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Brother Stair

John Collins10/20/2012 7:13:00 PMShortwave radio preacher R G "Brother" Stair was arrested Thursday May 16th 2002 at his South Carolina commune. Heavily under fire for months on the Internet and Shortwave radio over allegations of sexual misconduct with underage girls at the "farm," the fiery 69 year old is now seeing his international ministry unravel.

As Internet bulletin boards instantly posted triumphant and jubilant commentaries from inarticulate and scripturally illiterate enemies of Brother Stair, we are saddened by his long developing fall from grace. Although Christian Media has known about Stair's impending disaster for months, we've chosen only to observe the action from the sidelines.

The full story, with a scriptural analysis, is in the new 2 hour tape program Stair Wars: The True Story Of Brother Stair.

Briefly stated, Brother Stair is implicated in more than sexual impropriety. Former members of what many are calling a cult have also accused him of providing herbs that induced spontaneous miscarriages (read abortions) in 2 young women that he had impregnated. Even more sordid is the accusation that more than one female victim has been infected with a venereal disease.

As if that isn't bad enough, Stair opponents claim he sent husbands from the commune off to various projects in order to attempt a seduction of their wives. With the alleged victim count rapidly escalating and eyewitnesses coming forward, his arrest almost certainly signals the end for Brother Stair.

Over the years, Ralph G Stair has been soundly criticized for clustering Christian believers on small, self-sufficient farming communes in several locations. This approach is ostensibly due to Stair's view that America is scheduled for utter devastation in a forthcoming nuclear war. Although we don't follow the communal approach, we can't find fault with this provisionist perspective.

Indeed, some people are very comfortable with their lives structured in the fashion one finds on a commune. Although that way of life is not for everyone, others find it completely satisfying. In the wake of many publicized defections from Stair's farm, I have yet to document one person who wanted to leave Stair's farm that wasn't allowed to leave, or was being coerced into staying.

That's not saying much as a common characteristic of cultic mind control is a continual programming that "convinces" followers their eternal souls will be in danger if they choose to break away from the control of the cult leader. This is the primary weakness of the kind of overt control one finds in a communal setting.

Having been accused of being a cult leader myself, I can categorically state that the Godly course of leadership requires that the personality in control of a ministry is supposed to be Jesus Christ - pointed towards Him through the power of the Holy Spirit working through the agency of leaders and followers in a scripturally sound environment. This is but one of the reasons Christian Media has rejected the communal approach.

Conversely, we've been told Stair's recorded messages were played on loudspeakers 24 hours per day at every place on the farm. That kind of Orwellian immersion is reminiscent of Jim Jones & the Guyana disaster at "Jonestown." It is also evident that verbal manipulation and the Hitlerian "divide and conquer" form of pitting members against each other is standard fare in Stair's spiritual arsenal.

Apparently, the policy for entrance into Stair's way to heaven required the initiate to give everything they own in order to join the "Overcomer" group (the proper name of the ministry). Rather than seeing the classic cult pattern of enslaved followers that wanted to leave but couldn't, the opposite seems to be true.

For example, former members have cited several examples of families that gave substantial sums of money to the 501(c)(3) federally sanctioned ministry, and then were maneuvered into leaving so Stair could make room for more "new" members that would, in turn, generate new endowments.

In Acts 2:44, where we find a description of the first Christian commune, there is no provision for leaving the group with what you started with. Obviously, before committing to such a radical lifestyle, the scriptural imperative of "counting the cost" comes to mind.

Doctrines Of Demons
We have learned that R G Stair has patterned portions of his ministry on the prophetic expectation that was espoused by William Branham - the notorious false prophet of the 1950's and 60's.

The late William Branham (1909-1965) claimed to have visitations from Jesus. Branham claimed that he was the angel of Revelation chapters 3 & 10! He also taught that the word of God was given in 3 forms - the Zodiac, the Egyptian pyramids, and the written scripture. Branham denied the trinity - teaching the 'Jesus Only' brand of Pentecostalism, and taught that Eve had sex with the snake in the garden - the so-called "serpent seed" doctrine.

Branham taught that there would be a single last day's prophet that would play a pivotal role in the prophetic endgame. As there are still significant numbers of people that believe Branham was a genuine prophet of the Lord, Brother Stair apparently adopted the title "the last day prophet" in order to capitalize on the Branhamite expectation.

While many Christians are expecting the ministry of the two witnesses that are described in Revelation to emerge at some point in the near future, there is no scriptural expectation of a single prophet that plays such a pivotal role. Certainly, any major prophetic figure is unlikely to be preaching false doctrine - to say nothing of seducing the young women in a series of sleazy maneuvers.

While communal living can generate relatively Spartan conditions at a place like Stair's farm, the lifestyle is a direct result of doctrinal directives that are all handed down by "the prophet." According to former resident Josh Bennett, no jewelry is allowed. Everyone must conform to a dress code that consists of very plain clothing. No sugar is allowed in the communal kitchen and there is no television at all. Bennett claims that married couples aren't even supposed to have sex unless it's "approved" by Stair.

Considering the fact that we now know that Stair has attempted seductions of married woman at the farm after detouring their husbands to some locale other than their residence, the sheer audacity of the latter restriction is very apparent. While sexuality is a complex subject that is beyond the meager few lines penned here, the Bible plainly shows a joyful relationship between committed couples operating within the confines of Biblical joining. When the scripture says "...marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled" (Hebrews 13:4), it plainly teaches sexuality is pure within the marital context. I guess I missed the verses that said some lecherous old man should decide when a believer should be allowed relations with their spouse.

The Characteristics Of A Cult
ther former members have had the religious equivalent of a nervous breakdown. This is clearly related to inner confliction at the prospect of breaking away from someone they believe wields the authority of God. Spiritual authority is scriptural, but the Holy Spirit driven leader knows when to emphasize the peace and grace found in the cross of Christ, and how to balance the fear and reverence for God with the agape love of the Father.

Leaders like "brother" R G Stair don't have that balance because they have "a form of godliness, but [deny] the power thereof." After telling the reader to "turn away" from such leaders, that same text goes on to link the pseudo-godly shepherd as "the sort...which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women, laden with sins..." (II Timothy 3:5,6). In the present instance, that sounds like an apt description.

While some have attacked us as being an accuser of the brethren for prior statements made about Brother Stair and others, the truth is he has only himself to blame for his actions. Indeed, much of the defensive statements coming from the pro Stair camp are thoroughly inconsistent. As a case in point, in a printed newsletter to their supporters, Stair's wife Teresa writes "My husband is innocent. He has defrauded NO MAN, nor woman."

Yet later in the same correspondence she states "Brother Stair has sinned." One is tempted to ask which is it? If he has sinned, he is not "innocent." If he is innocent, he has not "sinned." The plain truth is, Stair has been exposed as not only having relations with multiple women on a regular basis, the evidence firmly states it was completely calculated to evade detection.

Dan Catlin, the editor of a prophecy newsletter and the leader of the Messiah's Branch ministry in Kansas has visited the farm to gather information. After researching the various claims of multiple women that spoke out about the sexual antics of Stair, Catlin's letter plainly stated "no female was safe."

Mike Rowland, who lived at Stair's farm for 6 years, concurs with Dan Catlin. Writing on a website that went public with significant information concerning the activities at the farm, Rowland has written about the death of an individual named Wayne Douglas - a man that was also known as Brother Simon.

Apparently Douglas went to Nigeria on some sort of mission, but came back 30 days later with a serious illness. In spite of the fact that the 40 year old was clearly very sick with some sort of brain fever that caused him to behave erratically, Stair urged that no doctors be consulted.

Wayne Douglas died shortly thereafter, and was quietly buried on the property. After he died, Mike Rowland noted that "Stair also told the whole group not to contact Wayne's family because that would stir up questions..." The point is, if there had been some sort of infectious disease brought back from Nigeria that had ultimately caused the death of Wayne Douglas, this situation could have been a major disaster with the number of people that had been exposed to the deceased individual.

One of the strangest aspects of the Stair group is the inconsistency in terms of their legal standing. On the one hand, Stair is definitely secretive as he has carefully sought to avoid government scrutiny on many levels. The aforementioned death without any autopsy to determine if the deceased posed a danger to anyone else is a good example of the secretive nature of Stair's leadership.

Others have noted how the farm had many projects that were implemented without any building inspections or permits. The lack of any outside accountability is consistent with much of this apparent effort at keeping the farm on a low profile. Ironically, we are in agreement with this approach as the state should have nothing to say about how the Lord's business is conducted - but that's not the point.

Even though Stair's activities on a local level were kept out of 'the system,' the Overcomer Ministry is an incorporated ministry with the federal tax identification number associated with what is called a 501(c)(3). This means the corporation has gone through the procedures for full compliance with a myriad of governmental regulations in order to qualify for a non-profit permit and tax deductibility for gifts to the ministry. These "regulations" include specific instructions as to what can and cannot be said in a state licensed religious organization.

Readers of Christian Media know that the state "license" that is the 501(c)(3) requires a voluntary compliance with government policies that are clearly incompatible with scripture. When the state grants a religious body a corporation, the state becomes the head of that incorporated ministry. Obviously, the Bible teaches that Christ is supposed to be the head of a religious body - not the beast government.

But that's the problem, for it is clear that Stair doesn't seem to know who the beast government is - a rather surprising turn of events for someone that's supposed to be "the last day prophet."

Indeed, for any independent ministry that is supposedly coming out from the beast order to have a state sanctioned identity is beyond hypocrisy - it's thoroughly double-minded. Furthermore, Stair has directly instructed people to continue to pay the unconstitutional and immoral taxes the beast uses to murder true believers with, even as he twists the scriptures to support that position.

For example, in a radio interview that was broadcast several years ago, Stair said "Christians ought to pay taxes." He went on to say that "Jesus deliberately went out of his way to pay taxes." Stair has apparently forgotten the text that says "render...unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21). The Bible plainly tells us that everything belongs to God - including the fruits of your labor. This doesn't even address the issue of opposing evil wherever you find it - and if you don't believe our government is evil, you need some smelling salts because you're apparently unconscious.

To put it bluntly, Stair is in conformity to the beast government - even as he preaches obedience to God. We submit the two tasks are mutually exclusive.

An Innocent Man?
astor Tim Butler, a former supporter of Brother Stair that lived on the farm, told Christian Media how Stair carefully calculated a continuing series of what could only be called "sexual ambushes" of a particular girl at precisely the time when the entire group was gathering for a group prayer meeting. Butler testifies that Stair would have a sexual encounter with the girl, then hurry to the already in progress meeting where he would then preach on righteousness.

These are not the actions of an innocent man.

At least two young women have accused Stair of using coercion to induce a sexual encounter - even as Stair's defenders say it was consentual sex. We would have to ask how an underage teenager that is in awe of "the prophet" can truly grant the requisite permission for sexual relations under such circumstances?

At this writing, we're told Brother Stair has been repeatedly denied bail as the authorities have stated they consider him to be a flight risk. Because he has overseas contacts through his international Shortwave broadcasts (note the mission to Nigeria mentioned earlier) and has actually cited the case of how "prophet" William Branham once fled from the authorities, he still sits in a South Carolina jail. His next bail hearing is in late July.

Oddly enough, while many are turning from Stair due to the emerging details of his apparently long-running misdeeds, the number of people at the South Carolina commune has actually grown. This is because Overcomer Ministries operated several other communes in other states. Those groups have broken away from Stair, but individuals in each of them have moved to the Carolina headquarters as they are still in the sway of R G Stair.

Continue To Run The Race
s a Shortwave radio prophecy teacher who has many enemies, I am deeply concerned at this turn of events - but not surprised. While Brother Stair has much to answer for, I can categorically predict that Satan will manipulate these events to seek to discredit those that preach the truth of impending judgment on America. Indeed, this is a classic tactic of the adversary as he will take the little portion of truth from Stair's doctrine and seek to distort it with the leaven that has clearly overcome the Overcomer ministry.

While there are responsible Christians in the geographic area of the farm that are seeking to find ways to minister to those that physically live with Brother Stair, Christian Media has been attempting to reach Stair's radio audience with a balanced scriptural perspective on what has occurred.

While the mainstream corporate counter-cult "ministries" are most likely salivating at Stair's de facto demise, many Christians that have been following Stair were not in error in many things they've come to believe. As Brother Stair repeatedly stated on Shortwave radio, America IS scheduled for a horrifying judgment in the near future.

We should be preparing our hearts and our homes with spiritual (and physical) provisions for the epic battle that is just ahead. The Bible still tells the Remnant believer to "come out" of the Beast sanctioned whore of Babylon - the commercial religion of Christianity, Inc.

The challenge before all of us is to truly hear the voice of the bridegroom - because in Mystery Babylon, that "...voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all..." (Revelation 18:23). Apparently, the voice of the bridegroom, "...the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13), hasn't been heard at the farm of Brother Stair for quite some time.

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