The Church of God - PKG was orignially incorporated in Delaware as "The United Church of God - Toledo, Inc" in April of 1995, shortly after the breakup of the Worldwide Church of God which resulted from Pastor General Joseph Tkach's apostacy on December 17, 1994. Weinland's church affiliated with the United Church of God (an International Association) for a time until Weinland resigned from UCG in May of 1997 nominally in a dispute about the mishandling of church finances. The church was then renamed "The Church of God, Inc". Originally COG-PKG was based in Toledo and only moved to Cincinnati after Weinland moved to that area early in 2005.
For a time (during 1999) COG-PKG flirted with an association with other independent groups which formed post-WCG, such as Al Buchanan's Belleville (Ill) Church of God, sharing a Feast of Tabernacles site one year.
After the split from UCG, Weinland began promoting his prophetic ideas and soon attracted a following in areas other than Toledo, including Cincinnati, Georgia, and Texas. His promotion took the form of his Newswatch periodical and sermon tapes which he would send out.
Originally, The Church of God, Inc was operated by a lay board of directors which controlled the funds and paid Weinland a salary. After a difference of opinion between Weinland and the board, during February of 2000 Weinland disfellowshipped them and took over the corporation.
Weinland also began recruiting members overseas. In Europe, someone in the Netherlands became interested and later a few in the UK and in November of 1999 Weinland made the first of many overseas trips to visit his followers. There are also a few members in Australia and New Zealand. As recently as 2004, he claimed only 5 members in Australia and a few more than that in New Zealand.
Weinland has claimed a total membership of around 300-450 during the period prior to 2008. The number 300 is often mentioned by him in comparison to the size of Gideon's army which slew the Midianites. Beginning in late 2007, Weinland began heavy promotion of his book "2008 God's Final Witness" and now claims that membership increased by about 250%. At one time Weinland claimed that his membership had grown by a factor of 3 after his Google advertising campaign. After 3 failures of Christ to return, much of his membership has left including some who had been with him prior to 200, including some prominent in his church and even his own mother and sister.
Overseas, there have been several dozen members in Australia and a similar number in the UK. Estimates for BeNeLux and New Zealand are one to two dozen members in each of those locations. Within the US, the membership is widely scattered but with the heaviest concentrations near Cincinnati, Toledo/Detroit, Dallas, and central Georgia.
Despite a widely scattered group, prior to his imprisonment in February of 2013, Weinland delivered the vast majority of sermons and prior to his conviction traveled most weekends to other locations around the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and northwestern Europe. Sermons were delivered "live" via streaming audio on the internet. Weinland also sends cassette tapes and archives sermons in MP3 format on the church website.
There is no oversight board in evidence, which was mentioned during Weinland's criminal trial. Weinland claims that there are no members of the corporation, which has been renamed legally as The Church of God, Inc (EIN 341799827) even though doing business as the Church of God - PKG. Indications are that the Church of God is not recognized legally as a church outside the United Sates. The Church of God - PKG may now be structured as a "corporation sole". Ronald Weinland controls the church with a top-down structure. On December 13, 2008, Weinland ordained his wife Laura (who is the other of the Two Witnesses) as a Prophetess and placed her below him over the remainder of the church.
Prior to 2008, Weinland had a few elders below him including Johnny Harrell and Terry Wrozek who would occasionally give sermons. Wayne Matthews in Australia gave his first sermon in the summer of 2007. Ralph Dowd of the Cincinnati area and Paul Worth of Georgia gave a few sermons a number of years ago. On December 13, 2008, Weinland ordained his wife Laura (who is the other of the Two Witnesses) as a Prophetess and placed her below him over the remainder of the church.
Beginning in 2008, Weinland began expanding the number of elders and promoted two as evangelists: Wayne Matthews over Australia and New Zealand, and Johnny Harrell over the US and Canada. In 2009 Terry Wrozek was promoted to senior elder and then evangelist and Johnny Harrell was named senior evangelist. Below Wrozek and Harrell were 3 Senior Elders added in November 2008. Approximately 2 dozen other elders were added, mostly in early 2008.
In December of 2009, Weinland added a category of "associate elder", and changed doctrine to allow the ordination of women. In the announced first wave of ordinations, 58 men and women were to be ordained in all ranks of elder, including Weinland's children Jeremy and Audra. (Note: there are elders other than listed below. Weinland has begun to mention only the first names of those ordained, stated to be in response to a claimed threat from critical bloggers.) Weinland has ordained others since the first announcement.
There have been a number of elders conferences, either most of them or just the senior leadership. Several of these events have been held in Las Vegas, at venues such as the 5-star Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino.
In July of 2008, IRS Criminal Investigation issued third-party summonses for church financial records in association with its investigation of Ronald Weinland. In sermons he has mentioned comingling church expenses on his credit cards, and has also mentioned Swiss bank accounts. Weinland's daughter Audra Little is the church bookeeper, and in November of 2009 Audra was ordered in US federal court to appear before an IRS Criminal Investigation special agent to give testimony based on her church role regarding Weinland's finances. In November of 2011, Weinland was indicted and arraigned in federal court on 5 counts of criminal income tax evasion and maintaining Swiss bank accounts without properly declaring them.
A jury trial was conducted during June of 2012 resulting in his conviction. He was sentenced to prison, reporting on Feb 1, 2013 with a scheduled release date during February of 2016. During his absence, it appears that Laura is running the church and has involved other women more in running the affairs of the church.
Johnny Harrell of Georgia is the evangelist over part of the US, and is the senior of the three evangelists.
Wayne Matthews of Melbourne Australia is the evangelist over Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
At one time, Terry Wrozek was the evangelist over Canada and part of the US. After Christ didn't return in May of 2013, Wrozek left the church and was disfellowshipped.
Willem Henderson of the Netherlands ws made the Senior Elder over Europe but has since been raise to evangelist.
Senior Elders are over other elders in various regions They are: