Walter McGill & CSDA

Trademark Prophet: Walter McGill and the Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church (CSDA)

McGill IS the following:
- Self-professed ‘Pastor’ “Chick” McGill is leader of a small congregation in Guys Tennessee known as the ‘Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church’ (CSDA).
- In 2012 McGill went to prison for contempt of Court.
McGill bizarrely TEACHES the following:
- McGill claims the gift of prophecy.
- Much like the Lords of Righteousness (LOR), the CSDA teach an extreme version of perfectionism – one can obtain instant and lasting victory over sin.
- The CSDA also reject the doctrine of the Trinity.
McGill disturbingly BEHAVES in the following manner:
- McGill arguably provoked the ‘mainstream’ and official SDA Church, in order to engineer a situation supposedly proving to his devotees his alleged prophetic gift.
- There are claims that McGill is effectively promoting a hoax.  Despite a large presence on the internet and the illusion of many churches, it is possible the CSDA may in fact have virtually no members. 

As reported by Jared Wright in the article Creation Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Imprisoned, Fasting” of 18 Jul 2012 from independent Adventist magazine Spectrum:
‘Pastor Walter “Chick” McGill, the leader of a small congregation in the town of Guys Tennessee, is serving time in a San Bernardino County prison for his use of the name “Seventh Day Adventist.”’
Then as reported by Jared Wright in the article Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church Leaders Freed” of 12 Aug 12, also from Spectrum:
‘Pastor Walter "Chick" McGill, the 66-year old pastor of the small, Tennessee-based Creation Seventh Day Adventist congregation, was freed from a California prison Sunday after thirty days behind bars.
McGill was imprisoned on Friday, July 13 after a federal warrant for his arrest was issued in a long-standing trademark dispute with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.’

Parallels to the SDARM and ultra-conservative Adventism: Perfectionism and rejection of the Trinity
Much like the Lords of Righteousness (LOR), the SDARM and other elements within ultra-conservative Adventism, the CSDA teach an extreme version of perfectionism –‘Victory over Sin’.  In a weird twist, this is what the CSDA consider to be the 1888 message of righteousness by faith.  In the article “Victory or Defeat?” from its official website, the CSDA claim:
‘Do you know what it is to have uninterrupted (continuous) victory over all known sin on a daily basis? This is not to ask, "Do you believe it is possible?"-- for Satan, himself, knows it is possible. Do you experience this "Gift of victory?"’
Furthermore, like elements of the SDRAM, the CSDA rejects the doctrine of the Trinity. They seem to embrace a type of Bitheism – the worship of two gods.  They treat Father and Son as two distinct beings, whilst denying the Holy Spirit as a mere shared essence. In the article “Where Two or Three Are Gathered” from its official website, the CSDA claim:
‘The Shekinah could thus not be the personal name of anything, merely the place where Yah (the Father who is Spirit – John 4:24) chooses to make His presence manifest.’
Finally, McGill argues the ‘mainstream’ SDA Church is apostate (a ‘standard’ ex-Adventist argument) for its incorporation as a body corporate and registration of various trademarks. The CSDA argue that these acts of incorporation are nothing less than a sign of the Mark of the Beast!  As explained in the article “Mark and The Seal” from its official website, the CSDA claim:
‘Now, when the SDA Conference sought protection under the trademark law, it formed what is called a “corporation.” … But, the corporation itself is not a thing. It is a creation of law, it is an image of a (natural) man. And like the first beast, it is not an individual, but a perpetual office. In this way, the SDA church, in union with civil law, has formed an image of the beast, that oppressive force that seeks to restrict religious liberty.’
The CSDA position regarding government union is somewhat perplexing, for the simple reason the CSDA itself seems to have entered a union with the State Department of Education with respect to its CSDA Christian Academy.  Whether the CSDA have incorporated any of their own property, including in Uganda, is also a question warranting further investigation.

Bizarre Beliefs: Another self-professed prophet
Although McGill is not as forthright as other ex-Adventist cult leaders, he does appear to suggest a gift of prophecy or other divine inspiration.  For example, in his battle over the use of the name ‘Seventh Day Adventist’ with the ‘mainstream’ Church, his claim to its use is said to derive from a personal vision on the issue.  As reported by Jared Wright in the article “Creation Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Imprisoned, Fasting”:
‘McGill states that the naming of the church was a matter of divine inspiration.
“One brother and myself had identical visions,” he said, in which they were instructed to take the name “Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church.” McGill’s website lists Danny Smith as the church’s co-namer.
According to McGill’s account of events, in 1991, he told the fledgling congregation that at some future time the Creation Seventh Day Adventist name would face a lawsuit and persecution because of their use of the divinely-inspired name “Seventh Day Adventists.” McGill told the congregation that “this would amount to religious persecution and that Christ’s second advent would follow close behind the conflict.”
McGill claimed that his prophecy came true in 2005 when the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists formally requested that he cease using the name Seventh Day Adventists for the church and on various websites McGill owned.’

Disturbing Behaviours: Prisoner and self-fulfilling prophet
As outlined above, McGill is best known for violating Court orders that have seen him sent to jail for contempt.  Of course the more cynical amongst us might suspect that Mr McGill in effect created a self-fulfilling prophecy, which is to provoke the ‘mainstream’ and official SDA Church to take legal action against him.  By doing so, McGill is able to supposedly prove to his devotees his alleged prophetic gift.
As further observed by Jared Wright in the article “Creation Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Imprisoned, Fasting”, the official SDA Church believes McGill himself is encroaching on the ‘mainstream’ SDA’s Church’s right to religious liberty:
‘It is not now nor has it been the intention of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to shut down McGill’s ministry or for him to be jailed. Recent developments are results of actions taken by the court because Mr. McGill did not comply with the court’s ruling.
In a phone conversation, Church PR Director Garrett Caldwell described religious liberty as the ability for one to practice what they choose to believe or not to believe, but added that at issue is not the free practice of religion. “It is improper identification at the least, and deception at the most,” Caldwell said.’
No doubt a longstanding concern of the ‘mainstream’ SDA Church is the use of the name ‘Adventist.’  It is by that name the official Church is known.  If non-affiliated and openly hostile groups deceive the public by co-opting our Adventist name, this now doubt impacts the missionary efforts of the official SDA Church to spread the Gospel. 
In this way, the actions of McGill and the CSDA is itself clearly a breach of the official SDA Church’s own religious liberty. Thus, McGill is possibly nothing more than a common criminal, who breaks the commandment against stealing.
Whilst McGill might cry about his incarceration, one might ask to what extent he simply brought this upon himself.  In his self-righteous stubbornness he seems to have ignored Jesus’ teachings about compromise in Matt 5:25-26:
‘Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.  Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.’ 

But is stealing the name ‘Seventh Day Adventist’ really stealing?
In order to answer that question, one needs to ask whether a name can constitutes ‘property’ – as only property can be stolen.
First, from a legal point of view, the Court that sent McGill to jail for contempt certainly considered the name ‘Seventh Day Adventist’ property.  Whether it is McDonald’s golden arches, or a small businessman’s ‘good will’, intellectual property is certainly ‘property’ as recognised by most legal systems around the world.
Second, from a biblical point of view, a name likewise is the primary basis for ownership.  In the Bible and ancient Near East, to name something is to own it.  Thus, God gave Adam dominion over the animals of the earth and then had him name them all.  Similarly, King Nebuchadnezzar renamed Daniel and his three friends. Names are so important that for these reasons the Ten Commandments forbid taking the name of Yahweh in vain.
Thus, from both a secular and biblical point of view, a name is certainly ‘property’.  A person or group’s greatest property is their name, as reputation is often worth more than a large amount in a bank account.  For these reasons, McGill attempt to use and misuse the name ‘Seventh Day Adventist’, all whilst simultaneously attacking the SDA Church, is clearly stealing.

A Giant Hoax: An empty church?
Finally and on a lighter note, some sources argue the whole story of McGill and the CSDA is in fact one giant hoax: 
‘In speaking of his church in December of 2003, Walter McGill, a.k.a., Pastor Chick, on an internet forum for reform-minded Seventh-day Adventists, admitted that he has a very small following in the United States. "We have total, at the moment, 4 baptized members in the U.S, among others who profess but have not yet been / been able to be baptized." As of January 31, 2010, the only Creation Seventh-day Adventist Church that can be proven to exist with a verifiable internet address is the 3-member church in Guys, Tennessee.’
If such a claim is true, it merely demonstrates the power of tiny ex-Adventist groups – or in this case virtually non-existent – grabbing attention far outside their numbers. 

In many respects, the CSDA are an ‘unremarkable’ ex-Adventist offshoot, as they seem to represent a ‘standard’ of typical ultra-conservative beliefs and practices.  To be honest, McGill is arguably nothing more than a common criminal seeking to make a name for himself, whilst stealing someone else’s most important possession – their good name.  To such a thief, the warning of Paul in Rom 13:3-4 is given:
‘For rulers are not are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.  Do you wish to have no fear of the authority.  Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval; for it is God’s servants for your good.  But if you do wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain!  It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer.’ 


  1. This is an early picture of our church house in Kisoro Uganda.

    The Uganda Field of CSDA website is found here...

  2. Hello,

    It does not look like a lot of people have found this page... but as a member of the CSDA Church myself, I can at the very least rebut the idea that it has "virtually no members." Our Church is small, as many are, but it has members in several countries, including whole families, and it is growing.

    Some of this information on our Church seems to have been taken from the absurd fabrications published online by one or two individuals who have taken exception to our beliefs in the past... and you can imagine therefore their level of objectivity and honesty.

    In terms of the beliefs that are labeled here with the prejudicial term "bizarre," if we could look at those for a moment:

    1) McGill claims the gift of prophecy

    It is a sad day for Christianity if even the un-examined CLAIM of having one of the Bible's most precious, and to-be-coveted gifts (1Cor 14:1) is enough to merit one the label of "bizarre." Are there false prophets? Absolutely. Therefore all claims of prophecy are false? To conclude this is a logical (not to mention theological) fallacy.

    2) Much like the Lords of Righteousness (LOR), the CSDA teach an extreme version of perfectionism – one can obtain instant and lasting victory over sin.

    What we believe with regard to this matter is merely a literal, fundamental reading of quite a number of New Testament verses. We say exactly what John wrote, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1John 3:9) "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." (1 John 5:18)

    This is NOT a CSDA doctrine, it is a word-for-word teaching of the Bible. One may dispute the interpretation and practical implications of those words, but any Bible-believing Christian must admit that they exist, and that they are inspired by God. The author disputes the teaching that one CAN do something considered righteous. The Word of God says we can do ALL things through Christ. We, as CSDAs, merely agree with that Word. Hardly bizarre.

    In fact, as Adventists we should recall the words of Ellen White who said that when we finally obtain the degree of righteousness required of us by Heaven, the world (and certainly other Christian groups that are rebuked by our name and our standard) will consider us to be extreme.

    3) The CSDA also reject the doctrine of the Trinity.

    As did most early Adventist leaders. In fact, we are less anti-Trinitarian than our own Pioneers, who were distinctly ANTI Trinitarian. We are simply "non" Trinitarian, which means we believe that the old Roman Catholic paradigm, and the Protestant "versions" of it that followed are inadequate to explain the fullness of the Godhead. The fact that we cannot wrap our limited, human minds around what our Creator and Father IS in His majesty is the very thing that makes Him worthy of our worship. If we are called bizarre for THAT humility before the Almighty, then let us be called so indeed.

    With regard to the more personal statements about Walter McGill, I am not here to defend him or any human being, although for the record there has been a lot of uninformed nonsense promoted about him over the years by those who have otherwise found fault with his teachings or practices. I believe that my Father will vindicate all righteous men, and bring the false witness of others to open judgment.

    My name is David Aguilar, and I am a Creation Seventh Day Adventist. My email address is I do not know to what degree I am allowed to post here (many of our replies to baseless and exaggerated accusations are often removed very quickly) but I welcome any questions about my religious beliefs, and I promise to provide clear, honest and open answers to any who wish to know the truth as it is in the Bible and as it was said by Christ my Savior.

  3. Evidently, this page is strictly moderated -- so much so that freedom of speech and discussion is restricted. I recall that in the courts of Heaven, when Lucifer was discontented and seeking to deceive the hosts of Glory, the Almighty did not restrict his freedom of expression. Finally, there was war in Heaven, but not until Lucifer had full opportunity to make his case known to the inhabitants.

    1. Not hardly moderated at all - which is why your comment has been posted. Just moderated only periodically.