I feel like I jumped into the Hot Tub Time Machine, but instead of popping out at a swingin' ski resort, wound up at one of Lester Roloff's home for girls and boys circa 1976.
Lester Roloff was an icon at my former church, Trinity Baptist in Jacksonville, Florida. He visited about two or three times a year. Bible conference and whenever he happened to be in Florida. He would take the girls and boys to the downtown juice bar for a drink. Roloff also played against our top basketball players and, more often than not, won.
Michael Palmer, the fellow referenced in the posts regarding Victory Home for Girls, is a big admirer of the late Lester Roloff.
This movie, which is seen in seven parts on You Tube, was produced by Roloff. Naturally, it is uncritical of his work, but it does give a historical framework for how the current crop of homes (Victory, Hephzibah House, etc) came to be.
Roloff was not one to give detailed answers to accusers. I remember one service that was entirely in song. He might introduce a subject and make you think he was going to say something valid, then he'd suddenly lapse into song and stay that way for the entire service.
He was quoted on 60 Minutes as saying his discipline left no 'lasting marks' on the girls.
Part One shows us the layout of Roloff's Texas spread. He talks about turning himself in at the jail and discusses his diet.
This diet would eventually be abused by his followers and admirers resulting in malnutrition.
Part Two gives us a glimpse into Accelerated Christian Education. He was a big advocate for ACE. Probably their best salesman.
Part Three showcases the Bethesda Home in Mississippi. Mississippi is described as the most 'progressive' state in the union because they have not tried to regulate the Roloff Homes. The Bethesda Home is where one of the victims in the Bob Gray scandal was sent after it was discovered she was pregnant.
Part Four shows us the Lighthouse boy's home. Black students are shown eating watermelon. I'll leave it to you to decide if that is intentional, or unintentional, racial stereotyping. There are white boys as well. Roloff mentions 'accidents' at the home that 'the enemy' is using as an excuse to close them down. No mention of what exactly those accidents were.
A 'prayer to the flag' mourns the USA. I believe this is happening in Lynchburg, Virginia, home of the late Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.
There's also a bicentennial reference.
We see the Peaceful Valley Home for Senior Citizens. That's probably the only home that avoided scandal.
Part Five opens with Lester Roloff landing his plane on a field in Georgia. He's visiting the City of Refuge, a rehabilitation farm for alcoholics and drug abusers. Their problem is not 'addiction', it's 'sin'. No newspapers or television sets! The home originally belonged to the woman who designed the Texas flag.
Part Six has the narrator aghast that the state wants his homes licensed. Various scenes from rallies supporting Roloff are shown. We see him at the Corpus Christi jail. The girls seem to magically march behind him on cue without being prompted. Everybody starts singing and the news media doesn't seem to know what to make of it. He walks to his jail cell singing 'Oh, how I love Jesus'. He walks into the jail cell and the doors close on him.
Part Seven talks about his time in jail and how the USA is becoming like a communist country. The movie ends with Roloff's successor bringing us up to date with the fact that Roloff is dead but his homes are still operating.
NOTE: A website is given: www.roloffhomes.org, but it is now a non-working link. Roloff.org, which is not shown on the video, does work.
for more info: