100 Years of Truth and Controversy

A. J. Tomlinson
General Overseer of the
Church of God

Milton A. Tomlinson
General Overseer of the
Church of God of Prophecy

Grady R. Kent
Chief Bishop of
The Church of God

Marion W. Hall
Chief Bishop of
The Church of God

Robert S. Somerville
Chief Bishop of
The Church of God

Eldon McNabb
Prime Minister of
The People of Truth

By C. Eldon McNabb

In the year 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved heavier-than-air flight, and William Harley and the Davidson brothers, William, Walter and Arthur, after two years of working the bugs out of their prototype, built three motorized bikes. One of those bikes eventually traveled an amazing 100,000 miles. Not the least of the advances toward modern transportation that year was the incorporation of the Ford Motor Company by Henry Ford and twelve other backers.

The importance of these events is better understood when viewed in the context of Heb. 3:4. "Every house is builded by some man, but He that built all things is God." God, in His wisdom, marked the year 1903 in several other ways as well, because He had been working on the "Arise" of His church, and brought it forth that year. (Isa. 51:1,2; Eph. 5:14,15)

The way in which God worked out the rise of His Church was the way God has always operated, whether it was in the time of Abraham, Moses, Jesus or the Apostle Paul: He called out a man to do it. At the turn of the century, the revival fires were burning, and God was preparing a small group of People in the hills of North Carolina, and on the thirteenth of June, 1903, God caused His prophet, A. J. Tomlinson to go to them to declare to them that, "If they would accept it, they were the Church of God." The group, including the group's founder and pastor, R. G. Spurling, accepted Bro. Tomlinson as their pastor and the group began to grow. In the following twenty years, that group reached thirty thousand or so adherents in the United States alone, and perhaps more than that in foreign countries.

During those twenty years, under Bro. Tomlinson's anointed guidance, the Church of God began to take on the form of the pattern which God had commanded Moses to use in his prophetic allegory of God's Church under the Law of Faith. In 1910, the office of General Moderator was established, and in 1914, the officers, in general conference, accepted the fact that God had raised up A. J. Tomlinson as the anointed prophet to lead the Church, and they confirmed that he should be the General Overseer for life. Then, in 1917, Brother Tomlinson ordained F. J. Lee to be one of The Twelve, and together they chose and ordained the other eleven, and later they ordained The Seventy.

However, by 1920, a strong sentiment had begun to develop that the General Assembly should be the chief ruling element of the organization, instead of the General Overseer. So, a contention arose which forced Bro. Tomlinson out of office. In the process, he was falsely accused of misappropriating money for his own use. By the time it was proven that the accusations were untrue, Bro. Tomlinson's enemies had forced him out, and the prophecy in Ezekiel 21:25-27 began to be fulfilled. "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him." Outside of A. J. Tomlinson's phenomenal achievements, the thing that amazes me the most about his life is the reprehensible fact that, even unto this day, that false accusation is still repeated by members of the Church of God to try to vilify this great prophet. Just today, the fourteenth of June, I received an "authoritative," vilifying "Confirmation" of that false accusation against him, from one of their ladies in North Carolina. Here we are, eighty years after the original accusation, and almost as long since it was proven false in a court of law, yet the fight continues.

By the time A. J. Tomlinson had preached for another twenty years, he had established another organization which had also grown into the tens of thousands. Nine years after his death, in May of 1952, by court order, they became known as the Church of God of Prophecy. He finished his course with one of the greatest testimonials a New Testament prophet could have. He led the Church of God for forty years - the only man in the New Testament era to have done so - thereby fulfilling the prophetic allegory of the various forty-year leaders in the Old Testament era.

In the General Assembly of 1948, the enemies of God's method of governing His people once again took the leadership away from the General Overseer, Milton A. Tomlinson, and, in 1957, God raised up Grady R. Kent to bring the Church of God back to His way of governance, and the second overturning of Ezekiel 27 took place. The Church of God of Prophecy joined the ranks of the persecutors, becoming a vessel of dishonor in that matter, though they still gave lip service to Bro. Tomlinson.

The Church of God of Prophecy thereby followed the Church of God in the fulfillment of Jeremiah 18. The clay became marred in the hand of the potter, wherefore God took the clay and made one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor. (Rom. 9:21) However, we can do nothing against the truth, but for it. The vilification of A. J. Tomlinson and Grady R. Kent has made them the two best known men to have lead the Churches of God in the 20th century.

At the death of Brother Kent in 1964, God's Church entered a phase of infamy, because his successor, Marion W. Hall, although beginning his tenure under a mighty anointing of the Holy Ghost, forsook God and fell into gross sins. In so doing, he fulfilled the allegory of Pharez in the thirty-eighth chapter of Genesis, causing a great breach in the Church. In the Spring of 1972, when Brother Hall was dismissed in disgrace, the third overturning began. God called me out of the Church to begin his new move. The Church of God, later called New Testament Judaism, waxed old under the administration of Robert S. Somerville, and died as the Spirit of the Body departed from it in December, 1980.

The Lord called a small group of saints out of The Church of God (The Mountain of the Lord's House) in early 1972, and set them before me. (Dan. 2:34,44; Zech. 3:6-9) From that time until now we have faithfully kept the revelation alive which the Lord gave to Grady R. Kent. Not only so, but with that "Key of Knowledge," we have gleaned a vast volume of additional knowledge concerning the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

We are now anxiously awaiting the appearing of our Lord and King, and are exerting every effort to "build again the Tabernacle of David," and to "build again the altar of God which is broken down, and to restore all of the things which pertain to the New Testament Church but are no longer functional. By God's anointing and grace, we must have everything ready for Him when He shall appear, and we are praying to the Lord of the Harvest that He will send laborers in to the harvest to help us in this great work. AMEN.