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Revolt against Tharold Sylvester and Bob Ingram,1989
January 8, 2023

Workers' Revolt against Tharold Sylvester and Bob Ingram

1989: From the mid-1970s through the 1980s, after Overseer Willie Jamieson passed away in 1974, the Western N. America oversight was handled by a quadrumvirate made up of Tharold Sylvester, Eldon Tenniswood, Howard Mooney and Ernest Nelson; all deferred to Sylvester.

In 1965, Sylvester appointed Robert "Bob" Ingram as the Alaska Overseer. In 1989, when Sylvester was up in years, it became known that he had picked Ingram to take his place as Overseer of Washington, Alaska and N. Idaho. This seriously distressed a number of young Sister Workers with whom Ingram had been "taking liberties." The Sisters had attempted to discuss the matter with Sylvester (Ingram's and their Overseer). They found him unapproachable, and the matter was not resolved. For some time, the morale of the staff of Washington-Alaska Workers had been suffering from Sylvester's imperious ways.

Some of Ingram's victims let it be known to other state Overseers that if Ingram should replace Sylvester as Overseer, they would have to either give up the Work or go to another state—they would not work under Ingram. Disheartened, they disclosed details of the liberties Ingram had taken with them and shared their embarrassment and discouragement.

It took a minor revolution before the matter was resolved, involving Workers Meetings, Elders Meetings and Overseers stepping in to hear the complaints against Sylvester and Ingram. After badly bungling the Ingram situation, Sylvester was demoted in 1989. He remained on the Workers List with a companion through 1991 and died in 1994. He was replaced by Sydney Holt.

A letter to the Friends from the four Overseers explained the change in Ingram's status in 1989 and the need for it. They also compiled a list of reasons Ingram was asked to step aside from the ministry and the Conditions for Fellowship for Ingram. Read both on website in History, Divisions, Alaska. Supported by the Friends, Ingram lived in Fairbanks where he attended and fully participated in Fellowship Meetings until his death in 2015.

See also: Alaska

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