…………. the more they remain the same.
In Va., a Powerful and Polarizing Pastor
Rob Foster was 16 when his family unraveled.
He had told his parents that he wanted to leave Calvary Temple, the Pentecostal church in Sterling the family had attended for decades. But church leaders were blunt with his parents: Throw your son out of the house, or you will be excommunicated. And so that December two years ago, Gary and Marsha Foster told Rob that he had to leave. They would not see him or talk to him.
“I was devastated,” he said.
“Church isn’t for everyone who wants to just show up,” Scott said in an interview. “It’s not a community club. We’re not looking to build moral, successful children. We’re looking to build Christians.”
In 2002, three weeks after the death of his wife, Scott, who was then 55, stood before the congregation and announced that the Bible instructed him as a high priest to take a virgin bride from the faithful. A week later, he did — a pretty 20-year-old who a couple of years earlier had been a star basketball player on the church high school team.
Scott said he has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of church funds on a fleet of race cars and until last year devoted many weekends touring the circuit for his “racing ministry.” The church Web site shows Scott and his wife, Greer, 26, posing in racing suits, helmets in hand, beside a red dragster.
Scott is Calvary’s “apostle” and presiding elder, and in 1996, he named himself the sole trustee, putting him in charge of virtually all of the church’s operations, its theology and finances.
In his sermons, Scott teaches that his church is scripturally superior to others and views keeping people in the fold as a matter of their salvation. “Anything that’s other than a member in harmony has to be identified and expelled,” Scott preached in May 2007.