Such was the awe-inspiring persona of Hobart E. Freeman to his flock, that even people like Tomax7 who are “saddened” to hear of people neglecting personal hygiene due to the faith message, that even he still holds Freeman blameless. He was literally put on a pedestal; his pulpit l was at least 8 feet higher than the rest of the congregation. He had the persona of an old time Pentecostal revival preacher. At times, he preached a positive faith message, but as time elapsed, he increasingly called down fire and brimstone upon the congregation.
On his website, Tomax7 wrote:
But does this mean the faith message and Faith Assembly were a cult or false? I don’t believe so. While one can “justify” a cult mentality crept in, I believe there was a divine happening going on where God was present at the meeting.
But I am saddened to hear about what happened to people there or even to this day how some cannot fellowship with other Christians or neglect personal hygiene like brushing their teeth because they think it is sin to go to the dentist. – heck I too thought that once
The scene was very much like the church depicted in the movie ‘Borat’. There was a genuine sense of excitement, like nothing I’ve experienced today to this point. The song leader, Jerry Irvin, was playing jazzed up hymns, accompanied by trumpets, pianos, bass, drums, violin. Two thousand people were singing their hearts out. People were dancing in the aisles overcome by the Holy Ghost. The saints were ‘speaking in tongues’, hundreds of different tongues that no one on this earth could translate.
After the sermon, there would be a song or two, and people would line up at the sides of the stage where Freeman preached, to feel the Lord’s anointing emanating from him. When a true believer was touched, he would often fall down, slain in the spirit. Or some nights, they might line up for exorcisms. We didn’t call it that, it was simply ‘casting out the demons’. I witnessed seizures, people fainting, and a host of mass hysteria.
“In the name of JESUS, I CAST OUT THIS SPIRIT OF ASPIRIN!!” Sometimes, the demons would talk back: (Hissing) “She’s mine, you can’t have her.” “In the name of JESUS, I CAST YOU OUT!!” Eyes would roll back into heads, hands would shape into claws.
As an impressionable kid in grade school it was terrifying, and it was awesome. At night I dreamed of demons attacking me. Big black shapes, so black that I could not even see any face, just a vague form. So macabre were these dreams that I would often wake up hyperventilating. I was often scared to go to sleep.