#42 Jul 30, 2010
"He would say many times,'Damn you. Damn you.' You know the Bible says,'What is in the heart of a man proceedth out of the mouth.' He didn't want to see us saved. He wanted to see us damned," he said.
Most of the followers say they couldn't wait to get to the farm. It was almost as if just being there ensured their salvation, they say. But once they arrived, it was a different story. Stair, who his former followers describe as being a micro-manager, criticized every action.
"He would get on to us for how our faces were - we weren't happy and receiving everything he said with oh such joy," Butler said. "If we didn't have the right face on, he would get so angry at us. Even on the air, international short-wave."
Many of his sermons were contradictory, they say. On one hand, he would criticize them for not thinking on their own.
"He used to call us peanut-brains," Butler said.
On the other, he would chastise their exerting free will.
"He would constantly throw up inequity on us. What inequity is, is self-will," he said. "Anytime you did something that you were just led to do, he would say,'You did it out of your own self-will. You were full of inequity. You are sinning. You are going to hell.'"
On one occasion, Pearl Butler was preparing potato wedges for breakfast. Because seasonings are one of the things not allowed, she had to make do with some shrimp and crab flavoring she found in the kitchen.
"Somewhere between baking them and getting them out of the table, they were hot. Because we don't get hot food, spicy food, everyone likes spicy food for the most part, the potatoes were gone."
#43 Jul 30, 2010
To make matters worse, Stair and his family did not care for Pearl's potatoes, so after breakfast "he got on me for making those hot, spicy potatoes," she said. "Too many spices in the food. Too much honey in our drinks. Too much of anything - we all got yelled at. You couldn't do anything right to please him, unless you were one of the women he was wanting or had."
Tim Butler agreed, saying most everyone was fair game for criticism, but there were a select few who were free from fault.
"He's an equal-opportunity basher. It all depends. If he has designs on a woman, he will just flatter the daylights out of her," Tim Butler said. "If you were one of the girls who spurned him, he would be telling you,'There's someone here mocking me.(There's) somebody here despising me.' He would preach it in the dining hall, and the girls knew who he was preaching at."
In most cases, Stair would be warm and inviting over the telephone, but once they were living in the community, they just became worker bees.
"Stair has a pattern about him," said Pearl Butler. "One of them was, he never talked to you. He always held you off at a distance. He'd never say hi. He'd never smile at to you. He wouldn't even wave - unless he had a use for you."
#44 Jul 30, 2010
Financing An Empire
Most families left comfortable homes and well-paying jobs behind when they came to Stair's community. But prior to leaving their homes, many of them sent Stair large amounts of money.
It was what he was saying, they say. He was so compelling over the airwaves that they believed everything he preached. In retrospect, Stair's former followers say they are largely ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be duped.
"He is a crook. He is a con artist," said Tim Butler. "He is after people's money. He is after people's daughters. He wants to rule over people. It's all about power with him and what he can get with that power. He takes people's money, and people who send money in good faith, he uses it for the radio ministry so he can enlarge it to get it bigger so he can draw more people.
"One brother, he gave $2 million. Can you imagine that? A young man - 30 years old. He almost lost his life in an accident, a construction job. There was a suit, and he got $2 million out of it. He gave it all to Stair. That's how he bought the station in St. George - 810 AM. That's how he pays for all his radio time. He normally spends $150,000 a month on radio, but boy, he don't hardly spend any money on the farm, for the people."
The list of followers who have relinquished their entire life's savings is extensive.
Some of those include Colletonian Larry Hartley (no longer a part of Stair's community) who turned over $185,000 to Stair, the Butlers who turned over $80,000 and the Duvals who turned over $200,000. Of this cash, little, if any was returned, they say.
"After he got our money, we were not an asset," said Kathleen Duval.
#45 Jul 30, 2010
Maureen Walker turned over $170,000 to the church, according to Kathleen Duval. She was then accused of being a witch and kicked off the farm with only $3,000 to take with her, according to Kathleen Duval.
Up to Code?
Ranging from open sewage to single electrical meters serving multiple buildings, former community members allege Stair's community is so antique that it appears to fail to meet health regulations.
"There are violations up there," said Michael Duval. "When they put in part of that place, it fell under the grandfather clause. Some of those houses that fell under the grandfather clause were replaced or added onto - now they don't fall under that.
"There are septic systems that have been put under there with no permit. There's electrical work that's been done. There are trailers that have been put on there that haven't been inspected or anything like that."
A S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesperson confirmed that the agency must be notified prior to putting in a septic tank.
Michael Duval says he did some research on the county's building inspection laws.
"I went to Colleton County to get a copy of the building requirements - just to check out," he said. "(One of the standards calls for) one electrical meter for one trailer. That's not the case up there. They have multiple trailers. It's like a drop cord city. They have multiple trailers on the same electrical outlet."
Confirming Michael Duval's claim that only one electrical pole can be used for a mobile home, Colleton County Planning and Development Office Director Kevin Griffin said various other steps must be taken before a mobile home can be moved onto someone's property.
#46 Jul 30, 2010
The office has no record of any permits being issued under the names Overcomer Ministry or Ralph Stair, within the last three years, which is the time period required by the state to keep such documents, Griffin said.
Longtime inspector's office employee Teddy Reed remembered the community applying for a mobile home permit and inspection six or seven years ago, though he was not certain on the exact date, Griffin said.
"He said it was quite a while back," said Griffin.
The problem with these violations is they endanger those living on the farm, says Michael Duval.
"If something should ever happen up there, or something should ever happen to one of those trailers,(like if) they burn down, who do you think is going to be holding the bag? The building inspector in Colleton County," he said.
Other allegations, made more sinister since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, have arisen of illegal aliens residing than the building codes.
"There's two people there that aren't citizens of this country. One has an expired visa and the other one has no permit to be in this country," said Michael Duval.
One way Stair saves money is by registering vehicles out of state. That way, the community does not have to pay vehicle taxes.
#47 Jul 30, 2010
He would license the vehicles out of Tennessee so he wouldn't have to pay taxes," Michael Duval said. "He was very smart, because he would have the individuals do it. He would say,'Well, it's not mine.' He always says he has nothing in his name.
Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
Stair was born on May 3, 1933, in Bethlehem, Pa.- a fact he proudly touts, as his birthplace shares the name of the city in which Jesus Christ was born. He grew up in what family members describe as being a good home environment.
As a young man, it was apparent Stair had an affinity for the opposite sex.
"Of course, he liked the girls," said Hart. "He was always the ladies' man."
Stair met his first wife at one of her father's camp revivals in 1950. They dated about six months, and when he was 18, he married the 22-year-old woman on June 30, 1951.
"If they had still been together, they would have been married 51 years," said Hart.
The union, however, was anything but blessed, Hart recalls. Stair was physically and mentally abusive to his wife throughout their marriage, she said.
"He (Stair) was always verbally and physically abusive to her, especially when she stopped traveling with him," Hart said.
Additionally, Stair had many extramarital affairs, one of which resulted in a pregnancy, Hart said, but the child was never born as the woman had an abortion.
#48 Jul 30, 2010
"He had affairs that my mom knew about, but she was sure there were some she didn't know about," Hart said. On several occasions, the couple separated, but Hart's mother always went back to him, because "he was a sweet talker."
Stair's wife always believed he would change, as she prayed for him to do so.
"He changed one time, but it didn't last long," Hart said.
After getting married, Stair began his ministry in Allentown, Pa., a calling his family says was started with good intentions.
"He had a normal kind of church, but he didn't believe in medical care. Even though my father and his personal life are nuts doesn't mean God hasn't used him to do good," Hart said. "The Bible says what it says for a reason. Sometimes God uses people in spite of themselves."
Stair's daughter described times when she witnessed people being miraculously healed.
"I saw people get out of their chairs and walk," she said.
#49 Jul 30, 2010
The family moved from Pennsylvania to Alabama in the late 1950's. In the early 1960's, they moved back to Pennsylvania. A few years later, the family migrated to Los Angeles, finally ending up in Georgia in the mid-1960's.
"When they traveled, they lived in old cars, trucks, school buses and motels," she said. "They never had a set place to live, because he moved them so much."
Different from his beliefs today, Stair watched television and had church services on Sunday rather than Saturday in his early ministry.
"He's just gone totally extreme now," Hart said.
After 27 years of marriage, Stair, who had been legally separated from his wife for four years and been living in New York, instructed her to file for divorce in 1978.
"He made her file, because he wanted to be able to say it was her fault, not his," Hart said. Stair's first wife did as she was instructed and filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences as the cause. Stair paid all the costs, Hart said.
After marrying his current wife Teresa, who was an opera singer from Boston and had converted from Roman Catholicism, Stair moved to South Carolina. The couple has one child, a 15-year-old daughter, who currently lives with them on the farm.
End of article By Libby Roerig
#51 Jul 30, 2010
He said the case was blown out of proportion because people don't understand the religious community.
"It's a lack of knowledge from what takes place at the location," he said. "It's curiosity."
The commune has been criticized by former residents partly because its members give up their worldly possessions to become a part of it.
Chaplin said giving up one's possessions is a voluntary act. He said many of its residents had nothing when they joined the community and accepted its free food and shelter.
A spokeswoman for the State Law Enforcement Division, which investigated the allegations, said she couldn't comment on the case because Stair still faces breach of trust charges for an unrelated case.
Stair and the ministry are also the subject of civil litigation alleging financial misconduct. Jonathan Chaplin's brother and law partner, Mathias Chaplin, who is representing Stair in the civil matter, said the plaintiffs donated that money to the church and now want it returned.
"I don't know a church in this country where your tithes are returned to you after you leave," he said.
A call to the ministry was not returned Tuesday.
#52 Jul 31, 2010
I heard a man say that the light of the word does not shine now, in the dark season. Meaning that this time in history is suppose to be a dark season. And that the light of the word of God is not shining today.(Except for him and so I guess you have to tune into him to get a word from God?)
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:" 2 Peter 1:19
Well it appears that in 2 Peter 1:19 that the light shines in the darkness all that way until the dawning of the day, when the day star arises just before the sun.
As it is witten, "thy words is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." It can never be that the word of God has no light to shine in any season. As long as you have the written word of God to consult and study, you have the source of light in your life.
In fact as time has moved on, we now have come down to around the beginning of seven thousand years since Adam. And so, we have had two thousand years since Christ for people to learn the word of God. And so, around about now we should have the light of seven thousand years worth of faith to be found in the light of the word.
"And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers and streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound." Isaiah 30:25~26
I am thinking now about these times since the towers fell on 9~11 and so, we are now in the seventh day since Adam in 4004 B.C.
#53 Jul 31, 2010
Now I have to say this for those people who want to stay in the light. R.G. Stair today said something that I have heard him say on the radio many times. That this is the night season and that there is no light shining from the word of God in this season. And so, according to him if any light at all comes from the word it will only come to him as "the last day prophet of God." So I guess you have to stay tuned to him in hopes of light. But you see, if it is the night season for him, this does not mean it is for you or me. He might choose to live in the night season and not see any light shining today from the word, and wonder if there ever will be light? Which if he believes that then he is not believing right to begin with. And there is no reason for anyone to come under his darkness and keep him company, as you know misery loves company. And most all of his believers are miserably, and want to hide out from the last days. So choose to live in the day time, in the light of the word, and do not for one minute ever believe that there is no light shining from the word of God today. I have tried to help you by showing you the light in the word today, in all of these post here that I have provided to examine doctrines by, so that you can spot a false christ and false prophet who twist the word of God to his advantage.
On this note, I think that enough has been said in these post on this matter of the deceptions of R.G. Stair. There rest is now a matter of God digging up the old tree by the roots and casting it into the flames.
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." Revelations 19:20
#54 Oct 8, 2012
Dan here checking in...
#55 Feb 19, 2013
Oh you do like :-) to type. What you said could have been done in a few paragraphs.
#56 Nov 16, 2013
"If God does not make a major move upon the face of the earth by the year 2000, Christianity as we know it will be non-existent." I have recordings of Stair saying this over and over from as early as 1997. It is November of 2013 and Christianity as it was in 1997 is very much here today..
In 2001 I went to Walterboro to see if I could find the farm. A dear friend and brother had moved there and I wanted to visit him. When I located the entrance, the gate had been removed. I drove down the long driveway until I met someone. I told them who I was looking for and they directed me. After a short reunion with my friend, Stair arrived. I moved to greet him but he immediately said, "hold it" meaning do not approach him. He was questioning how I got in the farm. I had simply driven in because, as I found out, someone had removed the gate to repair it.
Stair then asked if I owned the truck I was driving. Very strange. So I began to explain and said, "no, it belong....." I was immediately cut off by Stair saying , "that's a sin, you know". I understood what he meant. He thought I had borrowed money to buy the truck and owed on it. Not true. I had paid cash for it and it was owned by a trust, as I had tried to explain before being cut off.
Stair then asked me politely to please leave. Well, the true spirit of God in me revealed just who this man was. I believe that Stair is a sociopath and narcissist. It is a tragedy that so many weak minded people are captured by him.
Dear believers, pray for the deliverance of the true saints that may have been captured by Stair, a false prophet and deceiver. Amen.
#57 Nov 16, 2013
Thank you for resurrecting this forum. I hope we can keep further comments as informative and level-headed as this.
#58 Nov 16, 2013
Thanks. I woke up early thinking about Stair for some reason and decided to see what was happening in his life. That's how I came across this forum.
My heart truly goes out to saints that are lead astray. Not that all there are true sons, I'm sure that a leader like Stair attracts the false brethren in droves, having ears that don't want true, sound doctrine. The Lord knows those that are his own.
Grace be with you.
#59 Nov 21, 2013
If God is really speaking through him, then the French have been pronouncing 'Marseilles' incorrectly all these years. 'God' distinctly said 'Mar-see-lees' in a repeat of an old broadcast today. (There was a memorable attempt at Ciudad Juarez a while ago as 'koodad jars', but that was Stair's own version).
#60 Apr 16, 2014
I am a homosexual. Everyone else is a demon.
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