John Trechak, founder and publisher of Ambassador Report, died of heart attack on September 2, 1999. Ambassador Report was an “opposition paper” to the controlled press of the Worldwide Church of God. Sixty-nine issues were published, from June 1976 until July 1998. Although John accepted donations toward this, he always worked at his own job and had to subsidize his publishing efforts. He never started a competing “church”.
According to Byron Sanders, a long time friend of John Trechak, his work will become public domain. Several people are already working to place all the back issues of Ambassador Report on the Internet. Byron already has a web page that indexes all of the issues and will link to the full-text pages when they are ready:
Also, Servants’ News is offering a printed version of the Ambassador Report Index (see back page).
I never read Ambassador Report when I was a student at Ambassador College, Big Sandy because the administration said, “it contains lies and gossip and people who read it usually would leave the Church.” I remember signing a form permitting the College mail department to throw it out rather than put it in my box. I had other friends who read it and told me that it was important that I read it. Yes, some of those friends left the WCG. But I never read Ambassador Report until after I left the WCG in 1992—after witnessing corruption and doctrinal dishonesty firsthand.
When I was working for the Global Church of God (1993-1994), I remember being a little bit shocked that several people found out about the GCG through Ambassador Report and became members. Later on, I heard other people in independent groups relate stories of people finding them through Ambassador Report. Still later, Ambassador Report ran a somewhat misleading article about Servants’ News, and we obtained new subscribers from it.
Ambassador Report, unlike the WCG publications, was not afraid to mention exactly who they were talking about and would nearly always print their address. If a congregation or group of members departed from the WCG, the WCG would frequently not mention them by name (lest someone who did not know find out) and would almost never publish their address so a person could hear both sides of the story.
I know several brethren who believe that God led them to leave the WCG through reading Ambassador Report. Some have started successful local congregations.
After reading several issues, I think the publication was written from a negative, sometimes sarcastic tone. Many accusations were written from the testimony of one witness, and that witness was sometimes anonymous. There was speculation about why various people did things that I am sure was wrong. But there were also many well-documented facts: court documents, private letters, etc. These things the WCG tried to suppress even though members should have known them to decide which leaders they would accept (1Cor 11:1, 1Tim 3, Titus 1, Rev 2:2). Furthermore, I could not find any Ambassador Report articles that are clearly lies (something they printed knowing it was false).
I personally think (but cannot prove) that God raised up Herbert Armstrong to teach the Sabbath, Holy Days and other truths to many people—but he added hierarchical government and other error to his teaching and God let him do it. Those following Mr. Armstrong, desirous of his position, often repeated the same errors, rather than recognizing them and correcting them. Similarly, God may have raised up John Trechak to document the errors of the Worldwide Church of God. (If you don’t believe God documents errors of His people, read the Old Testament.) John may have written in a worse attitude or may have printed more unprovable things than God wanted, but God let him do it.
God will judge both Herbert Armstrong and John Trechak for the work they did. At my judgment, I have often thought that I would ask God why He allowed me (and so many other CoG members) to go on believing in hierarchical human government for so many years. Now, I am beginning to see that He may say: “I did warn you, but most of you refused to read Ambassador Report, did not have the diligence to find out what was true and what was not, and did not have the courage to share it with your friends or to confront those who were doing wrong.”
Hierarchy teachers will tell us that we should ignore the sin of our leaders—that “God will take of it”. Yet these same people cannot look at the WCG and its splinter groups and say, “God has taken care of it.” Instead, they hope God will resurrect the old WCG. Thanks to John Trechak and the Internet, there will always be a reminder for those who would build a new “work” based on the old WCG.
— Norman Edwards