Worldwide Church of God's falsified link to the Seventh Day Baptist church of Newport, Rhode Island
Some years ago we received a Question from a reader asking us if we had William T. Voyce’s June 3, 1985 letter to the Worldwide Church of God.
This letter is a veritable research paper with a “point-by-point refutation of their (WCG) interpretation of American Sabbath history.
This letter is mentioned in Ambassador Report 33, (also in "Daughter Of Babylon, The True History of The Worldwide Church of God" by Bruce Renehan) under the heading Literature of Interest where we read:
William T. Voyce’s June 3, 1985 letter to the Worldwide Church of God is a veritable research paper with a “point-by-point refutation of their interpretation of American Sabbath history.” Mr. Voyce is a member of the Church of God, 7th Day and wrote the 7-page letter to the WCG after reading their article “The Church They Couldn’t Destroy.” Mr. Voyce has not received a WCG reply to his letter, the subject of which he feels is so important that “if the truth about this matter were more widely known, a good share of the Worldwide Church’s membership would never have joined in the first place.” Copies of this interesting letter are available for $1 by writing: William T. Voyce, 140 South Hickory, Des Moines, Iowa 50317.
Link to "The Church They Couldn’t Destroy" is at the end of this article.
From Bruce Renhen's "Daughter of Babylon" Chapter 9
I was not alone in my discoveries concerning the Worldwide Church of God's falsified link to the Seventh Day Baptist church of Newport, Rhode Island. As early as 1968, William T. Voyce of Des Moines, Iowa had corresponded with both the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society (located then in Plainfield, New Jersey) and the Worldwide Church of God editorial staff in Pasadena.
Miss Evalois St. John of the Historical Society provided several photocopies to Voyce of original church documents dating back to the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries proving that A. N. Dugger (and later Herbert Armstrong) had counterfeited and altered the reading of their original documents. Miss St. John informed Mr. Voyce in her June 1968 letter to him:
A great disservice was done to both Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh Day Adventists by an Elder A. N. Dugger who now resides in Jerusalem. As you must know he was formerly a member of the denomination known as The Church of God (Adventist), with headquarters in Stanberry, Mo. In fact the U. S. Census of Religious Bodies 1926 carries the history/doctrine of this order which a footnote states was revised and approved by Elder A. N. Dugger, of the Church of God Publishing House. In 1934 (or 1933) Mr. Dugger separated from this group - Church of God (Adventist) - and established a new order - The Church of God (Seventh Day) - with headquarters at Salem W. Va. In the U.S. Census of Religious Bodies of 1936, one finds a history of this new order prepared - as the government states by Mr. Dugger. For the history of this group he deliberately "lifted" the history of the Seventh Day Baptists, added some Seventh Day Adventist history, and called it the History of the Church of God (Seventh Day). Because this pamphlet is put out by the U.S. Government - through its census Bureau - researchers and students of Church history have accepted his facts as true. One finds more of this "lifted" history in the book History of the True Church by A.N. Dugger and C.O. Dodd, published in 1936....
Mr. Voyce researched every document that Dugger (and later the Worldwide Church of God) used for sources to produce a history of their true church and found them, in every case, in error and deliberately misquoted.
In 1985 Mr. Voyce wrote to the Worldwide Church of God to point out errors in their publication "The Church They Couldn't Destroy."
I have just finished reading the reprint article "The Church They Couldn't Destroy," and am dismayed to find that you are still promulgating the long discredited Dugger-Dodd thesis of 1936, that the Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists are off-shoots of the "Church of God." The book in which this thesis first appeared, A History of the True Church, has been rightly characterized by C. F. Randolph as having been written "by ignorant hands, unskilled in historical research and interpretation" (The Sabbath Recorder, Vol. 133, No. 26, p. 447). This assessment is justified not only by the large number of misspellings, etc., in the book, but also by the fact that its central premise is false: the denomination which came to be known in history as the Church of God (Seventh Day) is not the oldest Sabbath-keeping church at all, but rather an off-shoot or outgrowth of the seventh-day adventist movement of the 19th century, having no connection whatever with the Seventh Day Baptists. This is very clearly shown by an honest examination of the pertinent historical documents; to attempt to conclude otherwise is really just a waste of time and effort....
Voyce found misquotes by the Worldwide Church of God editorial staff in both The Literature of the Sabbath Question, Robert Cox (published in 1865) on page 162 and Joseph Belcher's, The Religious Denominations of the United States (published in 1850) on pages 246 and 247. He pointed this out to them and asked for an explanation. He never received one.
There have been others who wanted to know if per chance they had read the wrong books when looking for the Church of God lineage in historical sources cited by Worldwide Church of God publications. For example, in 1991, Mr. Gene Bailey of Nicholasville, Kentucky wrote a four page letter to evangelist Ronald Kelly at Worldwide Church of God headquarters:
...I am enclosing many copies of pages so you can see where my questions come from. I have been reading your information in the Plain Truth about the "History of the Church of God." Also I have been studying the booklets "A True History of the True Church" and "The Church They Couldn't Destroy"....
...I have not been able to find any evidence that William Miller ever became a Sabbath keeper. If you have information about this, please place it here....On page 23 (Cox's Sabbath Literature, Vol. 1, p. 162. Enclosed is the page from what I think is that book, please mark on that page where that information in that paragraph is taken from what and where it is, I don't see it...Please let me know here where I can find this information. On the next page...Please explain on this page what is meant out of this paragraph...At this point please mark what state, city, where this church was located so I can do additional research on it to see if it also was involved in the Millerite movement and if it was a Sunday or Sabbath keeping church...please review and elaborate here...please at this place explain...at this place, let me know where I can locate this information...I haven't found any information that the name "Church of God" was given to any church which you mentioned coming before the Worldwide Church of God, The Church of God (Seventh Day), and the Seventh Day Baptists from about 1673-1875....should one then say the above churches from 1673 to 1875 were counterfeit and could not have been part of the Church of God at anytime? Also, can anything that is counterfeit ever become the real true thing?...
Mr. Bailey informed me over the phone in 1993 that he had still not received a response from the Worldwide Church of God or Ron Kelly to his 1991 letter.
And so ends our investigation into what Worldwide Church of God authors have entitled the "True History of the one true church of God" from the New Testament to the 19th century. Up to this point it has been more or less pulled out of thin air, falsified and fabricated--frustrating those who have tried to verify their sources.
Link to pdf:
SDB Sabbath Recorder, Vol 133, N° 26, p446&447
Link to pdf:
Research Reveals Plain Truth
"A prophecy hidden in Revelation: Listed in time order here are the past epochs of God's one true Church, together with an astounding description of the Worldwide Church of God today."
Good News Magazine - December 1981 - Vol XXVIII, No. 10 - ISSN 0432-0816
Rebuttal Link to pdf:
(A point-by-point refutation of the WCG’s interpretation of American Sabbath history)
10,Letter to WCG, William T. Voyce, 3 June 1985
Download all the files
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