A Brief History of the WCG in Saint Lucia

In the mid 1950’s a split occurred in the local congregation of the Church of God, whose headquarters was Salem, West Virginia, USA. The division came about as a result of a decision by the leader, Mr. Andrew Dugger, to move the headquarters of the church to Jerusalem, Israel.

The faction opposed to that idea broke ties with him and affiliated itself with a faction of similar views in Trinidad and made their headquarters Barataria, Trinidad. This group later split over doctrines such as whether women should preach, etc.

Towards the end of the fifties, one of the members, Mr. Leo H Joseph, was introduced to the Plain Truth Magazine by the wife of a member of the opposing faction who disagreed with the doctrinal stance taken by the publisher, Mr. Herbert W Armstrong. Mr. Joseph, however, was sympathetic to the new doctrines, subscribed to the magazines and started listening to the World Tomorrow Broadcast coming from Ohio and Tennessee, on short wave radio.

He began to share information from the Plain Truth with other members and soon others joined him in assembling on the Sabbath.

Mr. Joseph began to correspond with Mr. Dick Armstrong, elder son of Mr. Herbert W Armstrong on doctrinal matters and also pursued the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. He also went about preaching and baptising new converts. He was then given the option of quitting his job as a carpenter and be put on payroll from the headquarters of the Church at Pasadena, California. The Church then was called the Radio Church of God. The main identifying doctrine was the keeping of the annual Jewish feasts and holy days. The group first kept the Feast of Tabernacles in 1961, congregating in booths made of palm branches and other wild trees.

Although Mr. Joseph’s picture appeared among those of the ministers of the church in the 1961 issue of the Envoy (yearbook of Ambassador College) captioned, "Leader of a group in the West Indies", he was never ordained. The group continued until late 1964 when it was dissolved.

Members continued to receive the Plain Truth magazine, the Good News magazine and other booklets and publications from headquarters and listened to the World Tomorrow programme which by then was broadcast from Barbados.

Certain members travelled to Martinique in order to keep the Feast of Tabernacles with the church there, which was pastored by Mr. Jubert.

From 1969, monthly Bible Studies were conducted by Mr. Clarence Bass (a minister from the USA, in charge of the church in Barbados) for members and Plain Truth subscribers.

During the years 1970 to 1974, brethren travelled to Barbados to keep the Feast of Tabernacles along with members from other islands. From 1975 to the
mid 1990s St. Lucia was an international venue for the Feast of Tabernacles.

Over the years, the church was served by a series of visiting ministers from the various islands, namely: Messrs Bass, Mather, Sampson, Nieto, Simpson, Jailal and Straughan. The first resident Minster was Mr. Paul Krautman who was transferred from Grenada in 1992. However, there were two local elders – Messers George Goddard and Lucius Joseph, and one deacon –
Mr. Rudolph Mills.

Throughout its existence, meetings were held in educational institutions, hotels, lodges and cinemas as it was not church policy to acquire property.

Having weathered the change that took place in our denomination we now meet at the Glencastle Resort in the north of the Island.

Our Services are held on Saturdays at 10:30 am with one exception – every second Saturday has no service as it is a visiting day.

Visitors or persons wanting to contact us can call: (758) 452 6839 or 450 2328 or 458 2528 or 451 6359.