelist Overlords Part Two
Ongoing updates as to who Johnny Harrell and Wayne Matthews are, or may be, are in this post. UPDATED Mar. 6
Mar. 6 Update: A clarification should be made to the Feb. 25 update: As per the Feb. 22 update, Robert Thiel (apologist for the Living Church of God) now denies any involvement of Weinland in LCG. This is somewhat substantiated by the information in Who Was Ronald Weinland?, posted Feb. 27th. Weinland came from United, and it has been independently verified that Wayne Mattews came to the CoG-PKG from the United Church of God as well, sometime after 1998. Still no reply from UCG, either confirming or denying, Harrell’s history with their sect.
Feb. 25 Update: More hearsay: Living Church of God apologist Bob Thiel claims here that Johnny Harrell has responded to a personal email inquiring as to his identity, “Yes, I came from worldwide, and a short stay in united.” This information has not been confirmed.
Members of the LCG are understandably upset that Weinland has predicted their leader will die, so Thiel does not give any evidence denying Harrell’s links to Christian Identity groups, beyond “I say it is so.” Nor is Thiel providing solid evidence that such an email was sent and/or received, beyond his own word, which is clearly biased, due to his conflict of interest as a ranking member of a Church of God splinter’s ministry.
Evangelist WayneMatthews has been definitively linked to both UCG, and Anglo-Israelism, as stated below. There is a possibility Harrell might have come from United as well, but none of this confirms or denies what the CoG-PKG’s Harrell was doing in the 1960s. No information has been found linking Harrell to a 30-year-old home construction business in Macon, Georgia, as of yet.
Definitive information confirming any of these assertions will be posted as it is uncovered.
Feb. 22 Update: Hearsay suggests Johnny Harrell owns his own home construction business in Macon, Georgia, and associated himself with the LCG in 1995. One assumes that Harrell then went with Weinland, when he split from Meredith’s sect. None of this information has been verified.
Initial speculation (and please note I never stated it as anything but) asked whether or not Johnny Harrell (the newly-appointed evangelist for the US and Canada) was the founder of the Christian Patriots Defense League. Information here and here suggests that one John Robert Harrell is not affiliated with the CPDL any longer. (As of ’96 he was apparently in Missouri, and sometime earlier this month, he was arrested for fraud charges in association with his church, although it isn’t named in the MediaWire release.)
According to this, The Christian Patriots Defense League was the political wing of the Christian Conservative Church of America, with the Citizens Emergency Defense System being the same organization’s armed militia. This organization was started in the early 1960s. That means Johnny Bob or John Robert or Johnny Harrell, whoever he is, is no spring chicken. Listening to Harrell’s sermon on the CoG-PKG site, the tone and accent of Harrell’s voice confirms that the CoG-PKG’s Harrell may be in the same age bracket as the Johnny Harrell mentioned above.
Wayne Matthews may not have been affiliated with Destiny Church Nelson in New Zealand; hearsay suggests he may have been affiliated with the United Church of God for some time before joining Weinland’s sect.
UPDATE: Matthews is mentioned in The Journal, as assisting with arrangements for a lecture given by an Anglo-Israelism proponent, Rick Sherrod, in 1998 as noted here. Further information on Wayne Matthews has not yet been found. This definitively links Wayne Matthews to Anglo-Israel doctrines as recently as 1998.
Ronald Weinland also speaks of US&BC doctrine in his most recent sermon, “45 Days to the Seventh Seal” (given to church members Feb. 9th, 2008). The relevant quote is 8:20-8:37 in the sermon.
“I think about the first time I heard about as well, the US and BC in prophecy. And, to know who we are as a nation here, as far as the blessing God gave to Canada, and the nation here of the United States, and Australia, New Zealand and Europe, Western Europe. It’s incredible, just to know it’s true.”
Matthews’ connection to Rick Sherrod, and Weinland’s own words with regards to “US&BC” provide a clear connection to Anglo-Israelism beliefs on the part of the Church of God Preparing for the Kingdom of God.
It has been noted that April 19th is thought to be a militia rallying point. The CoG-PKG will celebrate Passover on April 19th, 2008, according to their holy days calendar. Given that the divination for the holy days in each splinter is up to the individual church leader’s own personal whim, a message could potentially be sent out via the website to all CoG-PKG members anytime between April 17th and 20th. This is consistent with a public comment made by one CoG-PKG member.
If you know anyone who is a member of the Church of God Preparing for the Kingdom of God you must consult with a qualified exit counselor before April 17th 2008. If you cannot find an exit counselor in your area from the links listed at the article I have linked to here, call your local crisis information hotline and ask for information and referral to an exit counselor, or a cult recovery counsellor, or a counter-cult psychologist. (They may be listed under any of those terms.)