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Accountability in action!

A True Story

by Jim Grable

Beginning of the episode:

11 Mar. 2003: I wrote to The Missing Dimension:
Re: Two Sixty Four Dollar Questions: After reading the MD article this morning, I sent Mr. Kroll the following:

Mr. Kroll,
Joe said in 1997,
"Our denominational governance is yet another major change we are in the process of making. The hierarchy of church structure is being modified to feature a board vested with authority both to appoint and to remove the president/pastor general. We also plan to limit the length of the pastor general's term to a specified number of years. Until now, the office of pastor general has been a lifetime appointment made by the previous pastor general." Joseph Tkach. Transformed by Truth.

1) Is WCG still a corporation sole?

2) Is WCG in the process of implementing term limits, (4 years) for the pastor general?


20 Mar. (from MD) Two Sixty Four Dollar Questions - the Response: Back on March 11 we published a letter sent by a reader to Paul Kroll of the WCG's personal correspondence department. Two questions were posed:

1) Is WCG still a corporation sole?

2) Is WCG in the process of implementing term limits, (4 years) for the pastor general?

The brave questioner was rewarded with the following response dated March 18.

I apologize for the delay in responding.  To answer your first question, the WCG is a "non-profit religious corporation," not a corporation sole.  Of course, the church could operate as a corporation sole, as this is a legitimate form of governance under California law.  Regarding your second question, the Worldwide Church of God is still moving forward on changes to governance and will do so on the timetable it deems appropriate.

Paul Kroll
Personal Correspondence

Shock horror! What exactly does it mean that WCG is a "non-profit religious corporation"?  Since when?  Who is deemed to hold membership in the corporation?  Is a "non-profit religious corporation" required to publish audited financial accounts?  Is the WCG living up to its responsibilities under California legislation? As for the second question, the Kroll response seems a convoluted way of saying "Nope! And don't hold your breath." The same writer also dared to ask for a copy of WCG's last audited accounts. We hope to bring you a report on that whole, long, sad story in a few days time.

My follow-up letter to Mr. Kroll

Dear Mr. Kroll,

Thank you for your helpful comments so far.

Please pass on my request for a copy of the last published audited financial report. I am referring to the document Mr. Kelly mentions that is available on request to all members. My local congregation is Clarksburg, W.Va.


This is his reply:

Hi Jim,   2.24.03

Thanks for your reply.  As per instructions in The Worldwide News, please send your written request for the church's audited financial statement by standard mail addressed to: Ronald Kelly, Controller, Worldwide Church of God, 300 West Green St., Pasadena, California 91123.  Please state in your letter that you are a current member in good standing of our church and note the name of the congregation you attend. 

Paul Kroll
Personal Correspondence

So I wrote to Ron Kelly


Dear Mr. Kelly,

As per your offer in the Worldwide News, please send me a copy of the entire audited financial statement for the year 2002. I am a member of the Clarksburg, W.Va. church.

Thank you

And Kelly's reply:

Dear Mr. Grable:

I have received your request for a copy of the Worldwide Church of God's audited financial statement for 2002. Due to the potentially large number of requests for the church's audited statement, several years ago a policy was established to fulfill requests limiting distribution to Worldwide Church of God members in good standing.

Therefore, as a matter of course, I always check the member status of each request. In your case, I find in our files that you are not currently a member of the Worldwide Church of God. In case there might have been a mistake in records, we checked the nearest pastor to your home and Warren Wilson confirmed you indeed had not attended services for several years. If you feel this is not correct, please contact Mr. Wilson. Until then, I will not be able to fulfill your request for an annual audit.


Ronald Kelly


He said the minister told him I hadn't been there for several years. It was more  like 3 months, I was there for my last time in Oct. of last year.

I emailed the pastor and asked him to remove my name from his address book.

His reply?