"The Church of Jesus Christ in Zion" (Credit for this post goes to the redditor who shared the information; however it is backed up with publications and references, which they also provided)
The Church of Jesus Christ in Zion is/was a small branch and offshoot of mainstream Mormonism that was founded by Ken Asay in 1984 in Provo, UT. Ken moved the sect to Independence, MO in February 1985, after being excommunicated from the LDS Church.
The origins of the group stem from Ken Asay's claims that he started receiving revelations after a personal encounter with Elder Neal A. Maxwell while sitting next to him on a plane.
According to Asay, while chatting with Elder Maxwell during a flight, as the plane started its landing approach, Elder Maxwell turned to Ken and asked him if he knew what was going to happen to the church? Elder Maxwell answered by taking a napkin and tearing it in half, laying it down ominously.
This experience caused Asay to take a one-month break from work, spending every day, all day, in the Provo Temple, pondering this and other gospel items.
While praying in the temple, manifestations/revelations started to occur in the Provo Temple, beginning in March of 1983, when an angel appeared to him in the Celestial Room.
He claimed he received a series of heavenly manifestations in both the Provo Temple and in his Orem home over a period of time.
In these visitations he was told the Zion of the Lord was back in Jackson County, MO, as revealed to Joseph Smith and contained in the D&C, and the mainstream LDS Church was not going to be the organization that reestablished Zion.
He was told God had chosen to him bring about the reestablishment of Zion and received keys to do so directly from Joseph Smith. Supposedly, he was told the LDS Church was only a preparatory organization, and Ken would lead others to prepare Zion.
The group would be called to live a higher order. For example, where the LDS Church was required to live the law of tithing, Ken’s followers would live the Law of Consecration. Where the LDS Church would wear garments and perform endowments, Ken’s church would take things to the next step and be the place people would come and receive their Second Annointings.
Ironically, Ken taught there was no formal organization, each family is a “church,” and anyone who can testify of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Ghost is a “prophet.” (Sound familiar Snufferites?)
Ken and the sect also practiced polygamy, believing it to be one of these higher order principles/doctrines taught by Joseph they were supposed to live.
It appears Ken eventually started to claim he was Joseph Smith reincarnated, but I wasn’t able to figure out how he was able to explain if that were the case, how had he been given the “keys” from Joseph Smith while also being Smith.
Asay also preached Brigham Young’s Adam God doctrine, claiming he had the spirit of Adam within himself.
The group believes in a doctrine of "multiple lives." This doctrine is similar to reincarnation, however, humans may only be reborn as other humans.
Ken Asay died with his wife Nila in a 1985 plane crash.
His children sued the plane mfg, claiming the crash was caused by a defect. The plane manufacturer claimed it was a suicide, brought on by business failures and financial strain.
A link in the references below discusses the crash, how Ken Asay’s attorneys confirmed he believed he was Joseph Smith reincarnated and that he practiced polygamy.
Apparently, after the crash a woman named Jody Eyre, who claimed to be Ken’s plural wife, sued in an effort to gain custody of Ken and Nila’s children.
The sect survived Ken’s death. Members of the church believe Ken ordained another member of the church prior to his death to be the next Prophet/Patriarch. His name is Roger Billings and he currently lives in Blue Springs, MO (near Independence, MO).
Roger Billings is a former member of the LDS Church, BYU grad, and world-renowned scientist specializing in hydrogen power.
Billings is rumored to have 38 wives and more than 70 children
In addition to running the church, Roger Billings operates an alternative science and math educational program in Independence, MO named the “International Academy of Science,” an unaccredited school (http://www.science.edu).
Billings also runs a number of businesses located in the Independence, MO area, including;
WideBand Corp (high-speed networking)
Billings Energy Corporation (a hydrogen fuel-cell research company)
Acellus Labs (a system of educational software)
There is another man, David Bradley Eyre, who appears to be a major leader within the sect. He was part of the original formation of the sect and was ordained Second Elder, with Ken being First Elder. After Ken’s death, David claims he became First Elder. It is unclear what the hierarchy of titles and roles is in the sect, but it looked to me that maybe Roger Billing is at the head as Patriarch and David Eyre is First Elder.
Web searches indicate there may have been some form of consolidation with the sect and the “Church of Scientology Kansas City Mission” back in the 80’s. It appears former members of the LDS church who had become Scientologists may have merged with Ken’s sect in 1984.
It is unclear whether the sect still operates or has gone underground.
Some web searches state the group disbanded in 2005.
A website last updated in 2013 and no longer working, run by Roger Billing’s son (a former member of the sect), stated there were two locations for the sect. The first has about 120 people and operates privately in Independence, MO. He claims there is another location, 82 miles north of Independence, in Gallatin, MO with an unreported number of people operating in secluded farmland areas. This has been added to the overview above. Again, if anyone knows how to pull up old websites on the wayback machine, please let me know.
The sect also appears to have operated the website www.churchofjesuschrist.org up until 2019, when this web address was purchased by the mainstream LDS church and converted to its main webpage.