Private statement about VBM's relationship with their former president 12/20/22

This email from Jeff Bush was only sent to VBM missionaries on 12/20/22 and titled "News From the Homefront #35: Keeping VBM Missionaries Connected and Encouraged." Not only does it mention the 5 person Board of Directors set up 16 months later, but the email also contains a private statement from Jeff about VBM's Relationship with their former president Austin Gardner.

It should be noted that:

  • This email is not a public statement from VBM but only an email to the VBM missionaries.
  • Jeff is addressing a "recurring question" and "through many conversations has realized a lack of clarity." VBM has still made no public statement in response to this website, and Jeff Bush makes no mention of or response to this website whatsoever in his email to the VBM missionaries.
  • Jeff says that since Austin "did not complete the restoration to ministry process... after a pattern of sinful behavior was admitted" is the reason why VBM does not encourage ministry affiliation with Austin's new ministries.
  • Notice how Jeff continues to protect Austin by softening and minimalizing Austin's behaviors. "A pattern of sinful behavior was admitted" does not place guilt or wrongdoing on Austin, only that he admitted to sinful behavior when in fact Vision Baptist Church after sorting through over 100 pages of corroborating witnesses' testimonies found Austin Gardner to be unfit and disqualified for public ministry - which Austin originally stated his agreement and then later denied he had those major sin problems with his character. Austin "did not complete the restoration to ministry process" is actually him running from church discipline and not hearing the church which would mean he should be treated as a heathen and a publican.
  • Jeff never actually says that Austin was in sin, that he sinned against actual people, or that those people tried to speak out and were silenced by the very people in charge today.
  • Jeff states that "VBM does not encourage ministry affiliation with our former president's new ministries" which leaves it open for VBM executive directors to privately and silently support and allow others under their oversight to continue with Austin because while they do not ENcourage ministry affiliation with Austin's ministry, Jeff and the directors are not clearly or openly DIScouraging personal affiliation with Austin as a person for his sinful and wrong actions according to God's Word.
  • Perhaps most importantly and most concerning of all is that Jeff Bush only mentions a new 5 person board of directors and VBM's stance towards Austin Gardner privately to the missionaries without addressing the dozens of other specific accusations against him, Travis Snode, Jason Holt, Mark Coffey, and Mark Tolson. Jeff and the Executive Directors also do not (neither publically nor on their own personal platforms) address the dozens of testimonies, witnesses, or documentation collected on the website which clearly shows serious concerns about VBM leadership's own qualification for Christian ministry.

The portion of Jeff's email to the VBM missionaries where he describes VBM's stance towards Austin Gardner:

I wanted to take the time to address a recurring question. Through many conversations, I have realized there is a lack of clarity regarding Vision Baptist Missions' stance toward our founder/former president.

Although we are very thankful that the Lord has used him in our organization's establishment and in many of our lives in significant ways, he did not complete the restoration to ministry process at Vision Baptist Church after a pattern of sinful behavior was admitted. As long as this is the case, VBM does not encourage ministry affiliation with our former president's new ministries. Ultimately, I would love to see restoration between all parties involved. Would you pray with me towards that end?

Also, VBM is not seeking to reinstate our former president in any leadership, teaching, or mentoring position at Vision Baptist Missions or the Our Generation Training Center.

I hope this gives clarity to the many questions. If you have any questions about this, feel free to reach out. Thank you for your prayers and patience.