To put this in context, Meredith is a schismatic senior minister from Herbert Armstrong's failed movement. He once boasted being number three in the divine chain of command ("the government of God"), but then formed his own sect and became number one.
The trouble was that his tame ministers knew his foibles only too well and tried to set up a more collaborative structure. Meredith went ballistic, blamed Satan for the attempt, screamed about disloyalty, abandoned his own newly created sect (the now defunct Global Church of God) and restarted. The result was the Living Church of God (LCG), and this time, you may be sure, there was no doubt about everyone knowing their proper place. Meredith constantly harps on about 'top-down church government'. Any concept of voting is anathema in his sect. Nevertheless Meredith portrays himself (with, you have to say, some pride) as a humble man - and it seems he has much to be humble about!
Gary asks some pertinent questions about the Meredith PR film.
I wonder if it talked about how Meredith claims he has never committed a major sin since baptism. Or how he made the membership and ministers' lives miserable when he was over the ministry. Did they include Meredith standing up in Tuscon [and publicly] bad mouthing Leona McNair [former wife of fellow evangelist Raymond McNair] causing him and the WCG to get sued? Did it include film of Rod screaming and throwing a fit in the Auditorium during the receivership [including a public shoving match with fellow evangelist Wayne Cole that was reported in the Los Angeles Times]? Did it include film of HWA removing him from office and banishing him from Pasadena for a year? Did they include film of him planning to form a splinter cult while the WCG was defending him in court for his loud mouth [over the McNair case]? Did they include film when he refused to reimburse hundreds of thousands of dollars that members loaned him to start Global Church of God after he jumped ship to form Living Church of God? Did they include film of Raymond and Eve McNair on their knees in front of him asking for forgiveness "with trembling lips?"Well, having tied myself to a chair and viewed the whole 83 minutes, I can confirm all of Gary's doubts. Nor did they include the story of how, at a time the Armstrong movement shunned medical intervention, Rod was given special dispensation to undergo eye surgery because he was just too important not to. Others, of less exalted stature, simply died as a result of the 'healing doctrine'.
I get the feeling that this whole, long monologue of self-justification (introduced by Rod's brother-in-law and anointed heir Dick Ames) is more than just an embarrasing "auto-hagiography". Meredith, as he comes to the close, confirms Ames as his worthy successor, and warns against rival pretenders. The passing on of the torch may not be too far distant.
You'll need a great deal of patience to watch this entire film. If you're in to the history of Armstrongism you may enjoy the photographs that have been pulled out of the Meredith/Ames shoe boxes from long years past, but be prepared for long, rambling reminisces that retell history to show Rod in the best possible light. Garner Ted Armstrong gets three passing references, the receivership crisis one, Flurry one, and Stan Rader none. Joe Jr. is referred to only obliquely as "the bearded one."
Those with time on their hands, and an appreciation for unintended humour, can view the whole sheebang here:
Living Church of God: Sermon - Feast of Tabernacles 2011: Behind the Work