Dale Gardener's Letter to 2x2 Overseer Taylor Wood

Dale Gardener's letter to 2x2 overseer Taylor Wood regarding child sexual abuse and misconduct of overseers and workers.

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 Gods 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 Gods 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 Gods 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 Gods 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 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 Gods established procedure in His Word. We hope that all would earnestly pray for Gods mercy and help for His people. It appears that our condition is very similar to the condition of Gods 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.
Signed: Dale Gardner

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