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Council Member Profile: Les McCullough

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Council Member Profile

Les McCullough

Leslie McCullough was born in Nebraska and grew up in Oregon. He and his wife, Marion, were married in 1952, and shortly thereafter he began a management-training program with S.H. Kress, a variety store. He later switched to a similar program with Sears, but left that job, too, because of the Sabbath.

In 1956 Mr. McCullough applied for Ambassador College and was turned down for lack of funds. He reapplied early in 1957 and, as he puts it, he “initiated a campaign to be sure of acceptance” the second time. He was accepted, and the McCulloughs moved to California.

Mr. McCullough applied for a job on campus and was hired for 20 hours a week as a purchasing agent for the college. He recalls that being a time of struggle, with paychecks sometimes being held for several weeks at a time because of insufficient income for the Church.

From 1959 until 1965, Mr. McCullough worked as assistant to Garner Ted Armstrong. During this time he was asked to prepare a news summary for use on the broadcast. That summary later became the “News Report” that was finally headed by Gene Hogberg. The idea was a precursor of the World News and Prophecy of today.

Mr. McCullough was ordained an elder in 1962, and in January 1965 he was moved to Big Sandy, Texas, to serve as deputy chancellor of Ambassador College there.

One challenge in Big Sandy was the efficient use of the building space. At the time the redwood building was acting as the kitchen and dining hall. Searching for solutions to that problem, he and Garner Ted Armstrong joined together in sketching preliminary ideas to copy Pasadena’s dining hall in a much less grand way by building it in the “metal building,” as it was called. They later drew the plans for the library in the redwood building.

The McCulloughs remained at the college until March 1973, when they moved back to Pasadena and he began working as vice president of the international area. One of the projects he dealt with was building an office in Australia. At the time, Australia had a printing operation in Sydney. Housing was dreadfully expensive in that area, as was office space. Once again collaborating with Garner Ted Armstrong, they came up with the idea of buying property at the Gold Coast just south of Brisbane. An office was designed and built, along with providing backing for those who wished to buy a home in that area.

In June 1978 Mr. McCullough was transferred to Canada, where he served as regional director. After only 2½ years in Canada, they moved to pastor the Cincinnati East, Ohio, congregation in November 1980.

In July 1982 Herbert W. Armstrong called and asked Mr. McCullough to return to the college in Big Sandy to once again be deputy chancellor. This lasted until shortly after Mr. Armstrong’s death, when Mr. McCullough was told he was going to South Africa to be the regional director.

In May 1990 he was transferred again, this time to the United Kingdom, where he became regional director for Britain, Scandinavia and English-speaking upper Africa. The McCulloughs remained there until August 1995.

Mr. McCullough recalls, “Being overseas, we heard little about the problems or the ultimate plans which resulted in the establishment of the United Church of God.” He adds: “When I was finally pushed to teach [the new doctrines], I had to tell Pasadena that there was no way in which I could or would do that. The result was retirement and a move back to Texas. Loss of retirement came upon Pasadena’s hearing I had been attending United” and the GCE.

In the spring of 1997 he was appointed to the UCG Council of Elders, which was shortly followed by being asked to serve as the president for United. During the four-year stay in Cincinnati, he helped choose the site of the present office and oversaw the building of the home office. In the summer of 2002, his term as president expired. The McCulloughs once again returned to Big Sandy, where they presently live. UN