Decade in Review: Dear “Tony Alamo, World Pastor”

By Michelle Railey

Tony Alamo
Tony Alamo, World Pastor (and convicted child molester. But why quibble?)

Summer, 2011

Dear Mr. Tony Alamo, World Pastor:

When I exited the Walmart yesterday, hauling my cat litter and Diet Coke, I failed to see the pamphlet that had been left under my driver’s side wiper blade until I was driving, when a picture of Jesus threatened to come loose and obscure my vision of the road and other cars. So, at first, my reaction to your 12-page booklet was initially irritation: “Thanks, unknown church, for the driving hazard. Next time use brightly colored paper, would you?

But then, this morning, after I had started my car, backed out of the driveway, again becoming alerted to the presence of 12 pages of religious literature threatening to come loose, and then stopped to get out of the car and remove them, I took a glance. And there, Tony Alamo, I found you.

I found your photo from 1986 (that hair! that tan! those sunglasses! your tastefully unbuttoned dress shirt!). I found the illustration of the bedazzled cross (if it were real — and maybe it is! — it would be so shiny!). I found your title of “Tony Alamo, World Pastor” right next to the part where it advised me how to “ask for any of the many articles written by Pastor Alamo,” something I’m seriously considering because I really don’t read enough things with titles like “Choosing Up Sides” and “Dry Bones.”

While I don’t know when I will be at your churches in L.A. or Arkansas and am a little afraid of the part where, should I desire to attend while in New York City, I will first need to “please call for the address,” you can be certain that my interest has been piqued.

As your 12 glorious pages advised me “do not throw it away, pass it on to another” since “this literature carries the true plan of salvation,” I am posting key portions of the pamphlet (your photo from 1986, for example) on my blog. I thought this might be a better approach than placing it under someone’s driver’s side windshield wipers (you know, driving hazard).

While I can’t say for sure whether or not I found salvation through your pages, I did find mirth. It’s like a quasi-conversion at the Walmart. So even if that’s not the intended consequence of your pamphlet, it’s something, right? I feel like somehow in this, we’ve both been winners.

I sure am grateful to you, Tony Alamo, World Pastor.

Yours most sincerely,

Hapless Shopper in Indianapolis Who Found More than Cat Litter at the Wal-mart

Update, 2016: if you google this guy, it turns out there are a couple sex crime things out there. Oh, and “cult wives stories.” Big shocker, I know, because he just doesn’t look like the type…

(Update, 2018: Mr. Alamo passed away in 2017. See New York Times, Tony Alamo, Apocalyptic Ministry Leader Convicted of Sex Abuse, Dies at 82.

2 thoughts on “Decade in Review: Dear “Tony Alamo, World Pastor”

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