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"...let's get one thing straight! I'm a no good, fornicating, adulterating son of a bitch!"

Older... but wiser?

For the latest information about GTA check recent issues of Ambassador Watch

GTA: Son of the Legend

GTA: Profligate Son

For a time back in the 1970's, Garner Ted Armstrong eclipsed his father as the public face of Ambassador College and the Worldwide Church of God. A gifted communicator, the younger Armstrong fronted The World Tomorrow on television and radio, wrote the lead editorial in the church's newspaper, and carried out the day to day administration of the various corporations while his father, Herbert W. Armstrong, concentrated on the heady business of wangling invitations to meet world leaders.

"Society is utterly sick. Our homes and marriages are sick. Our children are sick. Our social institutions, including government and churches, are sick."
Garner Ted Armstrong  

Ted's radio and television persona broke the stereotype for American evangelists. His off the cuff manner, easy charm and wry humor, combined with a huge investment in buying airtime, made him a household name. Unfortunately for him, controversy dogged his personal life. Ted was accused of "philandering", and suspended from the ministry twice. TIME magazine covered his falls from grace in 1972 and again in 1974.

... those were also the days of the revelations concerning Garner Ted Armstrong's ubiquitous sexual escapades and rampant immorality. He had been exiled and disfellowshipped twice, once to Colorado, largely over his infatuation with a young woman stewardess on his Falcon jet. They flew off together, cavorting at a cabin at Lake Tahoe, and Ted had a thing for gambling, apparently losing some $50,000 one time in Las Vegas, and had to wire headquarters for money to pay his tab! (William F. Dankenbring, The True Story Behind Triumph)

Dissident publication Ambassador Report documented the charges of unethical sexual behavior involving female students at Ambassador College. Former AC student Pat Boehnhardt, now a best-selling author writing as Ellen Hart, recounts the following:

I applied and was accepted at Ambassador College, in Pasadena, California, earning a B.A. in Theology in the early seventies. When the Vice Chancellor of the college [GTA] impregnated a friend of mine (a young college student, like myself) and sent her back home to have the baby, my fundamentalist beliefs were understandably shaken.

Ted addresses the infamous 1974 ministerial conference in the newly opened Ambassador Auditorium

In 1978 his track record was used against him with devastating effect in a power struggle between conservative and moderate elements in the church. The hard-liners won, and Garner Ted Armstrong was removed for the final time. Herbert W. Armstrong took back the reins, and a "cultural revolution" took place: a series of purges to remove liberal influences.

Ted, realizing there was little hope of reconciliation, wasted no time in launching his own breakaway group, The Church of God, International, based in Tyler, Texas. Initially there was momentum behind the new structure as an assortment of leading ministers began to fall in behind him (Ron Dart, Wayne Cole, David Antion. Even Al Portune was coaxed out of exile to preach in Tyler), and he was quickly back on the air armed with a new glossy magazine, Twentieth Century Watch, to put up against The Plain Truth. The honeymoon did not last long, however, with Wayne Cole and others walking away in disgust. CGI never really recovered, and failed to become a significant threat to the parent body.

Garner Ted would suffer further indignity when The Church of God, International removed him from ministerial responsibilities following an incident involving massage "therapy" in 1995. The incident got national coverage in the US with video footage shown on television. Ted's longtime sidekick, Ron Dart, finally jumped ship around this time to establish his own ministry. Apparently unfazed, GTA simply switched to a new corporation, The Intercontinental Church of God, and started up again! The scale of each new organization he has founded has, however, been a shadow of the former one. Most activities are carried out under the name Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association, presumably insurance against another dumping.

GTA's last known affair was with a young woman less than half his age... She had almost become his daughter-in-law, but after GTA's son David broke off his relationship with her, GTA started seeing her. The affair lasted several years... In addition, GTA has been observed over the years in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and Reno gambling for high stakes and drinking.  (Exit and Support Network)

Today "Armstrongism" (The Worldwide Church of God) is completely Armstrong-free. The Church of God, International still struggles on, recently selling off the facility it owned during the GTA/Dart years. (However Dart's new ministry, CEM, appears to be thriving.) The woefully misnamed Intercontinental Church of God resembles a down-sized cottage industry more than a denomination, farming enough income to provide for Ted and various family members.