The WMSCOG “Awarded by President Obama”?

On July 7, 2011 a World Mission Society Church of God member named “STAR” made the following comment below the “Top 10 Reasons People Cease To Believe in the WMSCOG” article:

President Obama just awarded the Church of God with a Call into Service Plaque. What is your church doing to receive such a high reward.”

What Award Did The WMSCOG Receive?

According to the “awards list” section of the official WMSCOG site (click on “WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON”), the WMSCOG received the President’s Volunteer Service Award this year.  The Presidential Service Awards website describes the purpose of the award as “a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service”.  What are the requirements for the award?  How did the WMSCOG go about being recognized and receiving this award?

President’s Volunteer Service Award Requirements

According to the Presidential Service Awards website any individual, family, or group can receive Presidential recognition for volunteer hours earned over a 12-month period or over the course of a lifetime at home or abroad.  There are bronze, silver, gold and lifetime awards for those individuals or groups that have completed the required number of hours for each.  It is important to note that lifetime awards cannot be awarded to groups, and groups that are awarded with any of the other three (bronze, silver, gold) awards must assure that the each individual in the group has contributed a minimum of 25 volunteer hours to the total.  Individuals must submit their hours to a certifying organization that will review, verify hours served, order and distribute the award.

Who Can Become A Certifying Organization?

Nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations, businesses, schools and colleges, membership and trade associations, and federal, state or local government agencies can all serve as certifying organizations.  In order to become a certifying organization, the entity is required to fill out a short application that will be reviewed within 10-15 business days.  Once approved, the certifying organization orders the awards and present them to the nominees.  The cost of each award varies between $1.00-$4.75 each.  Click here for a list of award packages.

The WMSCOG Is Their Own Certifying Organization?

A representative of the Presidential Volunteer Services Award office informs us that the WMSCOG registered to be a certifying organization and that the registered agent on their account is Tara Byrne Whalen, WMSCOG missionary of the Ridgewood, New Jersey location.  The World Mission Society Church of God certified and ordered President’s Volunteer Service Awards and numerous bronze, silver, and gold pins for the following 15 WMSCOG locations:

  1. Boston, MA
  2. Delaware
  3. Long Island, NY
  4. Manhattan, NY
  5. Queens, NY
  6. Louisville, KY
  7. Maryland
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Philadelphia, PA
  10. Puerto Rico
  11. Richmond, VA
  12.  Washington, DC
  13. Central New Jersey
  14. Bogota, NJ
  15. Ridgewood, NJ

According to the representative of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award office, the WMSCOG should not have nominated their Ridgewood, New Jersey location for the award since the “certifying organization” would in essence be awarding themselves.

The WMSCOG added their award to the English site here (click on “THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON”) and in contrast to their English site, the WMSCOG added the award they presented to Joo Cheol Kim on their official Korean site here.  Why did they choose to omit Joo Cheol Kim’s award from their English site (link has been deleted)?  Could it be because one of the requirements of the award is that the volunteer must be a U.S. Citizen?


What did the WMSCOG announce to its members regarding this award that would lead someone like “STAR” to walk away with the impression that President Obama had recognized the organization?  I seriously doubt that President Obama is even aware of the WMSCOG’s existence.  Are WMSCOG members wearing the pins that the Ridgewood location ordered for them when they are out recruiting?  Does the WMSCOG consider the hours that members spend recruiting as volunteering in the community?

After investigating the details of this award, “STAR”, apparently my church isn’t signing up to nominate itself “to receive such a prestigious award”.

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  1. Larissa says

    U know what’s sad, is that someone would apply to get recognition for serving others. Clearly not the Jesus I know “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing”. The Pharisees gave in public to be seen before men. True followers of Jesus serve anonymously.

    1. baldmanrox says

      I am not at all a religious person – but I believe it is also taught that if you are looking for recognition of your charitable givings – you are being charitable for the wrong reasons.

      1. Renita says

        Exactly! I remember for one blood drive they were asking for more members to donate because they need X number more donors. More donors for what? To reach what quota? Clearly they weren’t doing the drive because the people in hospitals needed it. They were doing it to get recognition.

    2. William Lee M says

      Whatever that is said here is not true at all. I just verified With the white house secretary [comment moved by admin to the forum]

  2. ELOHIM says

    que pena me dan los que dejan estos comentarios y lo que se explica en esta pagina; se puede ver y sentir cunta ira tienen a la WMSCOG, estan llenos de envidia y celos.. pero solo les digo que no es un solo reconocimiento que han recibido, sino muchos premios grandes y pequeños, comensando con la medalla precidencial, otorgado por el mismo precidentye de corea del sur, y en todo el mundo

    1. admin says

      English translation:

      how sad I feel for those who leave these comments and what is explained on this page, you can see and feel the “cunta ira” they have toward the WMSCOG, they are full of envy and jealousy .. but all I can say is that they have not just received a single recognition they have received many awards, large and small, beginning with a presidential medal, awarded by the very president of South Korea, and around the world

  3. John says

    Bible also says let the world see your good deeds.
    Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

    So once again the Bible says differently than what you think it says. you are in error because you do not know the scriputres or the power of God.

    1. admin says

      Hello John and thank you for commenting. Yes the Bible says to let the world see your deeds but it also says not to announce your deeds with trumpets.

      Matthew 6:1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
      2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

      It seems that you are the one in error.

      1. BibleMaster says

        Good deeds and charity concerning money is 2 different things. Pls understand why God says we shouldn’t reveal how much we give to the needy becoz many ppl would come to the church for the wrong reasons thinking that the church can support them monetarily and not for God. Good deeds and volunteer services is different, as what John quoted is correct, we need to let our deeds shine before men, if not how can we show a good example to others and allow people to understand God’s love thru our sacrifices and deeds?. This is an example of a true God’s children.

    2. Renita says

      The “church” teaches that the light is the Gospel. So.. shining your light before men (testifying to and preaching the Gospel) is definitely considered a good deed and would bring them to praise the Father in heaven.

      But of course a member will say in that verse light doesn’t mean the Truth. Right.. Right..

  4. Skeptic says

    Did they really receive the award in the end? (other than Ridgewood and New Jersey)

  5. haze says

    To christian, medal and awards are not important.
    but COG is proud of medal and awards…

  6. Emil says

    Leave aside the bible for the moment since our friends are good at quoting verses for maximum mileage. Let us see what has happened here.
    1. One location of the WMSCOG registers itself as a certifying organization.
    2. They then award themselves and the other locations.
    3. They let it be known among their membership that the President of the USA has awarded them.
    4. They even announce in Korea that the GP has been awarded an award. This despite the fact that he is ineligible to receive such an award not being a US citizen.

    Wow. How unethical. Is it any wonder that those who are not blinded can see them as scamsters?

  7. philo says

    The church recieves the awards for street clean ups, park clean ups, beach clean ups, storm dsmage repair and the list goes on. Sure the president ‘s award probably never crossed his path and came from a separate office or department big deal. Celebrities hire writters to reply to fan mail and Obama has no credibaility anyway

    1. Renita says

      Did you read this part of Emil’s comment: They even announce in Korea that the GP has been awarded an award. This despite the fact that he is ineligible to receive such an award not being a US citizen????

      They are deceitful and are liars. That’s the big deal.

  8. yi eung sun says

    World Mission Society Church of God follow everything what Jesus taught
    They help many people whom need their help
    Only we should say to them is thank you

    1. T.H. says

      This seems a little crazy. In the book of Timothy it states that those who do not take care of their families are worse that the heathens. I would also like to know where you are keeping the bodies of the disobedient children that you’ve put to death? You follow the Bible? I seriously doubt it! As for helping others, why do they do it? It appears that they do it to get public recognition. Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing! Once again I say, “You follow the Bible? I seriously doubt it!”

      1. Name (required) says

        Do you even follow the Bible? Do you even keep what Jesus has taught you to do? Didn’t Jesus tell to us to “help others” and “share God’s love”? Did you ever do it? 🙂

  9. Gillen says

    The bible says that the GOOD NEWS will be preach until the end of the world swiftly. I say Amen Hope you will someday.

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