His name was Reverend Randy Righteous, preacher, minister, and spiritual leader of the 21st Century Gospel Church. Randy possessed magnetism and charisma. He always had it. It took him thirty years to figure out how to use it.
Religion, that was it. He attended a one year Bible seminary that required confession of sins and pay $9,122.35 to the Southern Oklahoma Gospel Seminary. They promised the money could be made many times over the first year of gospel and holy spirit filled preaching using their methods.
Randy was their poster child and had returned to the college to speak. Of course he learned his lesson well. It was for a fee. “The lord said he’d feed the birds of heaven, not by dropping it into their nests,” and “you can’t muzzle the bull that thrashes the grain.”
That last principle is one he taught his converts. You don’t judge peoples’ morals – who are contributing heavily and paying your salary.
He had a popular message. “God doesn’t require that you change. Some people can’t. So send your change so others can be helped to change. The lord wants your change. Don‘t pay with the exact change, that belongs to the lord. Pay for that 49 cent pack of gum with a dollar and send that change you get back to the lord. At the end of each day take all your change and put it in a jar and at the end of the week give it to the lord. This is nothing more than a pocket change ministry.”
Wow! Who could resist a church with a sales pitch like that?
Randy started out preaching from the tailgate of his pickup and was now in a building that seated 1,000 and an increasing television market.
Randy loved to give life to written sermons from his teleprompter, but he reveled walking around college campuses and on the streets and confronting people. He was a master at debate and the quick phrase. He was poetic and theatrical.
He prided himself in lifting up the forgotten and downhearted although they didn’t bring much money into the church coffers those who were able to give thrived on it. By their contributions to his effort it relieved their conscience and obligation to become personally involved. Randy had a great set up.
Wherever he went there were always a small group of devotees and a camera man to capture his ministry to the depressed and downtrodden.
One day he met Elsie, a lady in her seventies, frail and thin, nevertheless always a smile.