Three Letters By Dale Gardner
Letter No. 1. August 31, 1988 ~ To Taylor Wood and the Church:
We have sought the counsel of many friends and workers, and over and over we are advised to write to you, Taylor. We know that you are aware of how disappointed we are with the outcome of our meeting with you at Elizabeth convention in Colorado this year. We were so glad when the workers called us and asked us to come and tell you how Ira Hobbs lasciviously (Mark 7:22, Galatians 5:19, Ephesians 4:19, I Peter 4: 3, Jude 4) treated our young daughter several years ago. The three of us who talked to you together all felt great disappointment in your reaction to our despair.
We still do not understand why you would not gather the other witnesses who had agreed to testify of similar problems concerning Ira and his concupiscence (Colossians 3:5, I Thessalonians 4:5). Some of the scriptural guidelines that we have found include the following: Matt. 7:15-23; Matt. 18:15-17; Acts 15:4,12,22; I Cor. 5:2,5,6,13; II Cor. 11:12-14; Gal. 5:19-21; II Thes. 2:3,4; II Thes.3:6,7; I Tim. 5.20-21; II Tim. 3:4,5; Titus 1:13-16; II Peter 2:1-3; II John 9-11; Jude 3,4; Rev. 2:2,6,14,15,20; Rev. 3:1,8,15,16; Deut. 13:14; Judges 19:30; Judges 20:1,7,8; Jer. 23; Ezek. 34. We plead with you to make it known to Ira and the church that the accusers, the accused and the witnesses need to gather and proceed with handling this problem by the directions and instructions in the word of God.
We also know that Horace Burgess has been involved in concupiscence and lasciviousness and uncleanness (Romans 1:24; Ephesians 5:3; I Thes.4:7) with young girls for several decades. We know those who are willing to testify before the church about him. Again, we ask that you make it known to the church that his problem needs to be openly examined by the victims, accusers and witnesses. Horace was in our home about 12 years ago, and we wish to tell what happened there.
I want to mention a situation that should help us to understand why these things need to be handled openly before the church as in Acts 15:4,12,22,23. It has been known by some of our ministry for a number of years that Roy Dietzel, who until recently was head worker of Nebraska, was involved in lascivious behavior. This knowledge was kept hidden in direct disobedience to the word of God, I Tim.5: 20,21.
Because a number of Nebraska elders were godly, wise, and brave enough to stand against those who had hidden this evil, the case was tried. When accused, he denied guilt, but when tried before the church, workers, elders, elders’ wives, and the sister workers whom he had fondled, he confessed his lie and admitted guilt. He was then removed as overseer of Nebraska, but for some reason that no one seems to understand, he was sent to Colorado to be in the work.
The truth of the situation became known to some and a wise young couple expressed that Roy and his companion, Gilbert Reese, could not spend the night in their home, and it evidently became clear that something would have to be done. It was reported that Roy had been put out of the work. We now understand that he was sent to Missouri to continue in the work. Many friends and workers shake their heads in disbelief when they hear these things, and we wonder what we are doing to ourselves. If this case had been handled properly years ago, several sister workers would not have had their precious lives blighted by this man of flesh and pleasure-Jude 11.
Another situation that is of grave concern to many in this area involves a Colorado worker, Kenny Wahlin. He has been accused, by Frank Caler of Colorado Springs, of lasciviousness towards his daughter. Because Frank’s daughter and my daughter have both been advanced on by men who represent themselves as servants of God, we have become convinced that God’s Word teaches that we must earnestly contend for the faith once delivered (Jude 3), and there are certain men crept in unawares…Jude 4. Together, Frank and I went to Kenny and talked with him.
Frank visited with Kenny first in private for several hours. Then in the presence of Frank, a Colorado elder Ed Atkinson, and myself, Kenny confessed that he repeatedly through the years had involvements with many girls, women and sister workers that were lascivious and wrong. He expressed to us that he would write a letter confessing his actions to Frank, myself, George Gittins, and Gilbert Reese. Our meeting was on a Sunday, and he said he would write the letters on the following Tuesday. We waited for a week, the letter did not come, so Frank called him on the phone. Kenny expressed that he had decided that he would not make known what he had lasciviously done in the past with females.
We understand that he has been reprimanded by the workers and that he is to continue in the work. How can it be that he should be allowed to continue in the work, going into the homes of unsuspecting parents of girls and young women? It seems very clear to us that he needs to be rebuked before all that others may fear (I Tim.5:20,2l), and then be removed from the ministry. If he lives pure as a friend and gains a good testimony wherever he decides to work and make a living, then, after a period of time, he might be fit for the ministry. We wonder if the verse in Proverbs 21: 16 does not apply to our family today. The way we are handling these problems would make it appear that we are of the congregation of the dead.
Again, I plead with you Taylor, that you will make it known to the church that we must seek God’s help and guidance to remove ourselves from this horrible condition that we are in, and openly investigate cases like these before the whole church. If we do not follow His direction and word, how can we ever become pure people for Him? Why do we not seem to understand that mercy is the twin of truth, and if we do not place mercy at one end of the balance beam of God’s judgement, and truth at the other end, then we will never arrive at true mercy or truth in our fellowship?
It would seem to us that the key to this problem is simply for our ministry to openly acknowledge that there is a major problem, and that the ministry would openly invite any testimony and witnesses that would help us to follow God’s guidelines in these matters. We pray that those who read this letter will become very concerned, and earnestly search these matters out and encourage our ministry to be open about these problems as God was when he revealed like matters to his people in His written word. We will be glad to explain in more detail to any who may wish to question us about what is happening here in Colorado. We would also very much appreciate help from others in regards to witnesses and testimony as to what these men have been involved in other states. We are finding witnesses both in Colorado and other states, and wish to present the evidence openly to the church that we would follow God’s established procedure in His Word.
We hope that all would earnestly pray for God’s mercy and help for His people. It appears that our condition is very similar to the condition of God’s people in the time of Nehemiah. Let us show God that we care and want His direction and help before he finds it necessary to separate us from Himself, ( Jer.3.8; Hos. 2.2; Rev.3.16).
Please write to us, Taylor.
Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
Letter No. 2. To the Church,
“A time to keep silence and a time to speak” (Ec.3.7) These words have vital meaning for today! We are thankful that there are among God’s workers of today those that moved to speak out about grave problems among us. Because of what has happened in our family we feel that we must also sound the alarm.
To come quickly to the point, workers have been sexually immoral to members of my family. I believe that the scriptures teach that God expects me to warn His people of what is happening, and if I do not He will hold me accountable. (Prov. 24.10-12) After trying for over a year to show our head overseers what is happening so that it will not happen to other children and women in the church, I feel there is no other choice left than to warn the church. Then fathers and mothers can protect their children and husbands can protect their wives and some of the older children can even protect themselves from this evil.
We have had workers tell us that some of these men have been sexually immoral for as many as 30 years! We do not understand why the overseers do not remove them from the shelter and place of the ministry! These problems have always been among the church but God’s word teaches that we are not to hide it, but to expose and move to keep it from corrupting the church. Please read I Cor 5 for Pauls’s direction on how to take care of such matters. The man involved was probably not a worker, but how much more important that it be properly handled when it is a worker! They cause so much havoc in the church and in lives from their position of trust when they are immoral men!
Paul taught (I Cor 5) that sexual immorality must be dealt with quickly and properly to preserve sincerity and truth. How could it be any different today? Harry Brownlee told several of us of how painful it was to him when he heard Roy Dietzel confess to sexual immorality at his trial after previously lying and pleading not guilty. Then it was our turn to feel pain when Harry expressed that he felt the mistake made was that Roy was not sent far away to a place where he was not known to continue in the ministry! George Gittins told us that he had warned the sister workers about what Roy had been doing to females when Roy was sent to Colorado. George said he did not feel it necessary to warn the saints about the problem, even though Roy has been involved in such things for over a decade! We must be a part of the congregation of the dead! (Prov 21.16)
Many may feel, like I did at first, that this can not happen among us. Please read I Cor 5, Acts 15.20, Rom 1.21-32, Jude, Eph 5.3-12, I Pet 2, II John 9-1l, etc. for confirmation that it can and has happened and that God and his apostles (Jude 17,18) warned us and told us what to do.
Sexual immorality is a grave problem (Acts 15.20) that needs to be taken care of but of even greater concern is a senior ministry that tries to hide these things (II John 11) and allow them to continue for decades and will not call the victims, accused and witnesses to find the truth and deal with it by Gods word! We have talked in person to Taylor Wood, Murray Keene, Gilbert Reese and others about these matters and have become keenly aware that they want to hide this from the church. Hiding these problems will not help the church, the past or future victims or the men that have proven themselves lustful and corrupt! God did not hide these matters in the Bible so why should Taylor, Murray or any other man? However, we have talked to other workers who have told us that those who do such things should be put out of the work. Please read Jude to find what God has done in the past about such corruption. Do we want to wait for similar action or will we take care of these problems ourselves as God’s word teaches to those who have hearts to care. Paul withstood Peter before the face before others when Peter was so wrong and later Peter wrote of Paul as “Our beloved Brother Paul” Those were both true men who wanted truth held up!
We have talked to victims, parents, relatives and witnesses about the sexual immorality of Ira Hobbs, Kenny Wahlin, Roy Dietzel, and Horace Burgess. How can anyone feel that we should hide these men instead of taking care of the problem by the word of God? Ira and Kenny have both confessed before witnesses that they have done these things repeatedly. Kenny even had the strange attitude of stating that in all cases it was only with eligible girls and women! When they and others do this over and over for years from area to area, how does anyone think they have repented? Are we more concerned in hiding these things than in protecting innocent children and women? If taken care of properly it will limit the lives contaminated and also give the corrupt men a chance at true repentance and salvation! ( I Cor 5.5)
Some feel these matters should not be known by children or strangers. God’s Word teaches different. His word is open to all, young or old, saint or stranger. Many people respond to this kind of problem more in line with God’s word than we do! Also, children need to know if the workers will not do what God said to do about these things. Strangers among us may be able to help us see how sick and sleepy God’s people have become. The word of God teaches about these things happening, but we His people seem to not understand!
When we talked to Murray about Ira and Kenny, he said they have repented and are doing better and God has forgiven them! He said he would not warn the church about what they had been doing! How does this make sense when both men have confessed to doing these things for years in different states? When we talked to Taylor and told him what Ira had done to our daughter he said, “Is that the worst thing he did?” Garret refused to talk to us about the matter. One of Ira’s victims told us that when she talked to Garret about what Ira had done to her, Garret told her to “not tell anyone!”
We have concluded that we must sound the alarm so that others will not face the agony that these men have brought to many lives. Also we need to use God’s way to deal with them so that these corrupt men can truly repent and have eternal life! We feel the only answer left is to warn the whole church so that fathers, mothers, husbands, grandparents, children and strangers can pray to God for His help so that we can become of age(Heb 5.12-14) as God’s people and follow His way instead of mans strange, ungodly, distorted method that can only result in corruption of Gods people.
Murray told us that we are out of place in these matters. We are in a place we would rather not be, however, we feel that we cannot be silent. Some of God’s people have come to us and told us that they have known for years what Ira has been doing to females in the church. We can only weep that they did not warn us in time so that we could protect our daughter from his lust. Now we must warn others so they will not face what she faced. We feel we must send this information allover the world to workers, elders and friends, We hope that if many know that many know, then true believers among God’s people will work to learn His will and do it in these things.
These are very serious accusations and the accused should be tried before the church to be found either guilty or innocent. If the victims, witnesses and accusers are making false accusations, this needs to be made known so that the names and reputations of the accused will be cleared. I plead for the opportunity to present the evidence before the workers, elders and friends, following the order of God’s word in the matter. If any feel that these things should be examined by the word and order of God, please make it known. We can, like some, try to calm ourselves and others by saying, “God allows it,” or we can stand fast for truth and not be fearful and afraid. What will God think of those who are afraid to stand for Him and “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered”!
Do we understand what David knew concerning’ reproach on Israel’? (I Sam 17.26)
AGAIN I PLEAD WITH YOU TAYLOR AND MURRAY TO REMOVE THIS REPROACH YOU HAVE BROUGHT ON YOURSELVES AND ON GODS PEOPLE.
Colorado Springs, Co 80908
NOTE: The following workers mentioned above have passed away: Horace Burgess, Roy Dietzel, Harry Brownlee, Taylor Wood, Murray Keene, George Gittins. Kenny Wahlin left the work and married and passed away. Ira Hobbs and Leslie White were put out of the work.
Letter No. 3. February 28, 2008
To Scott Ross, Lyle Schober, overseers, workers, friends, judges and juries of the courts,
I want to thank you Scott for informing me about the fact that Ira Hobbs has been removed from his position as overseer in the ministry of the Christian group of believers registered with the US government as Church of Christian Conventions, and known among its followers as The Truth, The Way, The Faith, etc.
Because I was raised as a part of this fellowship from the time I was a young child, I have been aware of sexual immorality in the ministry starting from my early childhood. It is interesting to note the history of the originator of this group, William Irvine, and the historical evidence that he also was a sexually immoral man, with a bastard son. He came to a very strange, and historically documented ending, being thrown out of the fellowship, and rightfully so.
My father in the gospel was Hugh Mathews, one of the early workers (ministers) to come to the US from the British Isles, and in fact, one of the early ministers of this group that was started by William in the 1890s. Hugh was a true servant of God, in my opinion, and was often in trouble with the overseers, because he stood for God’s truth. He was not willing to compromise with what was right, and gave his whole heart into being a mouthpiece for God.
To this day, although I lost my respect for this organization, I continue to have the highest respect for Hugh and his love for God and souls, for his honesty, integrity, and unyieldingness to wicked overseers. I believe it is nearly impossible to find other men at the level of quality and Godliness of Hugh Matthews. I do also believe that there are still men and women, both followers and workers, of high quality in the group, but suspect that they are few and far between. They are in a very dangerous position, close to, and controlled by workers and overseers, many of whom are ‘the leaven that corrupts.’
All of that to say that I am quite amazed that there are still men like Lyle in the ministry. I have been out of the group for many years, as a result of Ira’s sexual immorality with my daughter, but suspected that the ministry was likely wholly corrupted by this time (see l Cor. 5). I do not know Lyle, but Scott has told me that Lyle is working to address the cancer in the fellowship, of ministers in the group who are pedophiles. I am amazed that he is brave enough to attempt this, and even more amazed that the head overseers have not shut him up, one way or another.
From my experience with the overseers, in trying to expose Ira and see him put out of the fellowship, I have zero respect for Ira’s head overseers, whom we exposed him to. I personally, and face to face, talked to Murray Keene, Taylor Wood, Garrett Hughes and Leslie White, about Ira’s immorality with my young daughter, and to my dismay, found that they all said Ira would not do that, and that I must stop talking about it. I did not stop, so the ministry quickly put me out of the fellowship. I have no proof, but very much suspect that each of these men was also involved in sexual immorality. That seems to me the only logical reason why they would hide and cover a fellow minister who was sexually immoral with children.
God said, through Paul, “Those that sin, rebuke before all, and use no partiality.” The overseers I exposed Ira to, said, “Ira didn’t do that, and stop talking about it:” a very big contrast, and far from the directions in God’s word about sin in the body of believers. It makes it very obvious that there is great sickness in the overseer ship of the fellowship, and that the only scriptural cure is to put out of the fellowship both those who have/are molesting children, as well as those who have/are hiding the pedophiles. It will be very painful, to the entire body, but it is God’s way. Even if it removes most of the ministry, it is God’s way. Better to start now, than wait and let them continue to corrupt the body. Please read Jude, and get busy!
I became aware of sexual immorality in the ministry when I was a young child in the 1950s. I overheard my father and mother talking to Harry Brownlee about one of Harry’s companions who had been put out of the work for sexual immorality. Harry was under the overseership of Eddie Cornock, who in my opinion was another righteous man. These workers did not hide the worker, deny his actions, and leave him in the work to continue his evil deeds. They simply put him out. It is so sad that for many decades, many overseers have chosen, over and over, to hide, conceal, and cover these men, and allow them to continue preying on children. In my opinion, these overseers are just as guilty, before God, as the pedophiles.
My brother, who also professed many years ago, once said, “The only thing worse than men who represent themselves as ministers of God, and molest children, is a group of Christian people who allow such evil men to continue as ministers of the group.” I very much agree with him. God gave believers both the tools and the method to remove these men from the ministry and fellowship. It is found in II John 1.10. In its beautiful simplicity, if practiced, it allows true believers to immediately remove evil workers and overseers from the fellowship. Just don’t take them into your home and provide for them. Very quickly, the evil one has to find a job, go to work, provide for self, and hopefully, thru the process, repent of his evil.
If the church had followed God’s directions, thru Paul, Peter, Jude, and John, they could be a strong, healthy group of believers, well pleasing to the Father. Instead, in general, they are a group of blind followers, following a ministry that has taught them that the “Truth” is the only group where believers can gain salvation. This ministry, for decades, taught that it was from the beginning, (I personally heard the worker Alex Anderson say that when I was a young child in the 50s.) The workers and overseers developed a hold and control over the believers that prevented the proper functioning of the church to control sin and evil men in the church. What a shame! The leaven that corrupts!
My uncle, Tom Young, a worker in Canada, was sent down to talk to me, before I was put out of the church. The desire of the head overseers in the eastern half of the USA, was that I be shut up, and left in the group. They hoped that Tom could accomplish this. In the process, my uncle told me and my mother (Tom’s sister), “that this had happened many times in Canada (workers molesting children), and that the girls get over it and ‘we’ can’t put the workers out, because we have so few workers, and need them so bad.” Needless to say, I have never again communicated with Tom Young, and never plan to, unless he should someday admit what an abominable statement that was, both to men and God. I am ashamed to have an uncle who is so sick and evil. He is disgusting, but was trained by a long line of evil workers and overseers. The leaven corrupted.
I find myself quite amazed at how the anger in my being has boiled up as I write. I apologize to those who read this letter who are godly workers and friends. I am confident that there are still a few in this corrupted and dying fellowship. It is presently an exceedingly sick and disgusting group of believers. If those of you who are still uncorrupted do not straighten this mess out, then I believe it would be far best if this fellowship would disappear from the face of the earth. God has given you the tools so that even a few can clean the evil from the group. Are you willing for the cost?
To those of you who have molested children, or hid those who have, I hope that you are quickly put out of the work and the fellowship. You are exceedingly evil! You belong in prison, and I hope that’s where you end. I also hope, because
I believe it is God’s will, that in being “given over to Satan”, from your prison cell, you repent, and gain salvation. I very much believe that Ira Hobbs belongs in prison, and I hope that is where he ends, for the many girls he has so seriously damaged over a period of at least 50 years. I also believe my Uncle Tom should spend time in prison for his evil hiding of men like Ira. After we were put out, we spend a lot of effort and time in trying to understand what was happening in the group, and many old-timers told us that it had been going on for decades, and nobody seemed to know what to do about it. It was a common saying in the group, “whatever the workers say”, instead of “what does God say.” The leaven corrupted.
If any that might read this letter would have any reason to communicate with me, I am willing.
Colorado Springs, CO