Herbert W. Armstrong was the Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God. Those studying the Bible with a critical eye recognized him as restoring long lost biblical truths. He stood against traditional Christianity’s error and taught the plain truth of the Bible.
Mr. Armstrong 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 was published in seven languages and has a worldwide circulation of more than eight million. He was also founder and editor-in-chief of The Good News and Youth 86, and was widely known for his appearances on the World Tomorrow television and radio broadcasts, carried by 374 television and 30 radio stations worldwide.
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 affairs 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 El-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 Thailand, 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 reserved 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 technological 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.”
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.
Herbert W. Armstrong died January 16, 1986. But many today still remember him as a man whose drive and determination “set the standard for all of us.” He was a human dynamo who spiritually and physically enriched everyone around him. “As with any other truly great man, there will never be another like him.
Thankfully, the message he taught has been preserved through tapes and written material. He may be dead, but the work God did through him still has a huge impact on others because he was God’s man. Of course he wasn’t perfect, nor was he infallible. But it is an undeniable fact that he was used by God in this age to broadcast and prepare the way for the soon-coming return of Jesus Christ. He is gone, but his legacy lives on strongly.