Zenku, Jerry Smyers is a Soto Zen Priest in the Lineages of Soyu Matsuoka Roshi and Shohaku Okumura Roshi. Zenku began his training as a disciple of Kongo Langlois Roshi, Abbot of the Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago and a dharma heir of Matsuoka Roshi, in 1976. Zenku trained at the Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago and was ordained a Zen Priest in 1982. Zenku was a Priest in Chicago until 2005, assisting Kongo Roshi until his passing in 1999, and then providing Temple leadership.
In 2005, Zenku moved to Montana and established the Mission Mountain Zen Group in Dayton Montana. In 2010 Zenku became a disciple of Taiun Elliston Roshi, Abbot of the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, and a dharma heir of Matsuoka Roshi and Okumura Roshi from the Uchiyama Lineage. In 2012, Zenku received dharma transmission from Taiun Roshi. Zenku is a member of the Silent Thunder Order Zen lineage founded by Matsuoka Roshi and a member of Soto Zen Buddhist Association.