THE HUTTERITES AND THE RADIO CHURCH OF GOD
Old but Interesting History
by Keith Hunt (December 2007)
Come back with me to about the middle 1960s on the Prairies
of Canada, actually to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Most of you reading from this Website, this will be new to
you, and as the years go by, the few who do go back to the middle
1960s with the organization that was renamed as The Worldwide
Church of God, will be few indeed, time and death, has a way of
obliterating some things. So I thought I would write this for the
record of Church of God history, and the next generations to come
(if this age keeps going for a number of decades yet).
Back in the 1960s it was still very much a "radio" world.
People just listened a mighty lot to the radio. Herbert W.
Armstrong and his son Garner Ted Armstrong were very powerful
speakers for the "World Tomorrow" radio broadcast. By the middle
1960s that broadcast was the largest "religious" broadcast in the
entire world; being on more radio stations than any other
Around Winnipeg, Manitober, Canada, there was a Hutterite
communal settlement. Now the Hutterites are an Anabaptist sect
living in rural communal settlements. They hold all property in
common. All monies from their farming and selling of produce etc.
goes into one local communal bank. The sect goes back to Europe
and the man called Jacob Hutter, a Morovanian Anabaptist about
They tend to have little modern things, shunning a lot, like
TV and cars. Not sure today what they accept or not, but back
then they shunned most modern gadgets. They still dress in black
clothes. But some it would seem did have radios in the 1960s. For
this Hutterite settlement near Winnipeg, well some of them, were
listening to Herbert and Garner Ted Armstrong on the radio each
night. Soon many of them started to question their "religious"
teachings under the Hutterite theology. Soon they were agreeing
that the 7th day (Saturday) was the Christian Sabbath, and should
be observed. They soon agreed that the popular Christian holidays
came from paganism, and were not the Festivals that should be
observed. They came to see that God's Festivals are in Leviticus
23. They came to see the fact that the Bible does not teach that
humans have an immortal soul that either goes off to heaven or
hell at death, depending on how you've lived.
They came to see a lot of popular Christian theology is off
the tracks and indeed false teachings.
When I say "they" I mean about HALF the Hutterite community
in that particular settlement, began to see things differently
than they had before.
So much so, that finally this half of the settlement wanted
OUT of the settlement. They claimed that as they had worked as a
family of settlers for a generation or two, they should be able
to leave the settlement with half the bank account! Of course the
other half of that settlement did not want to give over one
Glen White, from the USA, was at that time Pastor of the
Radio Church of God that was I believe by this time named the
Worldwide Church of God. Do not make the mistake of thinking
these withdrawn from society, modest, dressed in black, people
are always "nicety-nice" people. When the rubber hits the road,
when push comes to pull, they can be anything but nice, and are
in fact another CULT, but dressed in black, and away from the
daily converse with the world at large.
It finally got to the point that lawyers were brought in.
And then by the time it came to Court, some of the "elite"
religious leaders of Winnipeg had seen how they could make this
into a "religious battle." They actually wanted to get in the
fray of things so they could openly denounce and prove that this
Worldwide Church of God was way off base with its "theology"
especially concerning the weekly Sabbath and which Festivals to
So the "court day" came. Herbert Armstrong sent up Herman
Hoeh to represent the Worldwide Church of God. The opposing
Hutterites, who did not want to part with a dime, had some of
these "elite" clergy-men of Winnipeg on their side, in the Court
House. Some of these "elite" church men were introduced with
One of them gets up and addresses everyone in the Court, and
reads 1 Corinthians 5, verse 7, "....Christ is our Passover
sacrificed for us" to prove we no longer need observe the
Festivals of Leviticus 23. He sits down.
Herman Hoeh is then introduced, as also having his PhD.
Apparently faces (especially from the elite clergymen) fell
through their pants to their shoes.
Hoeh then says to all present that Jesus truly is our
Passover sacrificed for us, BUT he continued, do not stop with
verse 7, read on...."Therefor let us KEEP THE FEAST, not with the
leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of
sincerity and truth."
On hearing that verse the elite Winnipeg clergymen ROSE UP
AND QUICKLY LEFT THE COURT-ROOM!
The judge sided with the Hutterites that did not want to
hand over one dime to the ones wanting to leave the settlement.
When the news was given to us, the members of every
Worldwide Church of God in Canada, that our new brethren would
leave with only the clothes on their back, we immediately took up
collecting all foods, clothes, money, and whatever was needed to
assist our new brethren, the now "ex" Hutterites. The response
for physical help was truly amazing, even to being able to
provide them with automobiles and of course rental housing.
Some of those new brethren did come to the town in
Saskatchewan where I lived, and I had personal friendship with
them in our local congregation.
I have no idea if any of them today are holding fast to the
basic truths of the Bible. I hope they are. If some are, maybe
down the road they will find this Website and email me.
A little bit of history from the yesterday in the Church of
Entered on this Website December 2007