I was the one who originally gave the money to build the two houses, one for Scott Stinson, the other for Reed Benson. I was the one who contracted with the builder, and supervised payment of the money directly to the ministers, not to the Church of Israel. Without my recent help, Scott felt he would be maligned and sent away from the Church of Israel with nothing. As the story has played out, was he right? I now believe he was right, and that without my help he would have been robbed of his home by the power structure of the Church of Israel headed by Pastor Dan Gayman.
I arrived for a visit to Pastor Dan Gayman's office early Monday morning, November 13, 2000. I waited for over two hours before he arrived that morning, and when he arrived he invited me into his office. By then, it was almost noon. We discussed personal matters for a good bit, and I asked if he and I could go for prayer to what is known as the "Wilderness Sanctuary." He complied, and rode with me to that church house, where we knelt and prayed for each other. I thanked him for his blessings and prayers, then told him that I needed to discuss something with him privately. He obliged, at which time I explained that Pastor Scott Stinson wished to make a separation, and had asked me to represent him. I explained that Scott was suffering from a growing feeling of alienation, and that he would like to make a separation from the Church of Israel, with the following conditions:
1) He would like to receive a clear deed for his house.
2) He would like to receive one year's wage as severance in cash which he was aware the Church was in possession of.
3) He desired mutual blessings on each other.
I emphasized the importance of all three of the above criteria, for both Scott and Lori Stinson, and assured Dan that he would also be relieved of the "Jerry Gentry" problem as well, along with the surrender of the COI website, if this could take place. He indicated the need to talk with others, and I assured him I was prepared to wait at his office, that I felt it was urgent, because of the duress Scott was under. I told him that Scott was in possession of sensitive documents that might come to light if Scott were not treated fairly, and in accordance with previous intentions regarding his house. He acknowledged the urgency of the matter, and seemed eager for all such documents to be destroyed.
After approximately one hour of talks, he rode with me in my vehicle the short distance back to his office, then left, saying he wanted to talk with Reed Benson. I waited for 2-3 hours in the lobby of his office for his return. In the mean time Reed Benson arrived and I went downstairs to his work area and we talked. It seemed to me that Reed was disturbed. I asked if Dan had spoken with him and he said yes. I said, what do you think? He expressed concern for the welfare of the children of the campground. I assured him that both Scott and I shared that concern of his, and that any child molester should be dealt with swiftly and emphatically. My reassurance seemed to calm his concerns. He said he had no problem with the severance pay and with deeding Scott his house, and of course no problem with having a friendly separation. I noticed Pastor Dan had returned, and thanked Reed, and left to follow Pastor Dan upstairs to the library conference table.
Dan and I sat across from each other and continued the discussions. He requested that an upconing article to appear in the Bo Gritz newsletter be cancelled. He showed me an advance copy, and said that the article was damaging both to the Church and to Scott. I agreed, and said I would relay the message to Scott. The evening Scott made a phone call to Bo Gritz, who said he would pull the article. I communicated that to Dan later, and he was pleased. He reiterated his request for the return of sensitive documents, and I assured him that everything potentially damaging should go into the burn barrel, conditional upon making a successful friendly separation agreement. I urged Dan for an amount of acreage on Scott's behalf and Dan said, "No." I asked again for the house and a lesser amount of acreage, and he again said, "No." After a long silence, Dan offered to deed Scott the house and 13.5 acres. He said he would pay the requested severance, and accept Scott's resignation from Chairman of the Board of Trustees, his resignation from the board of Christian Heritage Academa, his friendly letter to the congregation and statement of intentions to begin a new ministry on his own. Dan liked the terms and we shook hands on the deal. I left and secured Scott's signature on the agreements, along with his resignation letters, and returned in less than an hour to the basement of the church office, where Dan, Reed and Gray were sitting in a circle talking. When I poked my head in the door, I saw the three of them. I began to back away, thinking they might not be ready for me. Dan motioned and stated for me to join them. As I walked close, I immediately saw envelopes with cash lying on a folding chair, which I counted in front of those three men, who all confirmed the amount to be accurate. We all four signed a "Gift Receipt for Cash," which Scott had already signed in anticipation, hence five signatures appear on this document. I immediately locked the cash in my vehicle, and returned with a sealed box of requested documents, and put them on the table for Dan to open and inspect, which he did. He seemed satisfied with what he saw, and made no complaint.
At that point Pastor Gray excused himself to go type up a deed. Soon he returned. In reading the deed, I found a discrepancy in the dimensions, which he quickly acknowledgd and went to correct. We all followed him upstairs and reconvened around the library conference table. A notary was contacted, and we waited perhaps half an hour for her to arrive. Dan at one point began writing out a check for me, a $1000.00 gift donation, as first payment of a larger requested amount for web work I had completed over the past year. He asked who to make it out to, and I said to "Jerry Gentry." He agreed to write "gift," as consideration for the many hours of work done on the www.churchofisrael.com website. He agreed with a handshake only to pay the remainder ($19,000.00) over the next year, saying their bank account could not afford it all at once. I assured him that was fine with me. He seemed agreeable and happy with the amount requested, and offered no objection.
I returned to Scott's home, where I delivered the signed agreements, the severance gift, the executed deed, and we all shared what I considered to be a victory for all parties. Everything was agreed to and signed, and I had a feeling that all parties were victorious. Various loose ends were tended to by phone and in person the following day. Many of Scott's personal files were burned by myself and Pastor Dan alone. I then learned there were additional files Scott wanted to have preserved in a lock box in the hands of two third parties. He felt he needed those documents preserved outside his own immediate control, as an "insurance policy" to hold Pastor Dan and those around him to their signed agreement, which he feared they would break. I was called back to Pastor Dan's office on Wednesday night, at which time he likened those "to a gun to my head, Jerry." He appealed that I work to have those also burned, which I agreed to work on. He requested also if I would allow him to "record my voice," since he might "never again in this life hear it." I said sure, thinking him to be sincere! So he put in a tape, and proceeded to ask many questions about Scott. He led me down a path of discussion, drawing me out concerning those sensitive papers, leading me to believe how sincerely he desired those to be destroyed. I agreed with him that for full closure to take place, both parties should in good faith surrender anything that might be damaging to either. I made that proposal to Scott, who initially objected to surrendering all documents to the burn barrel. He felt those were his only security to hold Dan Gayman to honesty, that without those sensitive documents available, Dan Gayman would go back on the signed agreements. However I and Scott's wife Lori convinced him to surrender every shred of sensitive information to the burn barrel. It was around midnight Wednesday November 15 when Scott agreed under pressure to do that. I phoned Pastor Dan with this good news (from his perspective) and his comment was, "Praise God!" Less than three weeks later, he reneged his position, and through his church attorney accused both Scott and myself of "criminal extortion."
Who was right? Who was naive? Scott is even now holding to his signed agreements, and upholding Pastor Dan's reputation publicly, while Pastor Dan has issued much negative "spin" and threats toward Scott. This ordeal is regrettable, but now the truth is posted for all to read and decide.