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Brother Stair

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Ralph Gordon Stair (born around 1932-1933[1]) better known as Brother Stair, is a nutty radio preacher who leases airtime on many AM stations and on shortwave. He runs a commune of followers in South Carolina where he allegedly has a great deal of control over them, including not letting any of them have sex without his permission.

Brother Stair believes in: King James Only, speaking in tongues, young Earth creationism, Jesus-only baptism, New World Order conspiracy theories, rejection of modern technology/medicine (except for, obviously, radio and the inter-tubes) and living in an isolated agrarian community like the Amish, rejection of the celebration of holidays like Christmas and Easter, men having to wear beards and women having to keep their hair in buns, etc. You get the idea. If it's on the lunatic fringe of Christianity, Stair believes it.

Stair claims to be the "Last-Day Prophet of God" (or sometimes, the "seventh" such prophet, with William Branham being the sixth). He spends much of his radio broadcasts denouncing just about every other Christian minister as a false prophet. He claims to have prophesied Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 back in the 1980s, and also did prophesy that Ronald Reagan would be removed from office and nuclear attacks would wipe out many U.S. cities by 1988, the latter two of which didn't happen. Oops… so much for the "Last-Day Prophet of God."

Stair's ministry is noted for buying large blocks of airtime on US-based shortwave radio stations.[note 1] The joke in the shortwave listing community is that Stair is unintentionally keeping many of these stations, and shortwave radio in general, active and profitable.

His website Overcomer Ministry records 116 peak listeners.[note 2] The site is poorly formatted and contains a large amount of end times statements such as "This is the Last generation, and the Last time!"

Legal troubles[edit]

Stair was arrested in 2002 and pleaded guilty in 2004 to charges of misdemeanor assault and battery (fondling two underage members of his commune), but after serving 77 days[2] returned to preaching as if nothing had happened. In 2007, a jury found him liable for over $700,000 in damages in a civil suit brought by former followers.[3]

On December 18, 2017, Stair was arrested at his compound in South Carolina and charged with sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary and sexual conduct with a minor amidst an ongoing FBI probe.[4][5][6][7] He reportedly told several women the alleged sexual acts were “God’s will.”[8] Ten days later, on December 28, 2017, the following notice was posted on the Overcomer Ministry website:

Attention Overcomer Listeners:

Due to legal difficulties, as of January 1st, 2018, the Overcomer Ministry will not be broadcasting on AM/FM radio and Shortwave. The Overcomer Broadcast will continue on satellite, telephone, and this website stream.

At the time of his arrest, Brother Stair was by far the largest client of private shortwave broadcasters in the United States. The cancellation of his broadcasts has adversely affected several shortwave broadcasters.[9]

Stair was released on a US$750,000 bond on January 25, 2018[10] and shortly thereafter resumed broadcasting new radio shows.[11] Stair is expected in court on March 30, 2018.[12]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Including, but not limited to, WWCR, Nashville TN; WBCQ, Monticello ME; WHRI, Cypress Creek SC; and WRMI (formerly WYFR), Okeechobee FL. Several of his time slots overlap, so it is possible to hear him at the same time on more than one station.
  2. As of 1st June 2012

References[edit]

  1. He called himself "an 84 year old man" on his shortwave radio show on February 10th 2017.
  2. Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey: Religious commune leader pleads guilty in fondling case 1 December 2004
  3. Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey: Stair is ordered to pay $731,679 27 April 2007
  4. Michael Majchrowicz and Angie Jackson, South Carolina preacher arrested following sexual assault allegations amid ongoing FBI probe. postandcourier.com, December 18, 2017.
  5. Arrest of Brother Ralph Stair confirmed on multiple charges. walterborolive.com, December 18, 2017.
  6. Drew Tripp, Colleton County preacher Ralph Stair arrested for sex assault, other charges, deputies say. abcnews4.com, December 18, 2017.
  7. Michael Majchrowicz and Angie Jackson, Several radio stations pull S.C. preacher's program in light of sex assault charges. postandcourier.com, 19 December 2017.
  8. Angie Jackson and Michael Majchrowicz, Women at South Carolina religious compound say preacher sexually assaulted them in the name of God. postandcourier.com, 18 December 2017.
  9. Overcomer Ministry to halt radio broadcasting in 2018. One blogger on The SWLing Post commented: "A number of private broadcasters had already pulled his programming after his arrest last Monday. Now that Overcomer has announced the halt of all radio broadcasting–and the voice of Overcomer, Brother Stair, is in jail–their satellite and online feeds will likely replay old content. While I’ll certainly not miss Overcomer programming on shortwave, the numerous private broadcasters who had Overcomer as a primary client will feel the loss of revenue in no insignificant way. Indeed, I believe this could even lead to the closure of some private broadcasters this year.". The SWLing Post: 28 December 2017.
  10. Alleged Colleton Co. cult preacher accused of sexual misconduct released on bond. live5news.com, 25 January 2018.
  11. Overcomer Ministry broadcast schedule. Snapshot from archive.us, 25 February 2018.
  12. Inside the sex cult where rapper Craig Mack died - run by porn-obsessed pedophile who molested a mother AND her daughter and is known as 'Satan in the flesh' The Daily Mail, 27 March 2018.