Lester Roloff and the Rainbow Quartet

I’m just amazed as I watch this at the folksy charisma with which he communicates. He seems so very trust worthy. He seems so very safe. Why wouldn’t you trust this man?

My favorite line: “I would waste my money on you…and I wouldn’t sign your Bible.”

136 thoughts on “Lester Roloff and the Rainbow Quartet”

  1. they always have the most fantastic stories. It’s almost hard to believe that they’re true, but we all know an IFB preacher would never make anything up. πŸ™„

    1. LOL!!! The story at the end about the man who “kissed his way through the Bible” What? Just because he was blind and had no feeling in his face – he used his tongue to lick/read the KJV??? Braille anyone? Anyone??

      1. The “kiss the Bible” thing sounds odd, but I did see a photo in the old LIFE magazine of a boy reading Braille with his lips; using the tongue would be more tricky, but possible. Of course it would have to be in Braille, there is no way just licking print would do anything but give you ink poisoning.
        It still sounds a tad overdone even so. πŸ™„

  2. The irony of this is just so thick.

    At about the 1:30 mark he talks about all the miles he flied without proper training but the Lord protected him while he was in the air. In 1982 he died in a plane crash.
    I guess the Lord apparently stopped protecting him. Or maybe, just maybe, he is full of crap.

    1. Ditto! I only wached 2 mins, but had already set off my irony detector with that, and then had the temerity to quote (and indirectly claim as being about himself) that “thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against God” while he was continually sinning against both God & kids.

    2. After Roloff’s crash, his pilots went to work for BJU. They said to me personally and quite clearly that Roloff was a menace in the air. πŸ˜•

    3. Well, technically, God still protected him while he was in the air. It was when he hit the ground too fast that he died.

  3. So I watched most of it. I saw him hold the Bible up once. I saw him lean his elbow on the Bible. But I didn’t see him open the Bible up. Maybe I missed it.

    1. He opened it once and stuff fell out. He quickly shut it and held the Bible up and rambled a bit more. I don’t think he has to open the Bible and read it–he has it ALL memorized! πŸ™„

      1. Since it’s nearly 14 minutes long I will have to come back to this later on. But yeah I notice a lot of people that have papers and junk stuffed in their Bible, a load of bookmarks here and there, and Sunday school papers, bulletins, pens, what have you. They have to carry it very carefully lest all that stuff fall out. Don’t they know that’s what those fancy Bible covers are for? That’s why they have all the pockets. I even made several of them for my Bibles. πŸ˜‰

  4. They play his radio show every morning at 6 AM (while I’m driving to work). I always found it odd that I’m listening to someone who’s been gone for 30 years. I also find it odd that I’m listening at all, actually…

    1. Big Congrats! Is this your first first? What a joy it must be to finally be first! That’s amazing!

  5. Ah, yes, Lester Roloff:
    Drinking soda pop: not OK.
    Systematically torturing children: Good.

    (I’ll have to watch the video later, though.)

    1. That is probably the best description of his twisted sadistic mind that I have ever seen.

  6. Just looking at him with one of the big domestic news stories is the judge who beat his daughter with a belt is just too much irony for me on a Friday morning.

  7. I know I cannot watch this one. As a dorm supervisor at HAC, I had a girl on my floor who had been trapped in one of his homes. She never told of the abuse until years after both of us were gone from HAC. She was wise to keep it to herself, because at HAC, this pig was yet another of their idols. HAC would have probably sent her back.

    Before the self-appointed snark patrol comments on my not watching this video, note that I am posting about Roloff, not the clip. I do my best to obey. πŸ˜•

    1. Remember when he used to come to chapel and talk about “his girls”? I wish we had known then what we now know. I wish I had some of the old chapel tapes that burned up in the fire, (but would have a difficult time wading through them even for this) I wonder if we would have seen some of the signs of him being an abuser if we hadn’t been so blind back then. I knew a girl who went through his system. She kept to herself and was very timid and sad. I wish I had been less interested in my own survival and more able to reach out to others who needed it back then.

    2. If everyone at SFL followed the rules, it would be boring and predictable.

      Let’s leave the predictability to the trolls, haymen? πŸ˜›

    3. Self-appointed Snark Patrol! I want THAT job! I hereby appoint myself as a Snark Patroller. (Do I get a cool hat?) πŸ˜€

    4. BJ Jr. and Jack Hyles both spoke at Roloff’s funeral (I wasn’t there but I listened to it on the radio). Hyles used the occasion to brow beat young people into volunteering for “full time” service, and Jr. “prophesied” that God was taking one of His choice servants out of the way so He could unleash wrath on America.

  8. My dad told me that he’d heard Lester Roloff preach, and he was talking about these girls homes they ran, which took in many girls addicts on drugs. Dad quoted Roloff: “At our girls homes, we have no pills but the GosPILL.”

  9. I can’t get through more than two minutes. Roloff reminds me too much of one of my (late) relatives–smooth talker, pious-sounding, affable-looking, and mean as a snake.

  10. “Come in Base. Do you have a copy? This is Red Leader 1 checking in. No signs of trolls yet today. Over.”

      1. For those who may not know, Bozo here, patrols with 20 of his close friends all piled into a Volkswagon. πŸ˜†

    1. Apostate Red One here. I can try to lure them out if you’d like. “Hey gals, trousers are on sale at TJMaxx!!”

  11. When it got to the part where they are singing, my daughter says, “Who died?” ROFL!!! Out of the mouth of babes.

  12. Want a successful IFB ministry? Here’s the empire builder to pattern your budding serfdom after. And do it all in the name of Jesus so you can get away with just about anything.
    No use for the man, none whatsoever. If I meet him in heaven someday I may have to apologize but here on this earth, I firmly believe that he did as much harm to the Gospel as an army atheists. The religion he promoted was legalism and works. He gathered a following and set himself up as one who was in authority and built his kingdom.
    Sorry, there is no kinship there and no likeminded fellowship. I cannot and will not call this man “brother.”

    1. I have the same feelings for the IFB pastor whom I grew up under. Not surprisingly, he was a #1 fan of both Hyles & Roloff.

    2. As a former lighthouse on the farm resident, i think your description is perfect

  13. WAIT A MINUTE!! Whatever you think of the IBM PLEASE lay off Bro. Lester Roloff. He was a great man of God and practiced what he preached. You keep running down these great men and the Bible has a few words for you…touch not thy antointed… I would be scared to death to talk like you people do. God just might strike you dead in your tracks.

    1. If you are going to quote that verse at least quote it correctly and in context.

      Psalm 105:15 and 1 Chronicles 16:22
      are bothing referencing the same Psalm and are in reference to the nation Israel.

    2. I give a hearty “amen” to what Don said. That verse is completely out of context. Also the word “touch” in those passages is the Hebrew word meaning “physical harm.” Not disagree, or point out obvious wrongs. Besides you can’t physically hurt a dead man? Or can you? πŸ™‚

      1. Also, 2Corinthians 1:20-22 talks about how that we are anointed in Christ. So being a believer in Christ….I’m just as anointed as a Baptist pastor.

      2. Ditto. We are not to do harm to the nation of Israel. I fail to see how that applies to any pastor, Bible teacher, etc. Calling out error and abuse for what it is does not violate Scripture.

        Besides if an abuser of hundreds of children is a “man of god”, then his God is not the God I know. Check out Luke 17:1-2.

    3. Just Google his name, plus any word you like: abuse, scandal, truth… You’ll see. No one had to physically harm him. He took care of that all by himself.

    4. Wait, did you (Jean) just say you had a BM? And we needed to know this because?!!

      Or did you call the IFB a BM? There might be something to that… 😯

    5. If God was frequently striking people dead in their tracks, there would be a lot of empty pulpits. πŸ˜‰

  14. “Revival Fires will burn again”…. and leave the earth spiritually scorched just like they did with Charles Finney.

    “and the story of my live just happens to be in that little ol’ group of books” …crass commercialism and self aggrandizing.

    Ok 19 seconds in and I have two items
    1:21 in and already into the second illustration/ story… and the King James has already been mentioned. Oh, and a commercial for the homes as well. The man was a salesman… I’m just not buying his snake oil anymore.

  15. Wait..what abuse was Roloff guilty of? I musta missed something.

    Do you refer to corporel punishment?
    I have never heard of any charges of sexual misconduct etc. atrributed to him

    1. I find that statement very, very difficult to believe. Did you read the Mother Jones article? These people were guilty of systematic child abuse–mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical (beatings aren’t only form of physical abuse). These weren’t instances of a rogue foster home, or an off-track employee at a group home. These things occurred because they were the stated policies and procedures of the homes. The only two instances I’ve heard of around here where there were systematic issue of abuse/borderline abuse resulted in investigation and closure in short order. These homes were allowed to continue their policies of abuse because as “religious” institutions, they were able to avoid regulation. Avoiding regulation in state run facilities massive bribery/massive corruption. I don’t think the situations could be remotely comparable.

  16. PRAISE THE LORD FOR LESTER ROLOFF. I think the reason people don’t like Bro. Roloff is conviction. Anybody that didn’t like this tape has some deep spiritual problems.

    1. Jean, you’re right about one thing, it is my conviction that Roloff was an egotistical, opportunistic, empire-building con artist who built his empire out of playing on the heartstrings of unsuspecting church goers. He was a man who did not know the word humble. He never humbled himself or his ministry to the legal authority placed over him (1 Timothy 2:1-3, Romans 13:1-3).
      He conspired to cover up what was going on in the homes by shipping children across state lines to states where they could continue the coverup and defy the authorities. (see http://www.nospank.net/colloff.htm Remember the Christian Alamo)
      He practiced easy-believism, taught legalism and works sanctification and as I have said was far from being humble.
      Great man? Lord Acton’s Axiom applies here:

      β€œI cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”

    2. Yes, conviction they didn’t stop this man before he destroyed dozens of lives. He was, after all, just a man.

    3. “Anybody that didn’t like this tape has some deep spiritual problems.”

      Reminds me of the movie The Apostle, with Robert Duvall.

      Can an escaped murderer preach about God? Well we have Moses as an example.

      But a very different thing is to continue preaching while at the same time subjecting hundreds of other human beings to torture, beatings and mind control.

      I’m not sure I can say I actually liked this sermon, (minus some of the self-serving comments.) I mentioned previously, I have problems with the magical thinking. I would prefer less preaching about magical words, and a lot more about a Living God.

      But, compared to many other sermons I’ve been subjected to, this one was actually nice.

      I think Darrell’s point had to do with the discrepancy between what we preach and what we do.

  17. Say what you want to say. Call me anything you want to call me…I know what I know and I know what I believe. I suggest you go thou and do likewise.

    1. “Go thou and do likewise”? You do Shakespearean theater? At least move up to the ’70’s. The 1970’s.

    2. You’re not even very good at the apologist of immoral societal disasters like Roloff, quite frankly. You should really try taking a basic morality class if you can’t figure this one out with the Bible & your own conscience.

    3. Now children, BEHAVE!

      While we may nitpick here and there, there is nothing terribly wrong with this sermon.

      What is soo wrong is the disconect between what he says and what he does.

      Maybe Darrell should have placed the link to the Mother Jones article upfront, to bring the point home.

    4. I ask you the same question…How do you twists peoples head like that. How do you twists things so badly. My head is not twisted…but I do wonder about yours. I thank God for the KJV. I thank God that I know I’m saved. I thank God for good Godly men that have stood by the faith. I thank God for a good pastor (my husband). I thank God for wonderful children who are not, nor do they think they are, twisted. I thank God that I know He died for my sins, was burried and rose again the third day, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intersession for me.

      As I said before, call me what you want to call me, but I know what I think,and I know what I believe.
      I do not agree with the things you say but that is your right to believe it. You do not agree with me and that is also your right. I have a right to believe it. I don’t have the right to accuse people without proof. I don’t have the right to call people names and make fun of them for their beliefs, and neither do you. We can do it, but that does not make it right. Our words are recorded in Heaven, and one we will give an account to God for every word. I guess we are all like the pot…that calls the kettle black.

  18. You know you’re moving on with your life where once you would have gotten upset and now you just get mildly amused.

    Jean mildly amuses me.

    1. I would be even more mildly amused if I could ship her back in time to spend a week as an inmate of one of his homes.

      1. I’m sure this relatively mild sermon wasn’t the kind the girls were forced to listen to 24/7 in the isolation room. 😈 😈

  19. 1:19: “The King James Version of the Bible told me, 48 years ago, exactly what he wanted me to do.”

    It’s official. The KJB is the fundy’s third member of the Trinity. Apparently King Jimmy never told Roloff “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” (Mark 3:29)

    1. The IFB has trouble explaining a Trio so they made it a Quartet and booked them for the 2012 National Quartet Convention and a Gaither Special next weekend.

      1. My parents wouldn’t listen to the Gaithers and didn’t even like singing a song if they knew they’d written it!

        1. Down here in Redneck Fundyland Southern Gospel and the whole Stamps-Baxter Music School are synonymous with one being right with God.

        2. I KNOW! Imagine my shock when I noticed a song by Gloria Gaither in my X church’s new hymnal!!! I am sure they fundyised the music to it. It has a nice ring to say, my X church.

        3. Yeah. Because Old Guy Penrod has long hair and looks like a hippie? To Fundies even Bill Gaither has long hair.

        4. I actually almost went to Stamps Baxter School of Music one year, but I didn’t. Now I’m waiting on my Singing News subscription to expire. I haven’t read it in months.

      2. Well, no, IFB doesn’t believe in the Holy Spirit, so its still a trinity. It’s just, God gets left out and a replaced with a book. Its kind of like watching the Twilight Zone while on pain meds – hard to explain.

  20. I love how he complains about the hundreds of people that line up for him to sign their Bible and even uses that to manipulate them.

  21. Actual quote I personally heard at a camp meeting in Florida 2 years ago:
    “I went to Lester Roloff’s grave and fell on my knees and started to pray-Oh God we need another Lester Roloff, raise us up another Lester Roloff”

    There were other men mentioned, like Hyles, and Hutson, etc.

    It was at this point that my brain ran from the auditorium, my body however, gripped with disbelief remained motionless, staring blankly into the vacuous space where scripture and sanity once dwelt.

    1. That last paragraph is epic. I LOLed, then thought how sad the whole situation was, but had to laugh again. Great writing, there.

      1. If its a-savin souls, then its good, haymen? A little voodoo, a zombie Roloff (I mean, more zombie than the first go around), and we’ve-a got ourselves a reVIVAL, haymen?

  22. Does anyone from HAC remember Roloff preaching at FBC on a Wednesday night–super-rare, but Hyles did give him the pulpit–and LR preached “Pawing in the Valley”? he actually stood on the platform pawing his feet back and forth, while the crowd went wild. What a prize ass.

  23. β€œI went to Lester Roloff’s grave and fell on my knees and started to pray-Oh God we need another Lester Roloff, raise us up another Lester Roloff”

    cue creepshow style zombie hand bursting out of ground.

  24. The rebekah houses, hepzebiah house, etc… I notice a common theme seems to be an interest in the residents urination, bowel movements, and menstrual periods. This seems like some sort of fetish sexual perversion to me. If jean and her other fundy ifb ilk can manage to square that in their heart they have issues that are too deep seeded to be prayed away. People like roloff have left scars on victims hearts that will never go away.

    1. It goes along with the treatment of women as substandard and as their bodies as things that need to be overcontrolled. 😈

  25. People within the IFB are completely incapable of seeing wrong, even when it’s right in front of their faces. How do you twist peoples’ heads like that? How do you twist things so badly?

  26. My heart breaks when I read accounts like New Bethany. So sad. I can’t imagine anyone having to live there. Praying for the survivors of this b.s. My heart goes out to all of you who went through anything similar.

  27. Jean Jean, Jean. It’s time for you to peek over the edge of your “Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises” crate and see the forest in spite of the trees. It’s VERY WELL documented that Roloff was the MASTER teacher as far as showing his spiritual spawn how to systematically abuse kids and skirt the law. Just recently,there have been accounts posted by those who WERE abused personally by Lester Roloff himself.


  28. Hey, everybody … Let’s leave off on feeding the trolls for a while and see if they go away, OK?

  29. “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers…God the Father, God the Son, the Holy Spirit and the King James Bible.”
    He really said that! He is obviously not a Trinitarian, huh?

  30. I knew Brother Roloff as some would call him, for some years prior to his passing. I went to visit him and at one of his childrens homes in Corpus Christi, and the base singer of this Rainbow Quartet was a dorm mate at one of the colleges I attended and we spent a significant amount of time discussing the side of a person that many do not see, as he traveled with him. So I write this message with a bit more clout than what I have read here from the un-informed naysayers and critics. Brother Roloff became like a step father figure and friend to many who went down destructive paths in life toward complete ruin whether from abuses, wrong friendships, bad morals and ethics, or other types of a rebellious spirit. He was old school in his discipline, but has an amazing success rate of getting men, women, teens, and in some cases children back on track to living in society with purpose and the ability to marry, rear children with respect and character. Becoming people who gave back to society rather than taking from it. He gave his life to helping others understand what life was really about, and thus he was revered by many who really knew him in a personal way. I pity those who speak words of vomit about people they know nothing about. Leaves a bad taste, but for what cause, to show foolishness and ignorance?

    1. Some of us know quite a bit about “brother” Roloff and how he condoned the systematic brutalization of children in his “homes.”

      He had “an amazing success rate”?? Prove it!

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