Herbert W. Armstrong, 1892-1986
Good News Magazine
May 1986
Volume: Vol XXXIII, No. 5
QR Code
Herbert W. Armstrong, 1892-1986

   Herbert W. Armstrong, the Apostle and Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God, died peacefully at his home in Pasadena, Calif., at 5:59 a.m. on Jan. 16, 1986, while resting in the favorite chair of his late wife, Lorna. He was 93 years old.
   Mr. Armstrong had appointed Joseph W. Tkach, the Director of Church Administration and a longtime minister, to assume the office and title of Pastor General of the 80,000 member Church. Mr. Armstrong, at a board meeting shortly before his death, spoke of "passing the baton" to ensure the continued, unabated human leadership of God's Church under Jesus Christ.
   Until his death, Mr. Arm strong remained active in the day-to-day leadership of God's worldwide Work. He was founder and chancellor of Ambassador College, founder and chairman of the Ambassador Foundation and founder and editor-in-chief of the Plain Truth magazine, which is published in seven languages and has a worldwide circulation of more than eight million. Mr. Armstrong was also founder and editor-in-chief of The Good News and Youth 86.
   Mr. Armstrong was widely known for his appearances on the World Tomorrow television and radio broadcasts, carried by 374 television and 30 radio stations worldwide.
   He was the author of several books, including Mystery of the Ages (1985), The Wonderful World Tomorrow (1979), The Incredible Human Potential (1978), The Missing Dimension in Sex (1969), The United States and Britain in Prophecy (1967) and his Autobiography. In addition , he wrote hundreds of magazine articles, booklets and pamphlets.
   Mr. Armstrong was born July 31, 1892, in Des Moines, Iowa, the eldest son of Horace and Eva Armstrong. His parents were respected, hardworking people whose ancestors emigrated from England to Pennsylvania around 1680. Mr. Armstrong was a descendant of King Edward I of England.
   In July, 1917, Mr. Armstrong married Loma Dillon, an Iowa schoolteacher. Mrs. Armstrong died in April, 1967.
   Mr. Armstrong became the leader of the present era of the Church of God, then based in Eugene, Ore., in 1933. Mr. Arm strong produced the first World Tomorrow broadcast in January, 1934, and followed it in February with the first printing of The Plain Truth, which he offered free to the listening audience. The Plain Truth and all other literature published by the Worldwide Church of God are still offered free today.
   As author, radio and television broadcaster and editor-in-chief of several magazines, Herbert W. Armstrong was well versed in world events. His travels included numerous visits with world leaders, especially during the past two decades. These meetings with emperors, kings, presidents and prime ministers gave him a unique perspective on world af fairs and were a continual focus of his writing and broadcasting.
   Among those with whom he had personal meetings are Their Majesties King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit of Thailand, the late King Leopold III of Belgium, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, Deng Xiaoping of the People's Republic of China, King Juan Carlos of Spain, the late King Mahendra and Their Majesties King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya of Nepal, the late Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, King Hussein of Jordan, the late President Allende of Chile, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain, the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India, the late Prime Minister Golda Meir and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel, the late President Anwar EI Sadat and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, President Suharto of Indonesia and all of the Japanese Prime Ministers since 1970, including Prime Minister Nakasone.
   Many honors were bestowed on Mr. Armstrong, including Japan's Order of the Sacred Treasure, Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand and the Order of the White Elephant, the Presidential Medal of Merit from President Marcos of the Philippines, a special peace award from Belgium's King Leopold III and honorary doctorates in humanities from both Iloilo University and Angeles University in the Philippines, all in recognition of his work for world peace.
   On March 24 , 1985, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thai land, by special appointment of King Bhumibol, conferred on Mr. Armstrong the Ratanaporn II Class for his assistance with humanitarian projects of King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit. This decoration is normally re served for members of the royal Thai family and in special cases is given to close friends of the royal family.
   Mr. Armstrong often discussed the particular problems faced by each ruler he visited, explaining the paradox of awesome techno logical and scientific progress in the midst of appalling evils. Through the Ambassador Foundation, Mr. Armstrong cooperated with many leaders in providing needed assistance in numerous humanitarian and cultural projects. The Foundation continues to be involved in projects in Israel, Egypt, Syria, England, Thailand, Japan, China, Belgium, Kenya and other parts of the world.
   Mr. Armstrong was recognized by members of the diplomatic corps as an unofficial "ambassador for world peace" and a "builder of bridges between people everywhere."
   This special tribute issue of The Good News focuses on the life and work of Herbert W. Armstrong, and on the continuing Work of the Worldwide Church of God.

Back To Top

Good News MagazineMay 1986Vol XXXIII, No. 5