John Elliot’s Open Letter to Dennis Luker (In Its Entirety)

An Open Letter to President Denny Luker – December 22, 2010

Mr. Luker, with concern for the brethren we serve and gratitude for the leadership that is being shown, I would like to highlight seven things that you have caused to happen in the United Church of God.

After years of rarely seeing the word “God” printed on the front page of the United News, or in the monthly Ministerial reports, you have caused us to focus on Jesus Christ as Head of this Church. Many of us have languished for several years under a corporate mentality that viewed itself, its projects and its policies as the primary focus. How much we have longed to be a Church again with Jesus Christ as the object of our service and focus. Beginning with your first letter and first sermon, you have diminished yourself and focused each member on Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church, giving Him preeminence in the daily function of the United Church of God.
You caused the Church to preach the Gospel on television. Much opposition was raised against using this medium whose per-person responses once cost the Church $60. You were ridiculed for adding TV to our media mix by those insisting that the costs would be exorbitant. Yet, if one uses the same value the dollar had when it cost us $60 per response, our current cost approximates only $2.65 per response today.

You caused the Church to patiently endure the disgruntlement of ministers and members, giving them inordinate time and opportunities to reconsider the manufactured “concerns” that were intended to oust you and the Council. While many would have preferred a surgical removal of those involved in the recent division in the Church, you caused the Church to show patience and perseverance while each made his own choice to leave or stay. Your process followed that which God uses with physical and spiritual Israel, utilizing longsuffering with the hope of repentant reconciliation. Through this experience of patience, many of us are recognizing some burdens and heavy loads that we have put on others (Isaiah 58:6) which require them to suffer long (Ephesians 4:2-3). We now know what longsuffering for others feels like while we seek to find our own sins and try to change them.

You are causing the United Church of God to become more united than we have been at any time in our history. Since our beginnings many men have plied their ambitious objectives amongst us. Your resolute stance that only those exhibiting godly behavior will be tolerated and reconciled has left United as home to those striving for godliness whose fruits are unity and harmony (Galatians 5:22). Consequential to the departure of many, the United Church of God is a repository of ministers and members who are more unified in purpose and spirit than before.

You are causing each member of the United Church of God to be accountable to Christ for his or her personal contribution to the accomplishment of God’s work. In a reversal from control and micromanagement, you and your new “Ministerial and Members Services” team are causing each of us to seek Christ’s will in getting His work done, His way. The Church is focused again on casting the nets and feeding the sheep that God is drawing to Himself. We are bit leaner in numbers, but well suited for God’s Work that is ‘Not by might or by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).

You caused members of United Church of God to realize that we have many brothers and sisters that are not in our fellowship at this time, but are beloved none the less. Your inclusiveness has caused us to refocus on them with a compassionate and understanding mindset, respecting their quest to enter the Kingdom of God alongside us.

You have been causing members of the United Church of God to see ourselves like you and the Apostle Paul see yourselves, imperfect but struggling towards perfection with God’s Spirit leading and Christ’s blood cleansing us. In this we are the most united of all–sinners who are repenting and being cleaned up and being made ready for the very important wedding of the Lamb and His bride-to-be.

Consequently, I am calling for your resignation not to occur before you turn 150 years old, or Christ returns, or the Council of Elders permits you to retire. As many, many members have expressed, “I’m sure glad that Denny Luker is our president.”

May God bless and keep you as you lead this organization in service to Him,

-John Elliott

(This message may be shared in its entirety.)


  1. I couldn't get through the first paragraph.

  2. I can't even begin to describe how really, REALLY disturbing I find this letter. What is even worse is the remarks in support of this drivel that appeared on the "Dove" site.

    Mr. Luker should come out and condemn such a letter of obvious worship directed at him. Sending your "leader" a private letter of support and encouragement is a good thing to do. But to send out a such nonsense for all to see really shows the mentality of some in all of this.

    This appears to be "campaigning" of the worse type. If Arctic Circle Guy ends up on the CoE it truly is over for the UCG.

  3. Anonymous wrote: "If Arctic Circle Guy ends up on the CoE it truly is over for the UCG."

    The very fact that ministers and members who want the truth are shut down while obvious political patronization is encouraged already tells me that it may be beyond hope.

  4. Words can not describe how shameful this letter is. Smacks of Jim Jones and 'where's the kool-aid?'

  5. SafeTmanEd says…..

    Uhhh, HUH?? I need a beer!

  6. Yes, I would agree President Luker is trying to focus UCG on Jesus Christ. But let's examine facts on some of the other stuff here.

    From the July United News front page:

    June 24: Dennis Luker selected as new UCG President.

    July 11: Beyond Today begins on WGN cable.

    Yet it was Mr. Luker who "caused the Church to preach the Gospel on television"?!?! Wasn't that work in progress before he was selected?

  7. FYI at:

    Church of God, a Worldwide Association

    Detail by Entity Name
    Florida Non Profit Corporation

    Filing Information
    Document Number N10000011804
    FEI/EIN Number NONE
    Date Filed 12/23/2010
    State FL
    Status ACTIVE

    Principal Address
    PALM COAST FL 32137

    Mailing Address
    PALM COAST FL 32137

    Registered Agent Name & Address
    34532 PARKVIEW AVE
    EUSTIS FL 32736 US

    Officer/Director Detail
    Name & Address

    Title PD

    Title SD GIESE, KEN
    ROSEVILLE CA 95661

    1201 S.E. WILLOW PLACE

    Title D WEST, ROGER
    10113 OLD MILL RD
    FT. SMITH AR 72903

    MILFORD OH 45150

    Annual Reports
    No Annual Reports Filed

    Document Images
    No images are available for this filing.

  8. @Richard: There you go talking about facts again! Maybe Dennis Luker did it all at the Arctic Circle?

  9. UCG for the last couple of years has been worldly politics slandering fine ministers and members. The COE majority refused to hear the cries of the ministry and members. We left.

  10. For those who seem to not understand this letter.

    Ever hear of sarcasm?

  11. Read Dr. Donald Ward's letter to the membership. This points out what the real root of the whole problem is. Division is not the answer. It is also very disturbing that the group of ministers planned this new "church" for over a year. I pray that these men will have their eyes opened to their rebellious nature, and that God will bless them with repentance. Remember we are to love one another, not accuse one another. Unity is part of the Holy Spirit of God, division is not. The evil one, satan, is deceiving many.

  12. If they planned this for over a year, then they are pretty poor planners.

  13. Also, what letter are you referring to?

  14. This man speaks truth. Thank you, Mr. Elliot for telling it like it is. God is watching, my friends, and He will be the judge of us all. So, please, consider your words before stating them(verbally, or as posts, or otherwise…). Mr. Luker is doing God's work as the Spirit leads him and those who seek to 'feed their own belly' will come to nothing in due times, when God sees fit. Thank you, Mr. Luker for staying the course and trying to follow God with all your heart!

  15. John Elliot's letter states:
    >>Consequently, I am calling for your resignation not to occur before you turn 150 years old, or Christ returns, or the Council of Elders permits you to retire. As many, many members have expressed, “I’m sure glad that Denny Luker is our president.”

    By contrast, Aaron Dean, in his 90 min Q/A session refers to those who split from the UCG as ones something along the line of '..wanting a king..'

    Seems the reverse is what is actually well as seeming to worship a man over God and Jesus Christ.

  16. Many thanks to the previous posts, very glad im not alone in being disturbed by this man worship letter. Elliot is practically poeifying Luker.

  17. I am sickened by the sycophantic nature of this letter.

    Quite frankly it is idolatry.

    Yet another example of the corrupt shepherds prophesied about in Ezekial 34 coming to pass. God's anger is coming on those who abuse the flock in such a way.

    In the meantime focus on the true Shepherd – Jesus Christ and don't become followers of men.

  18. scary