Returning to Church

Return to Main Page


March 5, 1982

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I am writing this letter in the hope that I may be of encouragement to you as you have greatly encouraged me.

I grew up in God's Church, attended services and went to Imperial School, but all the time I detested it. I resented my parents for making me go. I resented the school, the Church and even you. I wanted so badly to be a part of this world. I caused much strife and problems at Imperial School, breaking every rule I could think of. All I wanted at the time was to be a part of the world and the fun I felt it was having.

Well, I discovered that it wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be. I found myself so wrapped up in the world that I could not escape. I had sprung a trap on myself. I found the wages of this world to be worse than swimming in a cesspool of filth. I was a wretched, filthy, burned out piece of flesh.

Mr. Armstrong, I am now a member of the Church that I once hated so much. I have asked the great God to forgive me for the trouble that I caused in the past, and I know that He has. I thank Him that He is working through such a dedicated man as you. I thank you for the dedication to the Work and people like myself and for the love you have shown us. I could not have removed myself from the bonds of this world without the help of God through you. I thank you and ask you also to forgive me for the damage I have caused. Mr. Armstrong, I love you and the Work we stand for.

I am still in bonds, but now I am willingly in the bonds of Christ as His servant. Thank you again for your steadfast dedication to a Work that sometimes must seem one hundred percent against you. We are with you, Mr. Armstrong, and your work has a great effect.

T. J.

(Corpus Christi, TX)

back to top


July 1, 1981

Dear Mr.Armstrong,

My parents brought the Lord's words into my life as a child, however, I haven't affiliated with those teachings for eleven years. I am just now beginning to learn again of those laws and beliefs. Since returning to the Worldwide Church of God, an entirely new and wonderful life is opening for myself and my family.

My father is still teaching God's way to other family members. I thank God for giving me such a father on earth and for the opportunity to become a true Christian. I didn't understand what started happening to me, but I know I need Christ in my life and in my children's lives.

The Church has become my family for they genuinely care about each other. Looking into those two or three hundred faces, it is apparent that everyone has the same goal and the same true understanding of God's Word. They are all as one. They represent strength, love, compassion and more important, God's Work here on earth.

I wish to become baptized into the Church of God very soon and, with God's help and many prayers, be a servant in God's Work.


K. E.

(Orrville, OH)

back to top


September 22, 1980

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I wanted to write to you and tell you all that's in my heart.

I left the Church about two years ago when my husband and I started having marriage problems. I was very weak spiritually and could not stand the persecution my husband directed toward me. He got very paranoid about my leaving the house and was suspicious about everything I did. As a result, I became very depressed and could not think clearly. I felt God and the Church were against me. I was not against Church doctrine, neither was I unduly concerned about the trouble with the receivership. However, I felt that the Church didn't want me and that I did not deserve God's grace.

Two months ago I talked to the local minister and again started attending services. I am so happy to be back in church and love to hear the Word of God and the good news of His coming Kingdom. I feel so much stronger and I want very much to grow in the faith....

My husband now sees a doctor on a regular basis and is doing much better. I pray that God will direct him toward the Church.

I will support the Church in every possible way. And I promise you that I will never allow myself to become that weak again. If I have another crisis in my life, I will depend entirely on God and not try to handle the situation myself.

Thank you so very much for the opportunity to write to you. I pray for God's Kingdom to come soon.

Thank you,

D. S.

(Independence, KY)

back to top


September 18, 1980

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

My husband and I recently returned to God's Church. We left a year ago. My husband was in a state of confusion. He had been sick for some time and when all the problems in the Church came out, he left.

Well, I left after a few months of trying to do it on my own. I was not staying close enough to God and couldn't choose God over my husband--so I gave up and quit attending too. Not because this wasn't God's Church, but because it seemed I could not face it all on my own.

We had a filthy, sin-filled year. But somehow, God in His mercy decided we had had enough. He snapped us out of our filthy sins and allowed us to repent and return to His Church. It was not for anything good on our part that He brought us back, but only because of the great love and tender mercies He chose to have upon us. Why?, is my question in my prayers. I don't deserve this kind of gentle, yet firm love.

It has been difficult coming back. The whole church seems to know our sins. We hurt the brethren when we left. My husband was marked and disfellowshipped. But God has given us strength to endure the snubbed attitudes a lot of members have given us. (After all, we do deserve it. Why should we expect open arms of love?) Still it hurt!

Slowly now, the brethren are beginning to change their attitudes toward us. I'm not writing this to put anyone down. I only told you these things to show you we have sinned before God. Yet, He brought us back!...

We love you and your family and pray that God will protect, guide and direct you--until He sees fit to stop this sin-sick, lusting world from destroying us all.

With much love,

L. H.

(Tempe, AZ)

back to top


October 14, 1981

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I was baptized in April of 1965 but, unfortunately, left the Church in October of 1976. In the last five years, I have been living in the cesspool of Satan's world. The only good thing I can say about those years is that I can really see how this world desperately needs God's Kingdom.

I was nineteen years old when I was baptized, and all those years in the Church I never really thought the world was all that bad! I had never really seen or understood just how much happiness God's laws bring compared to the pain, suffering and unhappiness breaking God's laws can cause. The last five years have been the worst years in my life.

About a month ago, several things had happened and I found myself wanting to flee from this world and have nothing to do with it. Thank God it happened because it made me turn back to Him and His Church. I called the local minister, and asked him to visit me. However, I was very concerned, having the knowledge I had had in the past, if I could commit myself to obeying God in every way. So we arranged another meeting for one week later.

During that week, I prayed at least three times a day, asking God to help me. I knew for the first time in all these years that I was nothing but a piece of dirt and that I could do nothing without God's help. And He did help me!! When the minister came back one week later, my whole attitude had changed. God had created in me a clean heart. It really amazed me!

The first service I attended again was the Day of Atonement. Very appropriate, don't you think? I have been reading the Bible and literature, and understanding it as never before. I have felt so happy, peaceful and content within myself. I have a thirst to read and hear God's truth.... I was so excited to see you at the Feast on the large screen and hear you again after all these years. I wanted to tell you how wonderful it was and how powerful you still are, even at 90 years of age!

God be with you and continue to give you His strength.

Sincerely from my heart,

D. R.

(Plano, TX)

back to top


December 8, 1980

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I was baptized into God's Church almost four years ago. Since then, I have forsaken God's way until recently. Upon entering prison eight months ago, I repented and started once more seeking the Kingdom of God. Our wonderful God has again opened my mind, and undeservingly enabled me to work toward a better calling.

My story is long and confusing. Satan enticed me away from God's Church. Worldly pleasures, instead of the Kingdom of God, became my goal. Later, drugs came to be a problem. My wife and two children suffered greatly. Then, I broke the law in such a way that I couldn't keep from being caught forever. I turned myself in to the law enforcers and started paying my debts.

I knew all along I was wrong but didn't seem to have the guts to change. My friends were actively involved in my ending up in prison. However, since being here, my only friends are in God's Church.

My mother is also a member and has kept me up-to-date on Church activities. Recently, the local minister paid me and a friend here a visit and arranged for us to attend Sabbath services. Our first Sabbath with God's people was yesterday.

It's exciting to start living again. I will probably be out of prison in two months as prison officials seem favorable toward my making parole. I look forward to supporting God's Church and His apostle in whatever way I can.

I work outside the prison on a public job now and am able to send tithes regularly. God has blessed me abundantly. He is indeed a merciful, wonderful God!

Please, sir, remember me in your prayers. I need prayer now as never before. The gift of faith is such a wonderful gift. Daily I ask for more faith and God has helped me greatly.

I love the Church and hope to become active in it. Thank you, sir, for enduring and letting Christ guide you.

Deepest admiration,

J. D.

(Hazelwood, NC)

back to top


December 3, 1980

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I just have to tell you my story. It is not special, but I cannot tell it to anyone here yet as I want to surprise my mother.

My mother just had her thirteenth anniversary in the Church. My father has always been cooperative but only attends church on special occasions.... I have gone to church with my mother from the very beginning since I was nine years old.

I was a model child (or so everyone thought), spoiled, but not a brat. I always had a Bible which, ironically, had been a Christmas present a couple of years before. I paid attention, and took notes. I was a hit with the old ladies since I was raised around adults and knew how to converse at their level. I was far more mature than others my age....

I even had a boyfriend in the Church for a while. I sent in offerings, was a member of the local youth group and then YOU when it was created.... I knew as much or more about doctrine as anyone my age. My mother never doubted my sincerity.

My best friend for the last ten years or so has been a Catholic, but that never hurt my beliefs. If anything, it strengthened them. The fatal blow, however, came when I was introduced to my boyfriend of the last four years. He wasn't and isn't in the Church and as we became closer, God and the Church, on the one hand, and I, on the other, grew farther apart.

I attended services only rarely just to keep my mother from nagging me, and I threw my morals out the door.... Yet, all the time something kept me from ever hitting the alcohol, cigarette, or drug scene, although it was around me all the time. If we went out to a party, I would drive home since I always consumed less beer or whatever.

In all this, I had one quality that should have been a fault. My boyfriend continuously dated other women, even when we were engaged. He even went to bed with some of them. My quality/fault was the ability to forgive him for anything he did. Wow--was I stupid! I suffered much unhappiness, but always thought the good times made up for the bad. Now that I think about it, what good times? Oh well, he dumped me this year anyway.

Strange things started happening this summer. I had an urge to take time off for part of the Feast of Tabernacles which I hadn't done for three or four years. The Feast was right here in my home town so I attended services on Saturdays and Sundays but kept working the rest of the time....

Shortly before that, one of the men at work was reading the Wall Street Journal and started making fun of your advertisement in that issue. I was in an adjoining office and heard everything. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer. I got up, walked out to him, and said, "That's my Church!" He promptly stopped the ridicule. After answering a couple questions, I departed for the lounge where I sat down and recovered. Before this incident, I haven't had any really strong feelings about the Church. I was literally shaking from the event....

I went to church on the Day of Atonement, which I kept for the first time in several years and then went to the Feast of Tabernacles the afternoon of the second day. I have never been at a Feast quite like this one. The entire atmosphere was different. Since then I have been to church every Sabbath even though I don't get to sleep in and it is a three hour round-trip drive. This time it is my decision to go....

Thank you for lending an "ear" to my story. Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you what I want to surprise my mother with. I plan to be baptized prior to the spring Holy Days!


S. L.

(Bainbridge Island, WA)

back to top


December 1979

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I wanted to share some of my happiness with you. Four years ago, my husband and I were baptized by one of God's ministers and for some time grew in the spirit. After a few years, however, we separated ourselves from the Church. We stopped tithing and soon didn't even attend Sabbath services. Needless to say, we cut ourselves off from God's blessings and left ourselves open for everything that Satan would sling at us. Just as you have said for years, Satan would like nothing better than to see the "family" shot to pieces.

At the time I came to realize how wrong I had been to separate myself from God, my husband decided that he wanted a divorce. I went before God and repented of having gone a path that I knew was wrong. I am sorry to say, however, that my husband went through with the divorce.

It hasn't been easy disciplining myself when it comes to Bible study, prayer and fasting. Sometimes, I have actually had to force myself to kneel and pray, but I am now on my way back to recovery from a long spiritual illness. I ask for your prayers for my children and myself. It's really hard being a single parent.

F. G.


back to top


October 2, 1980

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I just got home from my first Feast of Tabernacles. It would take several pages to tell you how wonderful it was. I am already thinking about next year.

Mr. Armstrong, I left the Church two and a half years ago. I look back now and can see that Satan was behind it. It no doubt pleased him when I left. While I was gone, I was never content or happy. Many times I wanted to pray, but I knew that unless I was willing to do God's will, He would turn a deaf ear to me.

At the beginning of this year, I realized I wanted to come back. Yet, it took me until April before I actually did. Again, Satan was shooting poison darts at me. I was convinced that I wouldn't be welcomed back. I was ashamed to face everyone.

But God was with me and one morning I woke up and realized that God's people would rejoice, and they did, at my return.

Now it's as if I never left. Once again I am fulfilled, content and happy. My pastor compared me to the prodigal son, which reassured me greatly, because I was so afraid I was forever lost.

Today when I came home, I found a check in the mail for almost $3,000. God has really blessed me, and I feel so undeserving. Our God is a merciful God, and I not only pray continually for you, the ministry, and God's people, but also that I will be able to answer my high calling.... This is the true Church of the Living God, and I never want to leave it again....

May God be with you always.

S. W.

(Cincinnati, OH)

back to top


February 22,1982

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I have put off writing this letter for a long time, but I have much to tell you.

God truly works in mysterious ways. My husband and I became members of the Church of God twelve years ago. We were baptized together. I still remember that first love--how wonderful it was and how zealous we were. It was a total change for us as we had lived as teenagers through the 60's and the so-called hippie generation. We were in many ways rebellious against the (so-called) establishment and wanted a non-materialistic life of peace and love. This, we found out later, is totally impossible without God's Spirit.

I was nineteen and my husband twenty-three when we became part of God's Church. The first three years were great. We were condemned by friends and some family members, but it didn't matter. I could picture no other life for us and couldn't understand how anyone could leave the Church. In those years we had three children.

Then we let Satan step in. We allowed what's been called "people problems" bother us, let down in prayer and study, and after four and a half years we left. Although we were out of the Church, I taught my children Church doctrine, and I guess I thought we'd be all right. But God thought different.

After a while, what I thought was a happy marriage, fell apart. We really reached the bottom of the barrel. God let us go our own way. As the true, patient, merciful, understanding and loving God that He is, He knew what trials we needed.

Well, my husband and I came back together and through a hard year and a half, we began to get back down on our knees. It wasn't easy at first because of the damage that had been done, but it worked.

Four years ago, we came back to Church as a family --four kids now. I can really see that we had to go through those experiences to come to where we are today. We have a very happy family. Our children are thrilled to know the truth. They love you and are really excited when they receive their tithe report. They feel you personally wrote the letter thanking them for their contributions, which in a sense you did.

We have learned so much in the past years, and I am very excited because the first love has returned and I intend to keep it. We share our experience with other brethren because we realize it happened for a reason. My husband spoke about it in club. It brought tears, rejoicing and many thanks as it helped each person in some way. At first it was hard to thank God for those trials, but now it is easy. I feel we have helped other brethren with similar problems.

We are 100% behind the Work of the living God. I thank Him for His loving kindness and for not giving up on us. I see a parallel in the Work--how even though it has gone through hard times with men trying to water down God's truth, Satan could not prevail because Christ is the almighty living Head of this Work.

We truly respect you as Christ's apostle. You are doing a wonderful job and are truly inspired by God. We pray for the Work and you daily. We also pray that very soon Satan will not be allowed to deceive humanity any longer and that Christ will return to bring total peace and love throughout the nations and to all people who have ever lived on this earth. What a glorious time that will be!


L. N.

(Hamburg, NY)

back to top