17-A Corporate History Primer

Note: I am entering the "Grants Pass" period in my narrative; and the period when "the group"  became officially known as "the Assembly of the Body of Christ". It is easier to give the corporate history in a single post since the transformation happened over a period of years. It will be much easier to follow show the money side of the ABC church business all at once rather than trying to list the details in different posts representing different eras.

This post is an abbreviated history of the corporate structure of the Assembly of the Body of Christ (ABC) that developed over a number of years. I have acquired as much information as I am able through public sources, as well as bits and pieces I heard from my dad and others, but there are still bits of the story I will never have access to. This part of the story is deliberately left shrouded by the leaders of the ABC and my status as son of the founder gave me not much more insight into the daily workings than any other person that is not in a leadership role.  Some of this mystery is left behind from the various power struggles over the years but money is power after all, and there is considerable money, and power, in the tithe of the ABC. It is to the direct financial benefit of a very few that the  use of the tithe money not become common knowledge.

Prior to 01/21/1982 the ABC; actually just called “the group” then; stood alone and without any sort of  legal structure. When persons would ask for proof of tithes paid my dad instructed them that  it was unscriptural to claim the tithe on your taxes. To do so would be "robbing God" since the IRS would actually then be paying your tithe and you would end up paying less than the required ten percent. Thus...you will have robbed God.  Certain persons became unhappy with this explanation and pushed for a legal structure that would allow them to claim their tithe as a deduction on their itemized tax return. But this would then mean “the group” would need to form a legal structure, and acquire a name in the process, in order to gain status as a legal non-profit. There was a great bit of consternation with many about forming "the group" into a non-profit corporation, and acquiring a name, but "the group" in Grants Pass hired an attorney anyhow to effect this and, on 01/21/1982, "the group" officially became a non-profit corporation named "The Assembly of the Body of Christ" based in Grants Pass OR. Rodney Graham, a man who was then in the group, was listed as registered agent. On 9/13/1982 my dad, having lost control, countered this move with a California corporation he would have control of and named it "The Mexican Ministry of the Assembly of the Body of Christ".  The registered agent was Michelle Oslund, a woman in the group at the time. After my father's death Michelle left the ABC completely and joined with a group Yvonne started in Tijuana Mexico and this Mexican Ministry  corporation was  dissolved.

In 1983, and well into 1984, the ABC went through the largest upheaval of its existence in both San Diego and Grants Pass. A separate corporation was formed in Colorado in August 1984 by Gilbert Larson and this finally removed corporate control from the Grants Pass group entirely. The Grants Pass corporation remained in existence just a short while longer and, on 7/24/1985 was dissolved.
Three months later, in October of 1985, my father had a massive heart attack in a Mexican restaurant in San Diego and died.

Since I had been disowned by my father in January of 1984, as well as being ex-communicated from the church, I work from third party reports on some of these facts during these years. From reports of others I heard the torch of control was uncertain for quite some time. Ultimately  that torch passed to Gilbert Larson, who had now proclaimed himself to be an apostle since he had founded a new group in Denver Colorado, and David North, from what I heard, was one of the contenders for control. He was not able to wrest control but was eventually named "the prophet",was given a home to live in paid by for by the ABC, a salary, and partial control. David had been one of the predominant players in "The Mexican Ministry" but ultimately lost in the power chess game that ensued after my father's death.  Yvonne had attempted to maintain control but was unable and left to form her own church. I had no desire to take a leadership role in my dad's church and would not have accepted even if it was offered. Those vying for power eventually pushed out Yvonne, my dad's spouse and eventually took control of his entire estate. I did receive, in the mail, a toy gong that once belonged to my dad. I had given it to him as a joke when he was laid up in bed with a severe illness when I was fourteen. This came in a box from Yvonne with a note telling me my dad wanted me to have this after his death. It was intended as an insult.

A little over five years later, on 3/11/91, two new corporations were formed in Washington state and that is where they remain today. The officers of both of these corporations are or were Gilbert Larson, Caralee Larson and James Shierman per the last public record I obtained.  Previously David North had shown as an officer. I am uncertain what led to the forming of these new corporations. The corporations are named  "Assembly of the Body of Christ" and "Assembly of the Body of Christ, Northwest Ministry". Click on "Additional Information" when following these links to view the officers. It is unclear why two separate corporations were formed instead of just one. Both have always been renewed when they are about to expire but in March of 2014 the "Assembly of the Body of Christ" corporation was allowed to expire and now only the one corporation "The Assembly of the Body of Christ, Northwest Ministry" continues. (Click pictures to enlarge)

I asked over the years, as an elder and faithful contributor, for an accounting of how the tithe money was spent. Each time my request for information was refused and I was instructed I just needed to trust God that the money was being spent correctly.  I had seen how money was spent over the years and what I saw was certain individuals fulfilling their own desires with the money, including my dad. I knew the system in place allowed no method of oversight by the people and so could be subject to great abuse by those who had set themselves as leaders. Trust only comes with transparency.

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