Armstrong, Garner Ted 1930-2003
ARMSTRONG, Garner Ted 1930-2003
See index for CA sketch: Born February 9, 1930, in Portland, OR; died of complications from pneumonia September 15, 2003, in Tyler, TX. Religious leader and author. Armstrong was a television evangelist and founder of the Church of God International and the Intercontinental Church of God. The son of Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God and head of the Radio Church of God that espoused a religion mixing Christian and Jewish traditions and shunning Christmas as a pagan holiday, the younger Armstrong would follow in his father's footsteps, though their relationship would be a contentious one. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1948 to 1952, then worked for his father for a time and entered Ambassador College, which was run by his father's church. Ordained a minister in 1955, he wrote for the church's magazine, the Plain Truth, and began broadcasting on its radio show, The World Tomorrow. By 1958 he had been made a vice president of the church, a position he held until 1978, when sexual allegations against him nearly destroyed his marriage and led his father to excommunicate him. Armstrong, in turn, accused his father of stealing millions of dollars from his own church, and the bitter argument between father and son lasted until the elder Armstrong's death in 1986. Armstrong, meanwhile, had moved to Tyler, Texas, where he founded the Church of God International. Though separated from his father's church, he still espoused the same religious principles of the Worldwide Church of God. Trouble came again for Armstrong in 1995, when he was once more accused of sexual misconduct, forcing him to step down as head of his church. Undaunted, he reorganized his life and founded the Intercontinental Church of God, as well as, in 1998, the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association. Armstrong was the author of five books, including The Real Jesus (1977), Facts You Should Know about Christmas! (1981), and The Answer to Unanswered Prayer (1989).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Religious Leaders of America, second edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1999.
Chicago Tribune, September 17, 2003, Section 1, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2003, p. B13.
New York Times, September 17, 2003, p. C16.
Times (London, England), September 25, 2003.
Washington Post, September 18, 2003, p. B6.