EDMOND—Philadelphia Church of God Pastor General and Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry delivered a personal appearance campaign to hundreds of Trumpet subscribers January 21 and 22 in Norwalk, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.
On Sunday morning, January 21, Mr. Flurry, personal assistant Grant Turgeon and Western United States Regional Director Brian Davis drove to Oklahoma City in Mr. Flurry’s car, which was packed with luggage, a midday meal prepared by the food services department, and about 10 boxes of Church literature and other materials.
The trio arrived at the Church’s private hangar in Oklahoma City at 10:15 a.m., departing just after 10:30 for the three-hour flight to Long Beach.
At the hotel in Norwalk, Mr. Flurry spent the afternoon preparing for his 7:30 lecture at the Doubletree Hilton hotel ballroom. On the first night, more than 230 subscribers attended, 150 of whom were not pcg members.
On the first night, Mr. Flurry summarized Hebrews chapters 1-4. He quoted the late Herbert W. Armstrong as calling Hebrews “the least understood book in the New Testament.” Written in a.d. 66, two years before the Apostle Paul was beheaded by the Roman emperor Nero, Hebrews is a sobering warning message, especially for God’s people in the end time, Mr. Flurry said. He emphasized that Paul had expected members of God’s Church to become skilled teachers of God’s truth, yet they still needed help understanding the basics.
Mr. Flurry said that rather than unleash a furious rebuke, Paul confronted the rebellion of God’s Church in his day by first discussing the greatest vision in the Bible. In Hebrews, Paul highlighted the dazzling brilliance of the angels and emphasized that mankind has the potential to become far greater, following Christ’s example and becoming Spirit-born sons of God.
Though most of the world pictures Jesus Christ as dead on a cross, Mr. Flurry emphasized that Hebrews shows Christ is a living Savior, familiar with human weakness from His own experience as a physical man, and always ready to answer the prayers of the obedient.
On the second night, Mr. Flurry covered Hebrews chapters 5-13 with about 175 in attendance, 110 of whom were nonmembers. He explained why the hope of God’s loyal people lies in a living Savior, who died and was resurrected to unlock access to God. He offered three reasons why true Christians should be bold when coming before the throne of God:
1. If they yield to God, they have access to the Father.
2. Jesus Christ now lives in them.
3. Jesus Christ now intercedes for them.
Mr. Flurry also stressed the importance of remaining committed to God’s way of life and stepping out in faith. He concluded by describing the “drop-dead vision” that God gives to all who will listen: a future filled with endless joy and peaceful eternal life in God’s Family.
After each lecture, Mr. Flurry conversed for an hour or longer with audience members, including a small group of elderly pcg members he formerly pastored in a Worldwide Church of God congregation in Norwalk in the 1970s.
“The audience was very positive and receptive,” Mr. Flurry wrote in a January 25 Trumpet Brief e-mail message. “It was wonderful to have that face-to-face contact with some of our readers.”
About 40 nonmembers signed up for a follow-up Bible study, which Mr. Davis delivered on January 28.
California Local Elder Andrew Hessong, who served as the assistant local campaign coordinator, said it was “very successful. We are pleased with the turnout based on previous [personal appearance campaigns]. The people were very receptive to Mr. Flurry’s message about Hebrews and the vision Paul was giving in the book.”
“Mr. Hessong and I were both very impressed with the overall quality of the contacts we visited,” Mr. Davis said. “They seemed to be quite knowledgeable about God’s Word and, for the most part, seemed receptive and teachable.”
The lectures represented Mr. Flurry’s 25th personal appearance campaign and his third in the Los Angeles area. He gave 10 campaigns in 1999 and 2000, including one in L.A., and gave 10 more between 2006 and 2008, including another in L.A. He restarted the campaigns in July 2017, visiting Chicago. Mr. Flurry’s next appearance will be in the Houston, Texas, area on February 11 and 12.