Ambassador College 1969 yearbook

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On the heels of news that a 10-acre portion of the old Ambassador College property has been sold to a builder that plans to start constructing town houses there in 2011, Gawker Media’s women’s blog Jezebel shares this gem: Clips from the college’s 1969 yearbook.

The whole gallery of pages from the yearbook, called the ENVOY, is really worth checking out, particularly the entries on science and technology. Quoth the ENVOY:

“NEVER was the world like it is today! Gigantic leaps ahead in technology and certain sciences — men walking and cavorting about on the moon, yes — BUT, unsafe to walk on sidewalks here on earth. …

The principal contribution of Science and Technology has been the production of constantly more terrifying weapons of mass destruction. Pushbutton world? Yes, today either of two men could push a button and destroy two whole continents, probably ending in the extinction of mankind!”

The liberal-arts college was rooted in the evangelical tradition of the Worldwide Church of God. Its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, preached very non-mainstream beliefs. From a 2003 Star-News article:

Armstrong believed, for instance, that Jesus Christ will return to Earth to assume the throne of England, where he’ll reign in peace and prosperity forever.

He also preached that members earned salvation through their commitment to the Old Testament law. Christ may have died for the sins of the world, he taught, but acceptance of his death wasn’t enough. The believer must also obey Christ. …

Obedience was Armstrong’s key to qualify for God’s grace, and in the former Worldwide Church of God parlance that meant following the rules.

As with Orthodox Jews, members didn’t eat “unclean” things such as pork and shrimp. They observed all the Jewish festivals in the Old Testament and celebrated the Sabbath on Saturdays. Members were discouraged from voting, serving in the military, marrying after a divorce, relying on doctors, using cosmetics, or observing Christmas, Easter or birthdays.

The emphasis on obedience was apparent in some of the headlines from the church’s newsletter.

“HOW YOU DRESS FOR CHURCH Could it keep you out of the KINGDOM?”

“OUR LIGHT IS SHINING! and not the cosmetics on our faces.”

After Armstrong’s death in 1986, the church dropped the controversial teachings.

A report by Janette Williams in tomorrow’s Star-News will have more details of the sale and building plans, which revived what had seemed to be an interminably delayed real-estate development.

(Photo via Jezebel)

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