Tim Fisher is the founder and pastor of Covenant Life Church International, in the old Church of God building on the Dual Highway in Hagerstown. If Larry Aikens is a used car salesman, Tim Fisher is the guy who shows up on your front porch hawking Amway five minutes after you’ve sat down to supper. Larry Aikens uses his 60 seconds of fame on A Moment of Truth to do some half-assed preaching; when Tim Fisher is on TV, it’s an unabashed “Come to my church, please!” commercial. The church website even has a link to the latest commercial . . . or it will, at least – that page is under construction. A quick skim of the Sermons page finds some interesting, though vague titles: “How Stable is Your Stable,” “The Cross or the Plank,” “Bloody Jesus,” “Step Up,” “Step Up Again,” and a four-part series entitled “Don’t Bear the Care,” whatever the fuck that means.
The real star of the Covenant Life Church International website is Pastor Tim himself. Check it out and you’ll find not one picture of Jesus, and really not all that many scripture quotations – but there are four pictures of the dynamic young Man of God[tm] in action. From Pastor Tim’s bio: “Pastor Tim preaches the Gospel with an exciting, dynamic style that is unmistakably his own. The anointing that God has placed on his life has resulted for countless lives being saved, changed, and baptized in the Holy Ghost.” He’s a hell of a guy – just ask him. Fisher wasn’t born with such a knack for self-promotion; he picked it up from a friend of his, founder of Voice of Evangelism Ministries, star of Manna-Fest TV, Pentecostal superstar Perry Stone Jr.!
Perry Stone’s not from around here, thank Christ, but his website is linked to Pastor Tim’s, and it’s clear that the two men have much in common. See if you can detect a pattern in the questions on Stone’s FAQ page, for instance: “I have heard you speak about your heritage in the ministry. What is that heritage?”, “Why did you name your ministry, ‘Voice of Evangelism?’”, “You now have a very large outreach ministry that reaches people from around the world. How was this outreach ministry birthed and what impact do you see it having on men and women, globally?”, “You have been noted as a "prophecy minister." However those who follow your ministry say you preach much more than prophecy. Can you comment?”, and of course the most pressing question of all, “Speaking of Partners, do you have a Partner Outreach?” I bet I know the answer to that one.
Finally, there’s Pastor Alan Greijack of Gateway Ministries on Greencastle Pike just outside Williamsport. If you live around here, you know the place I’m talking about. It’s our very own aspiring megachurch. Larry Aikens and Tim Fisher want nice big congregations to brag about and to see their faces on TV; Alan Greijack will stop at nothing short of world domination. Every time I drive by, it seems the church has expanded. It’s like a hydra that’s constantly growing extra heads. I think it might also be a dark matter black hole. Greijack is also the star of Gateway’s very own television show, Fresh Fire, which features shitty contemporary Christian music followed by Greijack’s sweaty, sibilant preaching.
I couldn’t find any pictures of Pastor Greijack on the website, which is wise on the webmaster’s part since Alan’s not the best looking fellow in the world. I did, however, find this disturbing-as-fuck flow chart, illustrating the church’s trickle-down theory of religious authority:
No wonder a man as ugly and unlikable as Pastor Greijack has been able to build such a huge congregation and build a sprawling and ever-expanding church – the man takes his orders directly from Christ.
So yeah, no donations of megalomaniacal Christian leaders are being accepted currently in Hagerstown. We’re full up.