- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 16, 2003

TYLER, Texas (AP) — Evangelist Garner Ted Armstrong, who founded two ministries after being excommunicated from his father’s Worldwide Church of God for making accusations of lavish spending, has died at age 73.

Mr. Armstrong died Monday from complications of pneumonia.

“I know that my dad fully expected that his work will continue, and we all have an enormous responsibility to make certain that his work has not been in vain, and that his voice will not be silenced,” his son Mark Armstrong said in a statement.

In the late 1950s, while still part of his father’s church, Mr. Armstrong was the voice of the church’s television program “World Tomorrow.” The show was seen by an estimated 20 million Americans a week, while a radio version, in five languages, was broadcast on more than 300 stations around the world.



He was the heir apparent to the Pasadena, Calif.-based church founded by his father, Herbert W. Armstrong, until the two had a falling out in 1978. The elder Armstrong accused his son of trying to put him aside, take over the church and move its Ambassador College to Texas.

When the son responded by denouncing what he called the church’s lavish expenses, Herbert Armstrong banished his son from the church facilities and excommunicated him.

After the split with his father, who died in 1986, Mr. Armstrong founded the Church of God International near Tyler and the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association. He stepped down from the church in 1995 after a masseuse accused him of sexual assault. He denied her accusation.

Mr. Armstrong founded the Intercontinental Church of God in 1998.

More recently, Mr. Armstrong had a television program bearing his name. Mark Armstrong, an editor and producer for the program, said it would continue.

Mark Armstrong called the Intercontinental Church of God the “true” religion and said the beliefs were based on the Bible with base values rooted in the Ten Commandments. He said the church sought to eliminate pagan practices that had found their way into modern Christianity.

Spending practices of the Worldwide Church of God came under review by the California Attorney General’s Office in 1979, when several former church members joined Garner Ted Armstrong in his claims of church dollars going to personal expenses.

But the review was dropped in 1980 after the California Legislature, responding to the Church of God case, passed a law barring the attorney general from investigating religious organizations accused of misuse of funds.

Garner Ted Armstrong was born in Portland, Ore., in 1930, and grew up in Eugene. He spent four years in the Navy, some of them aboard an aircraft carrier during the Korean War.

Mr. Armstrong is survived by his wife, three sons and five grandchildren.

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