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Hagerty Employee

The Game Is Sold: God gave my preacher a Maybach, for a hot minute anyway

Prosperity gospel. You started hearing those two words associated with large churches in the South a few years ago. Pretty quick it got to be more popular than “fire and brimstone,” and why not? The carrot works better than the stick. Prosperity gospel made a sad story out of something that most Black Southern boys experienced, suggested to us that maybe our financial problems were due not just to our failings in this world but also in the next. I grew up in what was a normal Southern Baptist congregation for the most part, on the west side of Charlotte. We had a pastor who let his own hubris nearly destroy a church started by freed slaves in 1857. You can figure out who he is, if you want to search the Internet for about thirty seconds. I won’t call out his name.


I was in high school when the world’s economy started to disintegrate thanks to … maybe you can call it banking addiction. You always hear about how addictive crack is, and how it’s the natural consequence of “gateway drugs,” but what is the mortgage-backed security if it isn’t the glass pipe of the financialized economy? Hell, you might have to be high the regular way to think doing that stuff was a good idea. Doesn’t matter. People were losing their jobs left and right in my community.


Around the same time, my pastor stood in front of us and acknowledged the local news that he had been charged with tax evasion and wire fraud ... Read the full column on



In the 70+ years that my family has been involved with the repair and maintenance of automobiles, the worst (attempted) screwing we've ever experienced was at the hands of "people of the cloth." I was even told by a local minister that it was "... your duty as a Black man to fix my Cadillac for praise only!" I told him that I would be unable to help him because "praise only" didn't feed my family.


That type of attitude is not a Christian one. The fact that anyone who claims to be Christian trying to stiff anyone on a bill is sadly true. Being a Christian myself, I have found that I am a man without a home due to the "prosperity" movement along with the manipulation being used from the pulpit that has forced me out of organized Christianity. And like the author said, this type of attitude is ESPECIALLY true here in the south. I noticed a big difference here in Atlanta from where I moved from.  


Just keep in mind that those types have their own reward coming. I could quote many a verse, chapter, or even entire book from the Bible that speaks to vain religion and the cancer that it actually is, but alas there isn't enough room. Unfortunately, the types we are talking about chose to ignore those principles. it is an abomination. I am glad you told them what you told them.


Mr. Gaines, you are a find.  You have a unique point of view and can write about it.  I doubt I'd buy a car from you but I sure like reading your work.  Kudos to Hagerty for publishing you.


We should never confuse people like this with God. 

Like anything created of man Religion can be a tool for good and evil. We should not condemn the actions of many for the behavior of a few. 

Going into religion is not a for profit line of work. Leaders should be granted a comfortable life but not at the expense of those they lead.  If they want more then get another job. 

No matter your faith never follow those who put themselves  before God. 

God never gave him a Maybach. He took what was given to the church in the name of God and bought a Maybach. 

Yes he stole from the people and God. 


VERY well said, sir.


Thieving SOBs such as these don't even deserve a Yugo. Shoe leather is what their mode of transportation should be. 

As always, the best example there is would be Jesus. How incredibly scant is any resemblance between His actions and attitudes and the majority of "messengers-in-His-name" we have today. 


I would go one step further and say that if he walked into a lot of the modern churches of today, he would again do what he did in the temples back then: fashion a whip, overturn tables and chase the scoundrels out that have tried to make themselves God while they live extravagantly off of the "tithes" they collect from the congregation. I tithe. I give to St. Jude's. Any organization that dos their level best to make sure that the parents of a child with cancer don't pay a bill while taking immensely attentive care of a sick child is doing God's work much more so than many who call themselves men of the cloth. I think they forgot that the Bible says to take care of the orphans and widows not take them for what they have left.