Document Type


Publication Date



While this denomination has only been known as Grace Communion International since April 2009, it represents the radical metamorphosis of a movement that began in Oregon in the 1930s under the leadership of Herbert Armstrong. As his autobiography attests, this young newspaper advertising designer experienced a life-changing conversion to faith in Jesus Christ in the 1920s that ignited within him an "unspeakable joy" and ravenous appetite to study the Bible. The more he learned, the more compelled he became to share his insights with others by writing articles. But by the mid- to late-20s a growing disenchantment with mainstream evangelicalism prodded him to engage in fellowship at other spiritual venues such as the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Salem, Oregon, where he was issued a ministerial license in 1931 (a credential later revoked over doctrinal disputes). It was not long before he began preaching to and leading small groups of what became a growing following. Eventually, around 1934 a radio program was launched. Initially called The Radio Church of God, it later became known as The World Tomorrow. The Plain Truth magazine became yet another wide-reaching vehicle for disseminating his ideas.


Originally published in Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, 5 Volumes, edited by George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport, 2016, pg. 1000-1002, reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield.

All rights reserved. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute or reprint.

Included in

Christianity Commons