What Did John Amos Really Die of?
John Amos, along with Gerald Flurry, founded the Philadelphia Church of God in 1989. Four years later John Amos was said to have died of a "stroke." How true is this? Did his death affect how Flurry twisted information about who really wrote Malachi's Message?
I was reading through your site and found a mention of the circumstances surrounding the death of John Amos. It was not just a "stroke" that killed him. Mr. Amos was our minister at the time he died and we attended church with him weekly. What was common knowledge at the time was that he had gotten a cold and a sinus infection developed. For weeks we were told he had the flu and was very sick and to pray for him. I know he had been to Canada in March or April of the same year and he was already having trouble with the sinus infection at that time. Left untreated for several months (except for "anointing"), the infection eventually spread to his brain. Then after some time he went into a coma and his wife panicked and called 911. Mr. Amos had been sick for weeks before he went to the hospital and I imagine very weak. I do know he had told his wife under no circumstances was he to be taken to the hospital, but I also remember speaking to Mrs. Amos after all that happened and her telling me how she didn't know what to do because Mr. Amos was unconscious and she was all alone. By the time she got him to the hospital, it was basically too late to do anything for him and he died in a relatively short time (a few days). Shortly before Mr. Amos died, Gerald Flurry came to Columbus due to the situation and gave a sermon. I remember he said that God would not allow Mr. Amos to die. But the truth is, he did die.
This angers me quite a bit. He died of something that a bit of antibiotics could have cured in the early stages. Funny thing, once he was out of the way, Gerald Flurry was free to pretend that the first edition of Malachi's Message never had both his name and John Amos' name on it. He could also pretend "a mighty angel came down and gave him the message"1--which he couldn't have done if John Amos were still alive! John Amos knew that Flurry had received information on the book of Malachi from another WCG minister, and they, together, expanded it over the course of a few months.2 They also had input from a group of others in their church area. Flurry's "Mighty Angel" makes me sick. He dishonors the memory of his good friend who stood by him.
So as far as John Amos dying of a stroke, that may be what is on the death certificate, but that is not what we were told early on in the PCG. Mr. Amos died of spinal meningitis due to PCG's teaching on medical treatment. If he had sought medical help early, maybe he would have lived.
By Joanna (former member of PCG)
October 5, 2002
Update: I Have a Copy of John Amos' Death Certificate (2007 letter to ESN)
Be sure and read: Members to Develop the Faith to Face Death (April 24, 2007 letter, which includes 2001 fax from PCG headquarters.)
Note: Jules Dervaes was disfellowshipped from WCG in 1986 for questioning the new WCG changes. He follows Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings today.
Footnotes by ESN:
1 "A Review of Revelation 10 and 11," Sept/Oct 1992 The Philadelphia Trumpet.
2 In 1990 Jules Dervaes wrote Gerald Flurry a letter, saying that Flurry plagiarized his material when he [Flurry] wrote Malachi's Message. The link to the original letter and mailing receipt signed by Mrs. Flurry, along with other links, can be found on our section: Malachi's Message: How True is It?