Internado (Spanish for boarding house).
The Internado was brought into existence by the donations of the Restoration saints and the administration of Bob Bunch. Bob Bunch is not a member of the JCRB and does not support them.
In 2005 the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches (JCRB) representatives went down to Honduras attempting to organize the saints there under their organization. The bulk of the Honduran saints rejected the JCRB. By the early part of 2007 the JCRB acquired the Internado, which they did not build or support. After only two short years I guess the JCRB would like us all to forget the incident. I bring this up because at least one supporter of the JCRB is now complaining that they are not welcome to come to some Restoration branches and speak about their own humanitarian project.
I myself delineate between "JCRB driving force" and "JCRB supporter". The antagonists in this drama are those in leadership positions within the JCRB. In my opinion this negates any claim that the JCRB is not responsible for these actions. (lma)
Order of events
1988 or so
Wayne Simmons, (Neil Simmons’ father) asks Bob Bunch to raise funds for the mission in Honduras. Bob does, helps children go to school, keeps excellent records, everything is wonderful. Neil Simmons has no part in it. (lma)
Neil Simmons is presently the President of Seventy of the JCRB. Rudy Leutzinger and Bob Moore are his closest allies. The troubles in Honduras began in 2005 at the inception of the JCRB. (lma)
posted Aug 12
(Bob Bunch speaking) "It was only Patriarch/Evangelist Wayne Simmons, Neil's father, who asked me to raise funds for the work in Honduras, not manage funds as there were no funds available to manage until I was able to raise some. I was given a couple dozen names of those who showed an interest in helping. I did not even know that there was a Neil Simmons until some time later and had little or no contact with him for the next eighteen years." (Bob Bunch)
(Bob Bunch speaking) "In 1991 when I hired Gary Metzger to come down to do missionary work he arranged for a group here in the states to finance him and to reinstate providing funds for the priesthood again. That arrangement went on in some way at some time involving LAMB. As I understand it Lamb was providing funds for the expenses involved in missionary work".LAMB (Latin American Missions Board) is not a part of the JCRB. (lma)
"Gary Metzger was supported for his seven years in Honduras and Chuck Sperry has been supported for the twelve years he has been there." (Bob Bunch)
The LAMB Newsletter January 2007 • Issue12 will have an article concerning the paying of ministers in Honduras.( lma)
Bob Bunch gets a tax ID number for the missionary work in Honduras. (lma)
(Bob Bunch speaking) "I mentioned to your pastor, Jim Crawford, that I was in need of an IRS tax number so my contributors could claim their contributions for tax purposes and Jim was agreeable to let me use the one Zion's Outpost had. I believe there was a Zion's Outpost business meeting action that sanctioned this".( Bob Bunch)
8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. (Exodus 1)
Now there arose up a new pastor over Zion’s Outpost, which knew not Bob Bunch. (lma)
The first official meeting of the JCRB was on November 11, 2005. I do not know if this visit was made before or after the first JCRB conference. In November 2005 a couple of Seventy went down and told them they were being organized as a national district. From this account we know that Chuck Sperry was an active member of the JCRB as early as April 2006. (lma)
Chuck has corresponded with me on Nov. 27 and claims that he is not a member of the JCRB. That could be true. He says the last conference he was at was in 2007. I cannot verify a great deal of his side of the story since he does not want it shared and I do not have access to all his references. But I have also had JCRB supporters say that they do not know what a JCRB seventy is, and those who call the driving force leaders to be "JCRB supporters" and websites that are plainly JCRB websites are merely websites of "JCRB supporters". There is a great deal of semantics going on and hard to know the truth. (lma)
Update September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Seventy Gary Whiting Ministering in Honduras
Seventy Gary Whiting leaves September 25, 2010 for Siguatepeque, Honduras to serve for a couple of weeks with Elder Charles Sperry and his family, who reside there providing full time ministy. Please keep the Saints in Honduras in your prayers.
(bold added by Lois)
(Bob Bunch speaking) "In November 2005 a couple of Seventy went down and told them they were being organized as a district and they laid hands on Elder Socorro Vasquez and set him to be a District President. Brother Socorro was already the Honduran Mission President by virtue of him being elected by the body of priesthood. Neither he nor any of the others were aware that this was all being done under the auspices of the JCRB. They learned that when three of them came to the conference in April. One of those three did know but the other two did not. That one was Chuck Sperry. The two who did not know returned to Honduras confused as to what had really taken place." (Bob Bunch)
Conference Resolutions, April 6, 2006
All Passed Resolutions through April 2009
"JCR #30, Seating of the delegation from the Honduras National Conference submitted by the Credentials Committee
Whereas, the JCRB encourages participation by delegations from countries outside the United States as noted in the rule on Representation from Delegations Outside the United States; and
Whereas, sixteen branches and missions in Honduras held a conference and elected 3 delegates to represent them in
this Conference; therefore be it
Resolved that the National/District Conference of Honduras with a total membership of 420 saints—250 of which are
designated as active—shall be represented by Socorro Vasquez, Antonio Orellana, and Charles Sperry with
the equivalent of 83 member votes each."
June 6, 2006 The Honduran priesthood sends a letter of rejection to the JCRB.
posted Jul 9, 2006
(Honduran priesthood speaking)
"June 6, 2006Sometime between June 6, 2006 and August 25, 2006
To: The official leaders of the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches (J.C.R.B.)
In regard: Member of J.C.R.B.
On June 3, 2006 the priesthood of the RESTORATION CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST (Honduran Mission), met to handle with all respect our affiliation with the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches.
Of a total of 20 members of the priesthood 14 were present. The vote of disagreement was unanimous, because the procedure that they have been utilizing is not the adequate one.
Please inform yourself of our position to prevent contentions and conflicts. We are not able to accept that members of the priesthood from the J.C.R.B. come to occupy our pulpits.
We trust and pray that this notification will be accepted with the same spirit that it has been proposed, since we feel that what we are doing, and have been doing for many years is just, correct and acceptable to our God.
May our God continue blessing all those who serve him in truth and righteousness.
Members of the the priesthood of the Honduran Mission
who were present.
[Listing of the 14 priesthood members omitted]"
Neil and Frank Frye go down to change their minds. I will underline some things which I question. (lma)
Frank Frye is a seventy in the JCRB. (lma)
posted August 25, 2006
(Neil Simmons speaking) "Brother Frank Frye and I went to Honduras to visit with the priesthood of Honduran National Conference. They had previously written a letter to the Joint Conference of Branches (JCRB) indicating their desire to withdraw from that conference, and further indicating that no priesthood member of any branch of that conference would be recognized in Honduras. The Joint Conference of Branches had mandated that the Seventy propose a missionary budget for the coming year for the JCRB allocating the $150,000 they had approved. In light of the letter sent by the brethren in Honduras it was not possible for the Seventy to include anything in the JCRB budget for the Church in Honduras. Concerned about this letter and its implications for the Saints in Honduras, brother Frye and I contacted the President of the National Conference in Honduras, brother Socorro Vasquez."(Neil Simmons)
This is fair. If the Honduran saints do not wish to be included in the JCRB, then of course they should not be included in the budget of the JCRB. But as we follow events, we must wonder how much influence the JCRB was exerting over the Conference of Restoration Elders, and LAMB. (lma)
(Neil Simmons speaking) "We addressed the issues of funds while we were in Honduras. We explained why their letter had prevented the Seventy from putting a line item in the JCRB budget for the work in Honduras. We did NOT tell them that their funds would be cut off from LAMB if they did not rejoin the Conference of Branches. Such allegations are as deceptive as they are foolish. The Seventy do not control the funds of LAMB. In fact, we carefully explained to the priesthood in Honduras that for the balance of the year they would have to depend on LAMB to continue support to the work in Honduras, and that we would do what was possible to help with that support. (Neil Simmons)
Yet the JCRB had their representatives in the Conference of Restoration Elders (CRE) and other places. They had their influence in many places. (lma)
(Neil Simmons cont.) While we could not provide financial support out of the treasury of the Joint Conference of Branches, nevertheless, we assured them that the work in Honduras would continue to receive support from the Conference of Elders through the LAMB board. We reminded them that the Seventy had a policy of supporting both the Conference of Elders and the Joint Conference of Branches. Brother Simmons explained that some of the current difficulty was simply attributable to the fact that the Conference of Elders did not have anyone serving as a treasurer at the moment, and that funding had been somewhat delayed for lack of anyone to write checks. " (Neil Simmons)
posted by Linda Trimble Jun 11, 2007
Linda Trimble is a member of the JCRB and held a committee position at this time. (lma)
Please notice the dates. (lma)(Aaron Rhoads speaking) "The statement that LAMB has ceased providing funds is not accurate. LAMB can only send funds when we receive funds from the CRE, unless we approve a non-budgeted expenditure to cover the lack of funds. The CRE treasurer has failed to process checks since April so we have been funding Honduras out of our reserves since then, anticipating that the funds would eventually be sent our way. While we haven't been funding Honduras at 100% of the budget, we've been sending about 85% each month despite having not received funds." (Aaron Rhoads of LAMB)
Steve Mapes was the treasurer of the Conference of Elders. (lma)
posted by Linda Trimble Jun 11, 2007
(Linda Trimble speaking ) Steve Mapes is the treasurer.
I received this response from him:
(Steve Mapes speaking) Thanks for passing along Linda.
Aaron, just want to clarify a bit so things are clearer:
- - About 75% of LAMB donations are passed directly to LAMB through the CRE office on a weekly basis (donations earmarked 100% to LAMB) - - The other 25% is are donations split between LAMB and other CRE outreach efforts and the LAMB portion is transferred periodically - - The CRE transferred $1970 sent last week (for April and May) and very little was due to April giving - - nothing to drive the issues outlined in the emails. (Steve Mapes)
Steve Mapes must have become the CRE treasurer after the previous person served as CRE treasurer for two months, from April, conference time, until he resigned two months later. (I am deleting the name of the CRE treasurer who served for those two months as I do not know his part in the events. lma)
The CRE treasurer who served for two months had been an active member of the JCRB since its inception in 2005. I don’t know what his status is at the present time. We are not told why he resigned after two months as treasurer for the CRE. (lma)
CONFERENCE OF RESTORATION BRANCHES
Saturday, November 12, 2005
There was a great deal of conflict of interest between the JCRB and the CRE. It came to a head in April 2008. (lma)
posted Aug 26, 2006
(Joy Muir speaking) The JCRB has a very capable treasurer. Eldon Anderson. He can and does write checks. You have misundertsood what was written. It is the CRE that had no treasurer. (Name deleted by Lois as I do not know his part it this) was elected to that position at the April EC...he resigned 2 months later. (Joy Muir)
(Neil Simmons continues) "We wish that the saints in the USA would have confidence that no one among the Seventy or the Evangelism Council of the Conference of Elders including the LAMB board, nor the Committee for Evangelism of the JCRB has any desire to hurt, hinder, or otherwise injure the work in Honduras. On the contrary, these organizations are responsible to their respective conferences and are held accountable to them for their ministries. Bob Bunch has a completely personal and independent agenda in the country of Honduras. He provides money and support for certain priesthood families through his own funding requests to the Saints. "
"We did acknowledge that the Seventy have a role in the budget process for the Joint Conference of Branches. We did explain that their decision to cut themselves off from the many branches of the church represented by the JCRB made it impossible to include the Honduran church in the JCRB budget process for this fiscal year. We did not discuss figures, and we did not try to lure the priesthood into accepting the JCRB to get money. Those who say this are denigrating the integrity of everyone present in that meeting." (Neil Simmons)
December 9, 2006 Chuck Sperry discovers the deed and lets Gary Whiting know.
posted May 5, 2007
(Bob Bunch speaking) "But no, I was going to be magnanimous and in that priesthood meeting of November 18th I stood and told them all that I was very happy to give the Internado to them and they were to take the copy of the deed that I was giving them and have an attorney draw up the new deed and I would sign it over to them. They were all excited about this and I came back to the States satisfied that they would have it all taken care of and I could go down again soon to sign the deed. Even with this course of action there would have been no 'problem'.
The problem began when Chuck looked at the copy of the deed and saw Zion's Outpost Missionary Fund listed as one for which I was a representative, beings I listed myself as a missionary. December 9th was the date Chuck contacted Zion's Outpost, Inc and "surprised" them with the information that they might be owners of the Internado. For sixteen years they did not know anything about ownership of any Honduran property. At once ZO had Chuck retain an attorney who was easily convinced that he should declare ZO as the owners. To do otherwise would not have been profitable. This is the way it works there. He was also convinced to send a letter to Socorro advising him that he was not to utilize the facilities any longer. Shortly thereafter he was convinced to retract that and tell Socorro that the Saints could use the Internado but they would have to arrange it with Chuck who was ZO's designated agent. This attorney told Socorro that he advised Mr. Sperry to organize a group and elect officers and he would file papers with the government listing them as the rightful church in Honduras. This seemed the profitable thing to do. (Bob Bunch)
posted Aug 12(Bob Bunch responding to Neil Simmons) "You are right, the Internado was bought by the saint’s money and when it is sold the money will be used for furthering the educational program as well as providing funds for additional missionary work. NOW, where did you get the information that the Internado is "legally owned by Bob Bunch¹s Honduran wife"????? That statement is absolutely false and is made with no evidence on your part and is meant as another blow to assassinate my character. I have the deed to the property in my possession and I would be glad to show it to anyone who cares to look at it. Associated with this same effort to attack me, Chuck Sperry called my pastor and told him that I was selling the Internado and was going to give the money to my wife¹s family there in Honduras. Need I say anything more?" (Bob Bunch)
Neil Simmons makes allegations about Bob Bunch. It seems that the intent is to convince us that Bob Bunch was going to give the money to his wife’s family. (lma)
(Neil Simmons speaking):" ...but rather the contributions of the church members provided funds so that these youth would be able to attend Honduran educational facilities while they live in a "boarding house" bought by the saints money, and legally owned by Bob Bunch's Honduran wife."
February 17, 2007
Gary Whiting writes a letter to the saints, rationalizing the actions of Chuck Sperry, Zion’s Outpost, and claiming that the JCRB has nothing to do with it. (lma)
Zion’s Outpost Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ
Gary R. Whiting, Presiding Elder
Gary Whiting was present at the first JCRB conference in November 2005. He has been vice president of the JCRB from at least the 2007-2008 year. He is editor of their newsletter, and recently ordained a JCRB seventy. (lma)
First, he wants to "address in this letter the rumors, accusations, suspicions and fears which are apparently circulating within the ranks of Restoration Branch members.
He hopes we will understand the actions taken by Zion’s Outpost.
It was brought to their attention, allegedly by Chuck Sperry that the Internado could come into their possession on December 9, 2006 (lma)
posted Apr 27, 2007
(Bob Bunch speaking) "The deed for that property, known as the Internado (Spanish for boarding house), is in the name of Robert Willis Bunch and I have the original deed in my possession. That deed states that I was a missionary and as such that I represented Zion's Outpost Missionary Fund, an entity that I originated as a label for my monthly financial report and which never was a part of the Zion's Outpost, Inc. church. That label served me well for over sixteen years until Zion's Outpost and I began to differ in our view of JCRB. My sole relationship with ZO was when Jim Crawford, then (1992) pastor of ZO, volunteered the use of their IRS tax number in receipting contributors to my educational project in Honduras.
Last fall I switched to another source for that tax number.
At no time in all these years has any of the half-million dollars that has been involved ever gone through the ZO Church. They never gave one cent towards the purchase of that property. On December 20, 2006, Gary Whiting wrote me saying, "Our branch was taken by surprise when we received an email that suggested the Internado may be the property of Zion's Outpost, Inc." Since that time, ZO with their designated agent, Chuck Sperry, have taken over the Internado and with only the word of their attorney have claimed control of it." (Bob Bunch)Concerning the copy of title/purchase agreement, Gary Whiting says, "We did not ask for it, nor did we have any aspirations to obtain the building or any of the resources associated with it". (Gary Whiting)
No, it just fell into their laps. I can just imagine the scene, can’t you?. (lma)
Then they begin the legal maneuvering. (lma)
(Gary Whiting speaking) "After examining the document and noting the wording used in the agreement, we asked Brother Charles Sperry to take the document to a lawyer in Honduras to determine if Zion’s Outpost had legal obligations and if the property legally belonged to Zion’s Outpost, Inc. Brother Sperry was asked to represent us because he is a long time friend and former member of Zion’s Outpost Branch who has integrity and is someone we know we can trust. He has lived in Honduras for about twelve years, speaks fluent Spanish and understands the cultures of Honduras and the United States." (Gary Whiting)
Gary Whiting says,
"1. The only ownership claim Zion’s Outpost, Inc. makes is that found in the wording of the purchase agreement utilized in the 1992 purchase. We have no other interest in the property other than exercising a temporary stewardship over these properties.
2. The title work we are doing is not in any way associated with, directed by or otherwise influenced by the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches (JCRB). We have neither sought nor been offered any counsel by any elected officer of the JCRB in this matter.
3. We have not exerted any effort to convince the Honduran saints for or against the JCRB or any other church, organization or conference." (Gary Whiting)
All the people involved in this action are prominent JCRB members. (lma)
(Gary Whiting cont.) 5. The saints and priesthood of the Siguatepeque Branch in Honduras and the priesthood have been specifically invited and authorized to continue to utilize the Internado and the connected church building for the meeting of all members of the Siguatepeque branch. The only legal restriction is that the services be open to all of the members of the branch who desire to attend. There has been no lockout or legal restrictions to prevent access to the place of worship or usual branch activities. In other matters, the saints and priesthood of Honduras have been asked to notify Zion’s Outpost and obtain permission to perform other activities as long as we are stewards of the property." (Gary Whiting)
posted Apr 28, 2007 Chuck Sperry and Zion’s Outpost get an attorney in Honduras. (lma)
(Bob Bunch speaking) "He immediately issued a letter to brother Socorro telling him that he did not have permission to use the Internado any longer. This was another edict by the attorney, not a judge or court."
"Gary, what about the letter the attorney sent to brother Socorro that told him that he was not to enter the property? Surely you were aware of that. I wondered if you or was it Chuck that instructed him to send that letter. I know that following that letter he did sent another stating that they could use it, but only with the permission of your agent, Chuck Sperry." (Bob Bunch)
Dec 26, 2007
Chuck Sperry was silenced by the priesthood in Honduras. Was it a legitimate silencing, going through all the proper channels, etc.? I don’t know. But the Honduran priesthood were not happy with him and no longer wanted his ministry. (lma)
(Bob Bunch speaking) "….how that Chuck Sperry (silenced by unanimous priesthood assembled) met at the suggestion of his (and Zion's Outpost's) lawyer that he should organize and elect officers so that they could attempt to be "the church" in Honduras, then Gary Whiting, president of Zion's Outpost as well as vice president of JCRB. could make good (?) on his statement that he only wants to give the property to the Saints there". (Bob Bunch)
Gary Whiting says that rumor-mongering, lies and suspicions do not behoove the saints of God." This is a charge that the proponents of the JCRB have been making ever since their inception. Most of the rumors have indeed come true. (lma)
He closes his letter
Your Servant in Christ Jesus
Gary R. Whiting,
Presiding Elder, Zion’s Outpost Branch
President, Zion’s Outpost, Inc.
He should have added,
Representative of the Conference of Branches (JCRB) but he chose not to. (lma)
June 25, 2008
As of June 2008 the majority of the Honduran priesthood will not accept the JCRB. (lma)
posted Jun 27, 2008
Date: June 25, 2008
From: The Priesthood of The Restoration Church of Jesus Christ.
For: Whoever is interested
We the Priesthood of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ in Honduras declare the following:
a - We are not accepting in our congregations any member of the priesthood of the J.C.R.B. as a missionary.
b - Anyone from the priesthood of the Conference of Elders who want to come will be well received when they come identified as what group they are with.
c - We thank you beforehand your collaboration. We write in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(the signatures of sixteen priesthood members in Honduras. (lma)
As of this date, November 2009, has Zion’s Outpost handed the Internado over to those 400 or so saints? I don’t think so. The Internado is in the hands of Zions's Outpost, who did not create or sustain it. The saints can only use it at the permission of Chuck Sperry and Zion's Outpost. I find it simply amazing that anyone could ever make the claim that the JCRB had nothing to do with it. Doesn’t this remind one of the bad old days of the RLDS/CofC hierarchy and their methods?
Lois M. Anderson
edited November 27, 2009, reposted December 27