Ralph Gordon Stair
The Second guy,Brother Ralph Gordon Stair operates out of Walterboro,South Carolina.In 1999,he stated that the world was going to end in 2000 because of the Y2K bug,which of course didn't happed.So much for him being the Last Day "Prophet"of God.I confronted Brother Stair via email,and his response was for me to "turn the dial"and not listen to his show.
Articles about Stair
At a hearing Friday morning, Colleton County Chief Magistrate Richard Wood denied bond for the self-proclaimed prophet Ralph Gordon Stair who leads a religious community in Canadys called the Overcomer Ministry.
Wood set a $50,000 bond for each of the two breach of trust charges, but for the two second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, he told the 69 - year - old minister a circuit court judge would have to set bond.
"I won't do it," Wood said. At press time Monday, a second hearing had not been scheduled.
When offered a court -appointed attorney, one of Stair's followers Chip Landry spoke for the minister. "We'll probably hire one if we can go that route," Landry said. Stair's wife Teresa and another follower were also present at the hearing.
South Carolina Law Enforcement investigator Travis Avant requested a "substantial surety bond," as his investigation was on going and it was "likely there will be more charges similar to those in the coming weeks." Stair has no prior criminal record, Avant said.
Avant began investigating this case about a month ago, he said. The two criminal sexual conduct charges were brought by two girls, who moved to the farm where they say Stair had sex with them over 70 times against their will.
The two breach of trust charges are brought on the behalf of Lawrence and Linda Skenandore, former followers of Stair who left the farm in November 2000 after being there only a few months. They say Stair offered to invest their retirement savings, which included the sums of $3,079.07 and $26,556.40 for them. But after the Skenandores left, the money disappeared.
Now living in North Carolina, the Skenandores began listening to Stair's radio ministry in May 1994. Immediately, Linda Skenandore began sending him as much money as she could afford, she said.
In March 2000, the family of four made their first visit to the farm.
"When we got ready to leave, they told us the girls were staying," Linda Skenandore said. "He (Stair) said as far as we were concerned, this was their new home. We didn't know when we would see our girls again."
Obeying the prophet, the couple left their then 19 and 20-year-old daughters and went back to North Carolina.
While they were there, Regina Skenandore Belford, who is the younger of the two girls and currently lives in Arkansas, says Stair made advancements on her. On several occasions, he asked for a hug, but he received more than an embrace.
"He ran his hand all the way down my back to my backside, my butt," she said. "I thought at first it was an accident, maybe he didn't mean to do it.
"I was so na´ve to what he was doing that I didn't realize he wanted more than a hug."
Linda Skenandore says she and her husband drove from North Carolina nearly every weekend to see their daughters and to go to church services. With each visit, something seemed to be more and more out of the usual.
"I was beginning to feel an evil presence in that place," she said. "You just sensed a wickedness. You just know it was horrible and evil."
Despite her concerns, the couple joined their daughters in August 2000. Though the thought of living in a religious community appealed to the Skenandores, the environment was less than heavenly.
It's not decent for anyone to live down there," she said. "It's not decent for the roaches and rats that live there.
"I've never seen reaches that big in my life. You could hear them crawling at night. But, it wasn't the roaches that scared me, it was the mice."
Shortly after arriving. Linda Skenandore says Stair approached them about his investing the couple's retirement for them.
Ralph told my husband that he knew of two places that it could be rolled over," she said. Stair gave them an account number, and they called the bank to have the funds electronically transferred.
"When we got ready to leave, he gave us a portion of that money back," she said. "It was not the IRA. The money he gave us was to get back on our feet."
Though Belford left shortly after her parents did and married her husband in September 2001, her sister Angela is still living in the community.
Though they were extremely close growing up, Belford says Stair drove them apart.
"Me and her were just best friends growing up," she said. In light of
the charges brought against Stair, both Linda Skenandore and Belford wonder if they will
ever be able to speak to her again.
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The leader of a local religious community will remain in jail for at least another month, as his bond was denied at a second hearing Wednesday morning.
Ralph Gordon Stair, 69, was arrested May 16 and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree and two counts of breach of trust. At a May 17 bond hearing, Colleton County Chief Magistrate Richard Wood set a $50,000 bond for each of the financial charges but denied it for the other two.
Stair, who is a self-proclaimed prophet, preaches over AM and short-wave radio to a worldwide audience of followers. Additionally, he has a nearly 100-person community known as the Overcomer Ministry in Canadys.
At Wednesday's hearing, 14th Judicial Circuit Judge Perry Buckner heard both the state's case against Stair and defendant's defense.
State Law Enforcement Division, SLED investigator Travis Avant told Buckner that he felt Stair was flight risk and a danger to the community. To support his flight risk argument, Avant asserted that the minister has "access to a tremendous amount of money," has followers with communities similar to his across the nation and throughout Europe and has traveled extensively in the past.
Because Avant's criminal investigation is in its preliminary stages and will likely result in more charges against the accused, he believes Stair could prevent possible victims from coming forward, as the preacher has a "powerful method of brainwashing."
But Stair's attorney, Colleton native Joenathan Chaplin, argued his client is not a flight risk or a danger to the community. He further asserted that Stair's access to cash should have no influence on bond being set.
Regarding the breach of trust charges, Chaplin believes they exist merely on a technicality. The victims Lawrence and Linda Skenandore, who are former followers that moved back to North Carolina after leaving the farm in November 2000 after being there only a few months, say they gave the preacher nearly $30,000 to invested. After the Skenandores left, they say the money disappeared.
Chaplin said almost all the money was returned to the Skenandores long before Stair was charged with any crimes.
Though two girls say Stair had sex with them over 70 times against their will, Chaplin argued otherwise.
"Each and every time was consensual," he said.
Stair has no prior criminal record and needs to be home with his wife Teresa, 49, who is three months pregnant, according to his attorney.
"He needs to be at home. He needs to handle his affairs at home," Chaplin said.
Despite his prophetic claims, Stair understands Stair understands the charges against him and possible repercussions that could follow, said Chaplin.
"He's a very bright man," he said. "He knows this a matter that needs to be adjudicated. I'm asking you to impose a bond that would be acceptable."
Buckner agreed with Chaplin that Stair's access to funds should not be a consideration in setting a bond amount, but he also expressed concern about turning the defendant loose.
"My concern today is my feeling that the defendant poses a threat to the community," said Buckner. "I am very concerned about his impact on potential victims."
Though bond was denied at this time, Buckner stipulated that Chaplin could file another motion for another hearing at the next term of General Sessions Court, which begins on July 29. http://www.rickross.com/reference/rgstair/rgstair13.html
R.G. Stair Sex Scandal Rocks Christian Radio
"The end of all things is at hand! Jesus Christ is coming in your lifetime! Prepare to meet your God! Maranatha!" As anyone that has spent any time at all listening to Christian short wave radio knows, these words are broadcast around the world daily from a studio in an old house trailer outside of Walterboro, SC by the self proclaimed "Last Day Prophet of God," Ralph Gordon Stair.
Like strong cheese, R.G. Stair has always been an acquired taste. As the "mad prophet of the airwaves," he has indeed made many hysterical and unfounded proclamations. The Catholic Church as the whore of Revelation, God's condemnation of women that wear pants, and his outright denuniciation of anyone that should dare to disagree with him being but a few examples. However, from the midst of his rails and rants there emerged a true prophetic voice that spoke eloquently and accurately to the plight of our times and to the truth of the destructive power of sin in our world and in our lives.
While claiming to be a prophet and not a pastor, he none the less proceeded to build a community of believers at his Walterboro compound. In recent weeks, former members of this community, some that were forced out by Stair himself and some that left of their own accord, have testified openly and earnestly of his domination and physical and mental cruelty. Most devastating are the claims that he initiated and participated in the most debased and perverted sexual sins imaginable against the wives and daughters of his "brothers" in the community. Virtually without exception, those that were lured into this trap of degradation were drawn by the short wave radio broadcasts.
In the world of Christian short wave radio, R.G. Stair is a force to be reckoned with. On WWCR alone he is on 24 hours per day and occupies all of the time available on transmitter 4. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a month on airtime, he represents a substantial part of the operating budgets of several different broadcasters. More than just another evangelist caught with his pants down, the revelations of his lewd behavior have repercussions that will be felt throughout the Christian short wave medium. We at Radio New Jerusalem encourage WWCR and other Christian broadcasters to trust God and do what is right in terms of providing airtime that results in the exploitation of our Christian brothers and sisters in this way. Do what's right and God will provide. If transmitter 4 causes you to sin, then cut it off; it is better to enter the kingdom of heaven with three transmitters than to burn in hell with four.
Given the importance of these charges, this issue of Troubled Times deals exclusively with the events surrounding R.G. Stair. http://www.radionewjerusalem.com/archive2/rgstair.html
For more than 20 years, Brother R.G. Stair called sinners to his South Carolina compound, telling them to abandon their earthly life and railing for hours at a time about the supposed sexual deviance of his favorite target homosexuals.
"The last two Gay Pride Days have resulted in an awesome earthquake that shook the entire Western area of the country and a flood that devastated the entire Midwest," the right-wing radio evangelist thundered in a typical broadcast. "You mark my words, ladies and gentlemen, they are going to bring total destruction to a pagan, immoral, un-Godly, wicked, sin-loving nation such as ours."
But the real sinner, police charge, is Brother Stair.
Ralph Gordon Stair, the 69-year-old founder and leader of the Overcomer Ministry, was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in May.
After two young women claimed that the preacher forced them to have sex with him over 70 times, police charged that he "used coercion to accomplish this battery by enforcing his religious/personal beliefs with the victim." In other words, they said, Stair told the women that God wanted them to do his bidding. Bond was denied.
Stair was also charged with two counts of breach of trust. Police say he took a total of $29,635 from an unnamed man's retirement investments.
Brother Stair is a self-proclaimed prophet who preaches to a worldwide audience over AM and shortwave radio, including a 24-hour-a-day broadcast over one of the 100,000-watt transmitters of Nashville shortwave station WWCR, home to many extremist shows.
While he has concentrated for years on gays, Stair also targets Catholics as "Mary worshippers" and the pope as "the great whore." And he has specialized in doomsday predictions, like the times he prophesied that the American economy would collapse, Philadelphia would be destroyed by nuclear war, and Ronald Reagan would shortly be "removed from office."
For years, Stair has asked Americans to sell their possessions, leave the cities, and come join his community, which until recently had about 100 members, in Canadys, near Walterboro, S.C. Now, former members, who have reportedly turned over amounts ranging up to $500,000 to Stair, are saying they were deceived.
The former members describe a world in which sex between married couples is allowed only if specifically authorized by Stair. Television, alcohol, tobacco, sugar and profanity are outlawed as is laughter. Members are allowed no money, and are discouraged from communicating with outside friends or family. Many have accused Stair of engaging in numerous sexual liaisons with young women.
"He is very cunning, very artful and very practiced," Michael Rowland, a
former follower, told the Intelligence Report. "What he does is use the Bible
for his springboard, which is a great tool, a very powerful tool to back him up." Intelligence
Fall 2002 http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=36