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GOD’S SALVATION CHURCH

In the 1990s, a cult from Taiwan relocated to San Dimas, California, and registered itself as God’s Salvation Church. In 1997, the Chen Tao cult, also known as the Flying Saucer cult, led by Hon-Ming Chen, headed to Garland (mistaken for "God Land"), Texas, where they expect Christ to come down in a flying saucer to pick them up. 140 followers of the church--dressed in white, wearing sunglasses and white cowboy hats - left for Texas for the expected March 31 date with their Maker.

Chen was born in 1955 and was a former Taiwanese sociology teacher. He claimed to be the father of Jesus Christ and that God will assume an identical body to his own at 10 a.m. on March 31. Members purchased more than 20 homes in an upper-middle class south Garland neighborhood. At the time the group had roughly 160 members, 40 of which were children. According to neighbors, as reported in The Dallas Morning News, "they dressed in white, wore cowboy hats and drove luxury cars. They reportedly believed that two young boys in their group were the reincarnations of Jesus and Buddha. They told reporters they had come to Garland to watch God come to Earth and take human form at 10 a.m. on March 31, 1998, at the home of Mr. Chen."

God’s alleged TV appearance on Channel 18, as Chen predicted, failed to materialize. Immediately after the failed prediction some of the members had to return to Taiwan due to visa problems. In total, roughly two-thirds abandoned the group and an estimated 30 members moved to Lockport, New York. The group entered a sharp decline after the failed prophecies and virtually nothing was heard of them after 2001 and the current whereabouts of Hon-Ming Chen are unknown.

(From a sermon by Victor Yap, "The Blessed Hope: The Rapture of the Church" 1/24/2009)

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