Colleton County pastor Ralph Stair dies
CANADYS, S.C. (WCSC) – The Colleton County coroner said an evangelist who founded the Overcomer Ministry in the county has died.
Ralph G. Stair died of heart failure at his home, according to Coroner Richard Harvey. Harvey said Stair had been under hospice care.
His age was not immediately clear.
The coroner’s office listed Stair as 84, but Stair’s Overcomer Ministry, which announced his passing on its website, listed his age as 87 and his time of death as 11:17 p.m. Saturday.
At the time of his death, Stair was awaiting trial after being accused of sexually assaulting several women and children at the ministry.
Stair was arrested on Dec. 18, 2017, by Colleton County deputies and agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office said. Stair was arrested on eight warrants and agents also executed a search warrant at Overcomer Ministry.
The charges from that arrest included three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of assault with the intent to commit criminal sexual conduct first degree, one count of kidnapping, one count of first-degree burglary, one count of second-degree assault and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.[…]
I liked the response from Cheryl and it made the point that Brother Stair was not a violent extremist but a committed Christian concerned with spreading the message in the best way that he could. He has gone to his rest despite having gained both friends and enemies simply by doing that. Having read such a reply that does not belittle and vilify him I am going to get on with life hoping to perhaps hear someone as equally committed to his cause on different frequencies. I can but hope.
Or we can all respect each other’s beliefs without trying to convert people.
Just an aside. Christian’s are being accused of hate speech simply for preaching biblical stance against homosexuality. They are called racist when they deny that Jesus was black. They are accused of being anti Semitic when putting on the Oberammergau Passion Play. It’s a matter of degree. I do not understand how out and out National Socialists made it onto a station like WWCR but they did albeit out of the way and late at night but we go further into miasma if we allow free speech only to those who meet our own standards… I find the comparison with Father Coughlin stimulating for he was a Catholic priest who began to sound very much like a Nazi when he aired his views. The Nazis themselves were known to have fabricated clerics broadcasting to Britain and Hitler consecrated his own military bishops when his established church ones would not toe his line. Religion and politics are explosive and especially on the radio.
If the shoe fits, wear it. Muslims are the same as regards homosexuality, as well as a few other religions or branches of them. Once again, I don’t care what they say in private to their adherents, it’s what they preach in public that matters. Once they cross the line into public discourse with crap like this, they are openly spreading hatred, discrimination and possibly violence against people who they believe are committing sins. It’s simply not their right to publicly judge others. We have courts for that – if someone is committing a crime, they can be prosecuted. The religious looney tune leaders won’t physically do anything, but they will enrage their minions and cause them to vilify and hurt others. And radio stations should not be their enablers.
Remember John 7:7…. The world cannot hate you but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. If anyone is guilty of hate speech, it is you folks! Brother Stair loved the truth of the Scriptures and preached them faithfully. Jesus was crucified by Pharisees and hypocrites such as you all and for hating Brother stair so much you sure listened to him alot! Sad that you didn’t grasp the message that Jesus is coming soon and we should be ready! John the Baptist got his head chopped off because they didn’t like what he had to say! The word of God is a double edged sword and sounds like it cut you upon hearing. Shame on you all for your hatred of a man faithful unto his death.
Cheryl- I think you have allowed your religion to blind you to what so many of us here have been trying to say. We don’t care what your religion is. For all I care, you can worship trees, bushes or igneous rocks. It doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that you believe that your religion is the only real one and that anyone who does not believe as you do is doomed and must be converted to be saved. How would you feel if there was a Muslim station that constantly broadcast beliefs alien to you and then tried to repeatedly prove that you are a lesser being due to your beliefs?
Stair preached hatred of all who did not believe as he did. His goal was to convince people that his was the only true religion and that we all needed to believe in it. I am not a Christian – I don’t believe in any of those things you say and never will. And, unlike you and other religious zealots, I have never and never will try to convince someone else that mine is the only way. Evangelists of any religion are the root cause of countless centuries of wars, murders, and massacres in their quest to force others to abandon their own religions. I understand that you are incapable of considering any other religion than your own, but at least have the respect for others that you expect for yourself. Stair was a hypocrite and misogynist and was about to be tried for what seems to have mounted to rape. You need to stop defending the indefensible.
> Remember John 7:7
Are you saying that words specifically spoken *by* Jesus, *about* himself, *to* the disciples, apply to Stair?
On the other hand, remember Matthew 6:1-5 & Matthew 7:1-20.
“But then I sigh, with a piece of Scripture
Tell them that God bids us to do evil for good;
And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stolen out of Holy Writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.”
– The Duke of Gloucester, *Richard III”, William Shakespeare
I dont know how it comes over in other parts of the world but I would say that the BBC is a shadow of its former self. Similar things could be said about the Voice of America which has suffered cutbacks . Religious broadcasting in our country is of a very bland even objectionable nature and at least Brother Stair never went in for the terrible love songs to Jesus which are played incessantly by our stations. I look forward to some radical alterations in what is found acceptable after lockdown but somehow I dont think it will ever come.
I won’t miss him, not a bit.
Hate him all you want. The truth is that all voices should be heard even the unpopular ugly and vicious..
The number of folks that approve of censorship is really shocking.
Well, George, I’m sure that the real George Washington is rolling in his grave hearing your comments. Ugly and vicious hate speech should not be heard in public. In private, do what you want. Would you like to be in a parks with young children and hear some nut job shouting horrible, nasty things about your race or religion and sprinkling it with many obscenities? If you don’t, then you support censorship. If you don’t, then I feel sorry for your kids. It all has to be balanced – we, by law, do not have total freedom of speech in the US and we never did. So if you want a country without censorship, this is probably not the place to live.
I dont think Brother Stair was uniquely to blame for chasing people from short wave. Do people not remember American Dissident Voices which used to be heard on similar frequencies late at night with raucous renditions of Dixie. Among these was the very vicious man William Pearce whom I heard one night and wondered why he was even allowed air time. So maybe there was a reason in that these men were unwelcome anywhere else. I wonder why these people were aired by stations called Christian.
They operate under guise of being Christian. However, their only purpose is to make money. If they allow people to have shows and ask for donations without paying, then they are free speech radio. If not, they are just money grubbing hedonists like most commercial stations.
So…Stair’s dead. Well…Bye. I’m sure we’ll keep hearing his broadcasts well into the future, courtesy of whatever grifters hold the rights to his recordings. Too bad he managed to evade justice in this world, but at least I feel assured that the same will not hold true in the next.
Stair was a monstrous critic of other Christians. He verbally despised both Catholics and Protestants. I still remember the insults he hurled at Pope Saint John Paul II, as he slowly died of Parkinson’s disease.
Let me repeat only one of Stair’s “prophecies” that throws light on his “prophectic” calling in general. He said, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus Christ would return before he – Stair – had died. That’s all one really needs to know about him: he was a FALSE prophet. No, that’s not uncharitable; it very charitable…towards all who were deceived by his errors.
I communicated with him many times and visited him once at his compound in South Carolina. He had many warts but I’m not going to say bad things about him in death, it’s improper.
I tried to make him understand that by calling himself the “last days prophet of God” was self promotion but he truly believed that he was. I also tried to make him understand that mistreating his on air callers was not good.
I sensed no Holy Spirit in him but I still hope that he went to heaven.
His passing will negatively impact the health of shortwave broadcasters.
Really? It’s improper to denounce someone who has died who spent their entire life disparaging others? Sounds like you agreed with him on a lot more than things you disagreed with. I don’t care what he called himself, but, as I said before, his continues denunciations and deprecation of any and all who did not believe as he did make him a hateful, monstrous person. A peaceful death is far too good for him. That’s the problem with true believers – of anything – they hate everyone who doesn’t go along with whatever crappy lies they peddle.
Why so much anger? I never agreed with one word the man ever spoke.
My anger is against the radio stations that took his money so he could peddle hate in the form of religion. It’s also against people like Stair who spread false information that caused some Americans to consider others worth less than they were because of their religious beliefs or lack thereof. We have enough division in this country without looney tune fake preachers making it worse.
You can make a pretty credible argument that Brother Stair chased away more shortwave radio DX’ers than the Internet ever did.
This, yes indeed.
I never heard Brother Stair engaging in pure hate speech as you say.But maybe you disagree with the extreme version or vision of Christianity that he definitely did espouse. He had left his mark and now he cannot do anything about people who launch into denigration of him,
I don’t care what he believes in. Or what anyone else believes in. I object to people who spew hatred and belittle anyone who doesn’t believe as they do. This is a free country – believe in what you want, but don’t tell me I have to believe in the same thing and that what I believe in is wrong and that I’m a lesser person because of it.
Sorry, but pure hate speech is never acceptable. It’s bad enough person to person, it’s a lot worse broadcasted aroind the world.
I knew very little about Brother Stair, and my listening experience with The Overcomer was no more than pausing long enough to determine the programming and moving on to the next frequency. If I can offer anything positive, I’ll say he seemed dedicated to shortwave, as avoiding his programming took some doing at any time of day.
In a culture becoming increasingly intolerant of views other than their own, Free Radio is an important, albeit waning medium. It may do little to unite a divided society, but what does anymore? At least it offers a platform for those voices silenced by other platforms.
Some voices should be silenced. Professing that your religion is the only true one and that all others are false and that you are doomed to the fired of hell is hate speech. It convinces people to take action against nonbelievers and those who believe differently. It’s really not very different than yelling fire in a crowded theater.
It will be nice to tune across the SW bands and not hear him.
Wishful thinking. They’ll probably keep playing his tapes for years.
Have you heard the saying which could well apply to Brother Stair
One should never speak ill of the dead rather well of them or bunkum.
There are many people who are better off dead and we have the right to celebrate their death.
Maybe we could get something worthwhile to fill the airspace–like Radio Japan relaying English to North America again! Just one of the great stations we lost, as a result of RCI getting shut down on shortwave,
I agree I hear them in Japanese very good signal in the evening. I miss the old days when the bands were loaded with all kinds of signsls like SRI DW RAI RN RCI Radio Australia etc. Thank God for stations from Romania Turkey BBC and a few other.
I would like to have most of the right wing nutcases on EWTN fired but we ought to respect their right to free speech and as far as I viewed it short wave used to preserve exactly that and it is a shame that the medium is now disappearing for all shades of opinion weird and not so weird . In such regard Brother Stair is well recalled without being over praised or too much castigated by either side.
I think Brother Stair may have been misrepresented by his enemies. I found him sometimes irascible but he was not despicable in that he tried to alert people to the lateness of the hour. It was never actually proved that he had done half the things of which people accused him unlike people in the Church of England and the recently exposed Ravi Zacharias.
The lateness of what hour? I can listen to WWV if I want the exact time. The rest of your post is irrelevant to the matter at hand.
If the price for not having people as despicable as this Brother Stair on the air is the end of shortwave commercial stations, so be it.
Julio- I agree with you completely. How can anyone justify the hate and prejudice that spewed from this guy and people like him with some fanciful ideas that those types of broadcasters will somehow save the SWLing hobby. That’s like saying we are willing to tolerate anything as long as it prolongs something we like. Stations like the ones he was on broadcast the most vile and insane programs you can hear anywhere. They espouse racism, anti-muslim, anti-semetic, homophobic and misogynistic thoughts that have no place in America and should not be broadcast. I’d rather see every one of these stations fail than give these looney tunes a platform. Saying we need to tolerate this behavior just to keep the stations afloat is short sighted and makes those who spread that belief complicit in what those hateful people are saying.
Although I disagree with most of what Brother Stair preached over the airwaves (especially the last 10 years or so), I support his right to buy air time right to say it – as does the 1st amendment of the Constitution. Just because I disagree with his point of view, does not mean I should have the right to censor him. If I don’t like it, I spin the big VFO knob.
Let the flaming begin in 3…2…1…
> “How can anyone justify the hate and prejudice that spewed from this guy and people like him with some fanciful ideas that those types of broadcasters will somehow save the SWLing hobby. That’s like saying we are willing to tolerate anything as long as it prolongs something we like.”
Yes, very much this.
It’s quite reminiscent of ‘Say what you like about Mussolini, but at least he made the trains run on time’ – which was once a sardonic denunciation of the horrors he inflicted on others.
Thankfully the rest of the world can ignore the US’s ‘but muh Constitution!’ types since it’s irrelevant outside their borders (or, increasingly, within it e.g. the “100 mile border zone”…)
You’re comparing Brother Stair to Mussolini? Really? Again, as I stated before, I disagree with 95% of what he said over the airwaves but he still has a right to say it even if it hurts peoples feelings.
As for “muh Constitution”, I’ll keep it and protect it the best I can – thank you very much. If you’d don’t like it…Good day.
So you’re saying, come to a place like Ireland where mostly liberalist views are tolerated ? where radio is controlled by the Government ? is that what you want ? People not to express themselves unless it goes with the Government’s agenda or where you can get sued for saying anything ? it’s not a good thing I can tell you when People are brainwashed by state controlled media and radio stations.
The USA should embrace technology that isn’t controlled by big tech companies and above all freedom of speech. They want to shut everything down that doesn’t agree with liberalist views as hate speech and the tech companies are allowed far too much power and control.
Why is it everyone else is always wrong except liberals ?
Not sure what Ireland has to do with this, but I don’t live there (nice place to visit, though) and I really don’t care what they do. What I do care about is stopping people from spewing pure hatred over the airwaves in the US – any airwaves. Political dissent is fine – demonizing others for their beliefs or blaming an entire race, religion or nationality for whatever is happening is totally wrong. That’s why Brother Whatever the Hell His Name Was was so offensive.
Assuming you are an American and don’t live in Ireland, your statement (as well as others) “Why is it everyone else is always wrong except liberals?” is totally off the mark. This conversation is about a religious fanatic with racist views using shortwave to spread his hate of those who didn’t believe what he thought was the only true religion.
Nothing political – conservative or liberal about that. If you don’t like the current administration, wait 2 and 4 years and the landscape will change. The real problem in this country is that we seem to have lost the art of negotiation and compromise. If you insert the word conservatives in lieu of liberals, that’s what many people thought about the last 4 years.
I love Shortwave because I can hear stuff that would never in a million years be allowed on Irish radio I can hear it and I can decide for myself what is or is not hate speech I don’t need some organization or Government to tell me what’s right or not, that’s a very slippery slope.
So Steve, if you are to pass a new law tomorrow to control content and effectively end free speech, who would you like to see control the content ? and do you not think that these People/organization would allow or not allow content based on their own political agendas or beliefs and do you think this is the way it should be ? Do you not think they can be corrupted ? Do we then need someone to control the censors and someone else to control them and so on ?
Steve, you are entitled to your opinion but it sounds like you are not fully informed how shortwave radio station operates. There’s no such thing as free in this world!
Mark and Mariel- I am very informed about how commercial shortwave stations run. They are a for profit business that depend totally on revenue streams from both sponsors and paid shows. The problem is that it’s unconscionable to allow the peddling of hatred on the air so they can make money. There’s a reason we have the FCC in the US – without them, every broadcaster would be engaged in a free for all for content that paid the most. This content would be hate, pornography, racism, etc. To say that government should have no hand in what can and cannot be broadcast on radio and TV is naïve. Just as we have standards for pretty much everything else, we have broadcast standards. As long as the stations are physically located in the US, the FCC should be able to regulate them. If they are not in the US, then it’s another country’s problem.
Yes, I am as entitled to my opinion as much as you are. But none of us is entitled to practice public hate, at least in the US. It’s been a long time since the civil war, but, as a Southerner, I can tell you that there a lot of people down here who still won’t admit they lost. And the hatred they spew should not be occurring in 2021.
Yes his slogan was Jesus Christ is coming back in your lifetime and maybe he was not including himself.
Brother Stair’s broadcasts were mildly entertaining but also a little disturbing – so much condemnation, prejudice and anger. It comes as no surprise that the power he seemed to have over people resulted in the allegations mentioned in the article.
While his funding of shortwave broadcasting had collateral benefits in supporting broadcasting generally, I wonder how much of that money came from followers and their families.
Fingers crossed that WRMI and others will find other customers in the future.
Yes Brother Stair enjoyed the privilege of being one of the last crazy voices to inhabit the dying medium of short wave. He had his day ov ubiquity and now we have to look forward to fewer people like him filling these cherished frequencies with a strange view of the world. I do not think he has anyone in his small entourage to assume the self styled prophets mantle and Jesus Christ has not returned in the this mans lifetime.
He actually said Jesus wouldn’t return until after his death
You are right
I’m looking forward to some different programming that may be more interesting that that of Brother Stair’s sermons and rants. Maybe some of the pirate radio operations can go legit. Maybe there are some streaming programs and podcasts that might be interested in purchasing airtime.
We shall see…
You know here in Europe, sometimes Brother Stair is the ONLY English language broadcasts you can find ( usually from WRMI) – So if that stops, witch I imagine it will/should, The English on SW here will be either Chinese “propaganda” or Radio Romania most of the time 🙁
I hope independent producers of English programs can keep the “tubes warm” once the BS from BS is gone. I know “Channel 929” from German has English independent stuff, but their TX seems to be always poor in the UK. 🙂
Doesn’t the BBC broadcast out of the UK on 9.410 and 12.095 in English and its heard quite well on the SDR Receivers that I’ve heard in Europe. Seems that I’ve heard it during what would be night time hours in Europe but maybe I am mistaken on that.
However, I agree with you that there aren’t many English broadcasts coming out on Shortwave in the European sector. I miss the days we had Deutsche Welle, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Radio France, Radio Portugal, RAI Italy plus all of the Northern European stations and the old Eastern bloc stations like Yugoslavia, Serbia, Radio Prague, Radio Berlin International, Polish Radio, Radio Ukraine, etc.
I agree with Dean Bianco in that many a Shortwave Radio station would not exist today if it were not for Bro R.G. Stair’s funding. Yes he was a menace to many but his (followers) money kept shortwave alive through some tough economic times. Even at the irritation of Glenn Hauser ;p
Now, if stations would offer more affordable rates, like they did to Brother Stair, there would be more smaller broadcasters that could afford to go on shortwave today. One big advantage shortwave (or radio in general) offers is the ability to play music. Something that most online media outlets like YouTube don’t let you do. You can’t just start up a music show on YouTube. They don’t want to mess with the licensing.
You can find more information on https://RGStair.com
[To swling.com: We own the copyright of that image of Brother Stair at the pulpit. You are free to use it, courtesy of Liam Sand the owner. We appreciate your articles over the years, as we have also linked to them.]
Thanks for your comment and for permission using that image. When I did a search under his name, it showed up multiple times, so I wrongfully assumed it originated from his own site.
You likely did get it off his site. He used to use it. But he wasn’t given the rights to use it ;-p
Besides all that shortwave airtime, Brother Stair’s group has a 24×7 DVB-MPEG2 audio channel on Galaxy 19 Ku band. It’s used for distribution and direct-to-home coverage across North America. Ironically, the University Network (another big buyer of shortwave airtime) is on the same bird; a decline in income forced Pastor Melissa Scott to drop the satellite TV service but their audio channel remains active.
Overcomer Ministry may decide to end shortwave broadcasts after Stair’s passing or the ministry could disband. I don’t know if the church has long-term contracts with the shortwave stations or not. This could be a fortunate development for independent producers of radio programming.
A large number of independently produced programs are heard on America’s public radio stations. CPB distributes the programs to public radio stations via their satellite distribution system. Many of these programs have no affiliation with NPR which uses the same CPB satellite network to distribute their programming. Fortunately, US shortwave stations have alternatives to program distribution by satellite and no restrictions on commercial programming.
If Overcomer leaves shortwave this could offer both shortwave broadcasting and independent producers a fine opportunity to grow an audience on shortwave. A major new producer could broker enough time to perhaps nab some of those prime time slots on shortwave.
A couple of things to consider. Will his broadcasts continue to waste precious electromagnetic energy for years on end, a la Dr Gene Snot? Also, paradoxically, if Stair’s heirs decide NOT to continue his radio ministry, WRMI, WBCQ and others will suffer a major economic loss. While I have issues with BCQ’s Allan Weiner’s politics, I do support his station’s content and mission. Even much more so, I would feel badly for WRMI’s Jeff White. He has made it clear when I spoke at length with him at one of the recent SWL Winterfests that Stair’s Overcomer Ministry contributes a substantial amount of R Miami International’s operating budget. I come to rely on WRMI’S relays of those international broadcasters who have forgone shortwave altogether. I hope Jeff can still offer these broadcasts should Stair’s money no longer flows their way.
He should have picked up a hot ex porn star wife to carry on his ministry after his death like Scott did.
He sounds a lot like Father Coughlin from the 1930s.
Tells other people what to do and then does whatever he wants and breaks all the commandments. From what I have read about him, we are are a lot better off with him dead and women are safer. You don’t praise a monster just because he runs a radio show.
As much as I don’t care for Brother Stair and his ministry, at least he kept the transmitters warm, people employed, and the airwaves filled.
Always something I included when someone wanted a quick taste of what was still on shortwave.
Is this a joke? Who cares if another hypocrite rapist fake minister dies? Other than that, what does it have to do with SWLing?
Relax. I don’t you’re going to find anyone on this site that will be shedding a tear for Brother Stair.
But, as to SWL’ing, he did have a major presence on SW for many years and whether we like or not, the money he earned went into transmitter time at several stations.
Maybe it’s the nostalgia for me but he represented in my mind, the kookiness of what was out on SW before it became literally a handful of major stations with mostly cookie cutter content. Commercial SW broadcasting these says is frankly very boring.
anyway he’s receiving justice just not in this life
He was a terrible person who I am not sad to see dead, but you can tune around the bands 24 hours a day and find him in multiple places. The death of someone so prominent on the air is definitely relevant to SWL, especially when it could likely cause financial difficulties for some of the shortwave broadcasters in the US.