Some of my regular readers might know that I sometimes like to watch the Ernest Angley Hour. I started doing it when Bill and I last lived in Virginia. He was in Iraq, and I was left with a lot of time to fill. So I would find the most bizarre stuff on the Internet and watch it… Back in 2007, Ernest Angley had a “girl” group called the Sign Singers, who would cheerfully dance and sign along to homemade songs written by Angley’s stable of musicians. I stopped watching so much when Bill got back, since we had to pack up and move to Germany the first time.
In 2009, when we moved back to the States, I started watching again. That time, I got hooked on a “boy band” called The Gospel Five. I noticed the musicians in Angley’s groups were rotated into other groups. It was kind of cornball, although I did notice that he had some talented musicians working for him. I wonder how many of them actually believe in Angley’s version of “the gospel” and how many just want to be employed as musicians.
Anyway… regarding the title of today’s post. I happened to watch a snippet of Sunday’s service. For the first time I have ever seen, Angley was NOT preaching. In fact, the Reverend Chris Machamer, who always introduced himself as an “associate pastor” and “guest host” of the program, was now calling himself a “pastor” and “host”. I wondered when he got his promotion, so I watched part of the program from July 7th. Angley was preaching that day, but he was barely coherent and hard to hear.
Angley is 97 years old, so I would certainly expect him to be less coherent than he was at an earlier time. I mean, everyone has to die at some point, and I would imagine his time is coming soon. Still, it was surprising to find him not behind the pulpit, offering his usual monotone sermons. I can never stand to listen to more than a minute or two, although some people must be enchanted by him. He’s been preaching for many decades.
I was actually kind of impressed by Machamer’s sermon… what little I heard of it, anyway. He’s always struck me as a bit wooden in his introductions to the show, but he was much more alive when he was preaching. Frankly, I think I would rather listen to Machamer than Angley, anyway. Actually, I think I’d rather listen to uncontrollable diarrhea than either of them. Like I said, I really only tune in to catch a few seconds of the musicians, who are usually hilariously cheesy.
A few years ago, there was a huge bombshell in the news regarding Ernest Angley and his Grace Cathedral. Supposedly, he was encouraging members to get vasectomies or have abortions. There was also some discussion about how Angley had “violated” one of his former pastors, a man named Brock Miller. Miller was later painted as a drug addict and a liar by Mr. Machamer, who said Miller was only making his claims because he wanted to take over the ministry once Angley finally croaks. And yet, I see Machamer is the one preaching. I’ll give him credit where credit is due. He’s not a bad speaker behind the pulpit. If I were inclined to listen to sermons, I’d probably pay more attention to him than Angley, anyway. I kind of wonder how Angley got in the position he’s in anyway, since he really isn’t the most eloquent speaker I’ve ever heard.
I posted about the sex scandal on my old blog and got some interesting comments from people who actually attend the church. I also posted about a scandal involving labor violations at Angley’s Cathedral Buffet restaurant, in which Angley got people to work in his for profit restaurant for free or for less than minimum wage. A third story was about how one of Angley’s musicians conned an elderly woman out of her fortune, convincing her to donate six figures to the church. All of this is somewhat old news, although I’m sure there are many stories out there about this church and how people have been either blessed or cursed by it. Brock Miller is apparently going through some rough stuff now, as he recovers from the scandal and his divorce. He moved to a new state and is or was in counseling.
It’s no secret that I’m not much a fan of religion in general. I especially dislike predatory religious organizations like Angley’s. So many people’s lives are ruined by them.
In any case, it doesn’t look like Mr. Angley will be around that much longer, based on his most recent shows. He looks like he’s barely functioning. I’m sure his church will carry on regardless. I wish people would wise up.