Monday, December 13, 2010

Larry Salyer and International Ambassador Outreach (IAO) Website

Mr. Larry Salyer is listed in the directors page of the International Ambassador Outreach (IAO) website, along with Arnold Mendez, Sr. and Leon Walker.

Review of IAO website:

The site states that it is not a church nor will it become one, but that it was set up to meet the financial needs of Church of God congregations around the world. Originally intended to meet the needs of areas outside the United States, it now intends to provide financial assistance to ministers in the United States during a time of transition due to the current UCG crisis. It also lists as one of its goals to provide financial assistance for the preaching of the gospel to the world through various means such as print, the Internet, and electronic media, so I presume that part of the money contributed by IAO to local pastors and their congregations can be used for the purpose of preaching the gospel to the world.

The site states "IAO will be making application for exemption to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to have them declare IAO [EIN 27-3007906] exempt from federal income tax as an organization described in section 501(c)(3)."

Donations made as of December 5th, 2010 can be used by IAO for the United States congregations and pastors as well as International areas.

There is no information about how IAO is governed, but I would expect that it is governed collectively by the board of directors. In their directors page, six names are listed: Matthew R. Gus, Cliff Demarest, Arnold Cisco Mendez, Sr., Robert L. Paine, II, Larry Salyer, and Leon Walker. There is a portrait and a short biography of each man. Matthew Gus is the chairman. Larry Salyer is listed as "Director: Advisory Board". Leon Walker is listed as "Latin America Advisor". The other men are listed as "Director". All are members of the Church of God. The site states that the bylaws will be made available after approval of legal counsel.

Quarterly financial reports are made available on the website.

The address of IAO is:

International Ambassador Outreach
P.O. Box 251566
Plano, TX 75025-1566


The same content is shown in this domain:

Director's page:

Post in Shining Light blog:

All I can say is that it will be interesting to see how this develops. This may be a new Church of God organizational model in embryo. I remember that when United Church of God first began to be organized in a meeting or series of meetings in Indiana in 1995, some wanted a more loosely organized church than UCG became, one where local congregations had more autonomy and a headquarters organization and staff was to primarily serve those congregations and their pastors rather than exercise authority over them. IAO may be the start of that kind of organization.

In an unrelated matter, UCG Current Crisis blog has published a letter from Mr. David Jackson, a local elder in Columbia, Maryland, to the Council of Elders and administration, about his concerns after seeing the situation of the Church of God in Chile. In the letter, he describes the suffering in the Church of God in Chile because of the division that has occurred.

Here is a link to that post:

The number of names approving the open letter to Mr. Dennis Luker first sent December 4 as published in the UCG Current Crisis blog continues to grow. It is up to 126 names as of this writing, up from 120 about a day and a half ago.

This letter may be intended to let ministers get an idea of about how many will be signing the petition for a proposal for an investigation to be put up for ballot. The signatories of that petition are being tallied by an independent CPA firm and the names will not be made known until the tally is complete and if the requirement of 25% of the GCE (GCE is about 480 names) is reached. If everyone who has signed this letter also signs the petition, that figure has already been met, NOT COUNTING any ordinations that are made of new ministers and members of the GCE. One of the orders of business of the COE in its meetings was the approval of requests for ordinations, and there has been no news on that front. But the Council only approves the ordinations. The actual ordinations usually take place locally at Sabbath services with the congregations present, so they may be announced in the near future. Ordinations that may have been made last Sabbath may be announced by the administration at any time, and ordinations that may be made next Sabbath may be announced next week. New ordinations will expand the size of the GCE, requiring more signatures on the petition to meet the 25% requirement.

COGwriter blog has reported that a number of UCG members in the Kansas City area, pastored by Mr. Ed Dowd, have left apart from Mr. Dowd, possibly as many as 2/3 of the congregation. This would be the first time I know of in this crisis that a large group of members have left on their own, not being led by a minister. Bob Thiel's report is based on emails he has received and on letters from members published by the UCG Current Crisis site. Apparently, COG members David Yee and Sarah Yee published a letter in Facebook critical of UCG pastor Ed Dowd. The letter expresses the view that Mr. Dowd and the current UCG administration seem to be increasingly Protestant in the flavor of their teachings. Arlene Henderson indicated in Facebook that she liked the letter, and in a meeting with Mr. Dowd confirmed that she still liked the letter. She was then suspended, according to her daughter, Diane Martin, in a letter from Diane and Howard Martin in the UCG Current Crisis website, member letters page.

It is not in the nature of things for a large group of people to remain long without a leader. If the number of people who left the Kansas City congregation is as large as 2/3, or large at all, if they stay together, either they will find a pastor or a leader will emerge from among them. They may go in different directions in small groups, perhaps attending or visiting other Church of God fellowships, such as LCG, and some of them may stay home for a while or gather in small groups in their homes for fellowship on the Sabbath, perhaps listening to recorded sermons for a while until they find a more permanent solution.

Here is a link to the COGwriter post:
Here is a link to the UCG Current Crisis members letters page which publishes letters from Diane and Howard Martin and from David and Sarah Yee:

More to come...

Here are links to related sections in Preaching the Gospel:

A Brief History of the Scattering of the Church, Chapter 5

Government in the Church, Chapter 5

Following the Bible -- Pattern of Government, Chapter 6

Church Government, Chapter 7

How Is the Church Organized?, Chapter 7

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