Q. Are you part of Herbert Armstrong’s old Worldwide Church of God? You seem to teach many of the same truths of Scripture.
A. No, but our origins are parallel. Clarence O. Dodd is considered by many as the founder of today’s Sacred Name movement.
According to historian Richard Nickels, “Both Armstrong and Dodd were ministers of the Church of God, Seventh Day (Salem, W. Va.) group, one of the factions of the Church of God, Seventh Day. They began their respective movements at about the same time (1934-1937).
“At the outset both Armstrong and Dodd became independent mainly over the issue of the Feast Days of Leviticus 23. They both believed these days should be kept today, while the majority of Church of God, Seventh Day disagreed. Dodd later came to believe in the ‘Sacred Name’ doctrine, which means a belief in the exclusive use of the Hebrew names for the Supreme Being (Yahweh and Yahshua the Messiah).
“Dodd did not originate the Sacred Name doctrine. Its exact origin appears to be long before his time. However, Dodd crystalized the movement, making it a major force among Sabbath (Saturday) keeping organizations. His Faith magazine began in 1937, and continues to use the name Assembly of Yahweh…”
In 1968 Dodd and A.N. Dugger wrote the book, A History of The True Religion. They recount that a meeting to reorganize the Church of God, Seventh Day, was set for November 4, 1933, and some ten thousand were invited to Salem, W.Virginia. Names were drawn by lot for the Twelve, and then for drawing of the Seventy. Included among the Seventy were Dodd and Herbert W. Armstrong.
The Faith magazine began as an organ to promote the keeping of the Feast Days, but when learning the truth of the Sacred Name, Elder Dodd immediately restored the names Yahweh and Yahshua to all writings in his magazine.
An October 1939 issue included a report of the Feast of Tabernacles in Eugene, Oregon, held by “Elder H.W. Armstrong, a pioneer in this great truth.” Elder Angelo B. Traina restored the Sacred Names to the King James Bible. Both Elders Dodd and Traina are remembered for their efforts in restoring the correct Names and teaching Bible truth.
Herbert Armstrong and his Worldwide Church of God chose to keep the generic titles for Yahweh’s Name as well as the Latinized-Greek form for the Savior’s true Hebrew Name Yahshua.