Open Letter To The Christian Community
“For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”
I’m writing to you today because there is a spiritual battle raging for the very soul of LeSEA Ministries.
Sadly, what I’m sharing with you and all that has happened are NOT an accurate reflection of the living faith, humility and integrity that are the foundation stones of the ministry established and faithfully modeled by my grandfather.
Unlike a for-profit company, these ministries were built with the sincere work of my family, and the sacrificial donations of so many that have given millions of dollars because they believed in the vision and mission. For that mission to continue, I believe it is vital that there is transparency and trust.
It is my sincere desire to see LeSEA Ministries fulfill it’s fullest potential and the legacy of my grandfather preserved.
So, you may ask, who am I?
My name is Lester Sumrall and I am the eldest grandson of Dr. Lester Sumrall, the founder of the Lester Sumrall Evangelistic Association (LeSEA, Inc.), LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation, and LeSEA Global Feed The Hungry. I am also the personal representative of the estate of my great uncle Rev. James H. Murphy, who was a close part of the Sumrall Family. He was Dr. Sumrall’s brother-in-law and served my grandfather and the Body of Christ faithfully for many decades.
Today I open the door and let the light shine in on what has been hidden for far too long. I choose to no longer remain silent as the life’s work and legacy of my grandfather have been and are being corrupted from within.
See Letter to LeSEA Boards https://www.savelesea.com/letter-to-board.html How did we get here?
Sadly, in December of 2015, my uncle Pete Sumrall passed away in Mexico under unexplained circumstances at age 62. His passing left a vacuum of leadership at all the LeSEA Ministries.
Drew Sumrall, the current President of LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation and LeSEA board member has publicly articulated and published his per- sonal philosophy of egalitarianism, atheism and communism in his book “An Essay Toward Universal Revolution”. According to the bylaws of LeSEA ministry, Drew’s Anti-Christian, Anti-Church beliefs and writings disqualify him from any leadership role. All of this has been deliberately hidden from the loyal friends and donors of LeSEA.
Drew’s world-view is diametrically opposed to the spiritual foundations of all LeSEA Ministries. Shockingly, in a face-to-face conversation with Drew he declared to me that our grandfather, Dr. Lester Sumrall was “a crazy old man with a bunch of crazy ideas”. http://www.savelesea.com/quotes.html
Over the course of the last few years, I have been personally harassed and threatened several times by LeSEA’s Directors to keep silent regarding the issue related to my grandfather’s legacy and the fidelity of LeSEA Minis- tries. ( Listen to voicemail http://www.savelesea.com/voicemail.html )
At the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, TN, Drew Sumrall verbally accosted me in a tirade of profanity. During that episode, witnessed by half a dozen people, he threatened “ You better lawyer up, because we’re coming for you and we’ll f*cking destroy you and leave you and your family f*cking penniless.”
Drew has followed through with those threats and filed a legal suit against me ( through LeSEA ) in an effort to intimidate me and prevent the light of truth from shining on LeSEA Ministries. Their intimidation is far reaching. While attending a public worship service at the Cathedral of Praise in Ma- nila, Philippines, (a church my grandfather founded in 1953), I had the most bizarre experience at any church service in my forty-three years of life in forty countries of the world. While quietly sitting in the service, church staff forced me out of the sanctuary where I was held at gunpoint with two 12- gauge shotguns to my back and escorted out the back trash alley. This was all done at the behest of Pastor David Ernest Sumrall, a distant relative who was a LeSEA board member at that time. He also personally profited from the personal funds of Rev. James H. Murphy.
Since birth, when I was brought home to the LeSEA Campus here in South Bend, Indiana, my life and spiritual journey has been completely intertwined with every aspect of my grandfather’s ministry. From a very young age, he continually shared his vision by modeling his sincere faith and mentoring me into every aspect of the ministry. After graduating from Christian Center High School, I attended theology school in Sweden. Later my grandfather ordained me as a minister and I served as a pastor at Christian Center
Church under the umbrella of LeSEA, Inc. During his last three years on earth, I was privileged to travel and serve by his side doing ministry and relief work in thirty nations of the world for LeSEA Global Feed The Hungry.
After my grandfather’s passing in 1996, there was a true solidarity in the family to continue the mission of the ministry. While there was unity in the majority of the family, a few gave into division. At that time, I left South Bend as the Lord led me to go on a journey of preparation and attend Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK.
By 2003 questions were raised regarding the entitlement and private benefit of LeSEA Broadcasting CEO, Peter Sumrall, his wives, his children and others he was in relationship with. The questioned impropriety is directly against IRS rules. Additional questions were raised that he may have committed power of attorney fraud and financial elder abuse by commingling the personal funds of Rev. James H. Murphy into the various LeSEA Ministries for his own benefit.
By 2005, these alleged indiscretions entangled the 2/3 majority of the board of directors, Peter Sumrall, and David Ernest Sumrall, Pastor of Cathedral of Praise in Manila, Philippines. The indiscretions pointed to the possibility of corporate malfeasance and gross negligence. This pattern of mismanagement appears to continue to this day, and raises new questions of stewardship as attempts are being made to quickly and quietly liquidate ministry assets.
Now the Office of the Indiana Attorney General has opened an investigation into the potential power of attorney fraud as well as the use of funds taken from Rev. James H. Murphy’s bank accounts. Additionally, a police report of these incidents has been forwarded on to the FBI White Collar Crimes Division.
Please pray for the Sumrall Family and leadership of all LeSEA Ministries to deal with these situations with divine wisdom. My concern is that without accountability and true transparency the ministry could quickly be diverted from its founding purposes!
So today, I implore you, If Dr. Sumrall’s life and legacy has ever encouraged you, please voice your concerns and email firstname.lastname@example.org and call LeSEA Broadcasting 574-291-8200.
From my heart,