Life is Fiction: Does God Have A Hit Man?

The good reverend had come to Bangs, Texas, although no one could quite figure out why, with all of God’s creation and handiwork in the world, the good reverend had chosen to gather his flock and await the Lord’s return to earth on one of the most godforsaken patches of terrain left on earth.

It didn’t make sense. Of course, some didn’t think the good reverend made a lot of sense either. But he had seen the vision. He had heard the voice of God in the stillness of the night. And the voice told him to go to Bangs. The end time was at hand.

Rev. David Terrell

Bangs looked like the end of time: alkali hills, scrub brush, scrub grass, dry creeks, a land that settled for two inches of rain when the world was destroyed by flood, a country so hot that if you saw a dog chasing a rabbit during August, chances are both were walking.

The good Reverend Heze Terrell had traveled the highways and back roads of America, preaching beneath, he said, the largest white tent in the world. It would hold as many as five thousand sinners a night, and he kept it full.

He had begun his ministry during the 1960s with a sad little caravan of broken down cars and pickup trucks, and now he was driving a Mercedes and  had his own airplane.

God had been good to Brother Terrell. No. Brother Terrell had been good to Brother Terrell. He called himself the end time messenger and a modern-day prophet of God. He was big on the prediction business, which is why he had left the main road and wound up in Bangs.

The good reverend had experienced a revelation. He had seen the vision. The Lord is coming back, he said. Or Russia is sending its bombs to destroy America, he said. Either way, only here and with me can you survive a great tribulation.

Welcome to Bangs, Texas

The message to his followers was as simple as the Ten Commandments. Sell everything you have, he told them. Sell your home. Sell your car. Bring God the money and give it to me. It’s time to start anew. And, by the way, if you leave this tent with a dime left in your pocket, you will drop dead before you get home.

So they become poor. And the good reverend became rich. And they all journeyed together up the long winding road from Brownwood and into the empty pasturelands of Bangs. And they came by the hundreds from all regions of the nation, and the folks in town simply shook their heads and called chosen ones who made their way to and from the big white tent each night Terrellites. God have mercy on their souls.

Brother Terrell sold small lots of land to his legion of disciples for eight hundred to twelve hundred dollars a plot. But he wouldn’t give them a title. He made them pay their own taxes. And when they died, the land would revert back to the church.

Thus spake the good Reverend David Heze Terrell.

The Terrellites were in a quandary. They feared God. They feared the Russian bombs. But most of all, they feared David Heze Terrell. His was the voice of wrath.

The voice of wrath made the sheriff mad, and he made life as miserable as he could for David Heze Terrell.

“I’m not gonna let him get away with it,” the sheriff told me one afternoon.

“With what?” I asked

“Stealing,” he said.

I nodded.

“Fornicating,” he said.

I nodded.

“Can you name the Ten Commandments?” the sheriff asked.

I told him I could.

“The preacher’s broke every one of them,” he said.

“Can you prove it?”

The sheriff grinned. “If he hangs around long enough I can,” he said.

When the good reverend walked the streets of Bangs, the sheriff was right behind. When he stood to preach at night, he was staring at the sheriff who was staring back from the darkness just outside the tent.  When he passed the collection plate, the sheriff was watching each dime that bounced and each dollar piling up. When he drove away at night, he could see the headlights of the sheriff’s car trailing after him in the shadows. He was always there. Back in the shadows. Always watching the con man, the scoundrel, the performer, the prophet.

One night, the good reverend closed his Bible and suddenly quit preaching about God. He stood in the pulpit, raised his hands, and condemned the sheriff. “If he doesn’t leave us alone,” Brother Terrell said, “God will strike him down.” He paused for effect. “God will strike him dead,” he said.

I walked with the sheriff away from the tent after the last soul had been saved, re-saved, and resigned to become a Terrellite and asked him, “Are you concerned?”

He shook his head.

“Why not?” I asked.

“I’ve spent a good deal of time reading the New Testament in my life,” he said. “I’ve searched the scriptures from one end to the other.”

“Find anything important?” I asked.

“One thing.”

“What’s that?”

“God don’t hire out as a hit man.” He grinned.

The end of the world did not come to Bangs, although few in town would have recognized the difference. The Russian bombs did not arrive either. The good reverend also prophesied that Richard Nixon would commit suicide over the Watergate scandal. He prophesied that Pope John Paul II would die less than a year after taking office. He prophesied that America would suffer a nuclear war. He prophesied that the planet Mars, for whatever reason, would explode.

The good Reverend David Heze Terrell was big on the predicting business. It’s just that none of his prophecies ever came to pass.

He saw visions. He had revelations. But none of them had anything to do with the IRS. They should have. The sheriff said he would be able to prove something if the good reverend hung around long enough. Tax fraud was as good as anything.

Brother Terrell thought he had a cash business.  Love offerings was what he called them. People just kept putting money in buckets and the pockets of an apron he wore while he was preaching. Surely love offerings were tax exempt. They weren’t. The sheriff was keeping count.

The good reverend woke up one morning and found himself surrounded by white concrete walls instead of a white tent, and the whole place was filled with sin and sinners and lost souls to save.  There was only one problem, and it cut Brother Terrell deeply to the bone. They were as broke as he was, and what good was a soul without a price tag?


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  • The capacity of people to hope against hope, to believe when there is no good reason to believe, to place their confidence in a man who under any other circumstances they would shun as a charlatan, is almost inexhaustible. And people like Terrell have recognized it and mined it at the expense of the livelihoods of good honest folks.

  • Caleb Pirtle

    Stephen: Amen.

  • Newbury

    Caleb, I think I was in college when Bro Terrell swoopedino Bangs. ‘Course, I was 9 miles away in the Garden Spot of the World, so Bangs ain’t quite as God-forsaken as you described! Terrell, though, was worse. In many cases, he took payroll checks, giving back to employee what he thought they needed for food, etc. “Terrellites” overwhelmed the schools; they paid no taxes, and it was a mess. Unbelievable. And there still are remnants there, although I don’t know whatever happened to the good reverend.

    • Amber Daughrity Self

      I was in school at the time. I remember Bangs ISD having to hire more teachers. The school did the best that it could. There were free lunch programs in the 70s. If children went hungry, then their parents didn’t sign them up for free lunches. There was not a breakfast program, however. The lunches were good, home cooked meals with delicious desserts. Schools have horrible lunches now.
      As to your description of Bangs as dry with alkali bushes, that is an exaggeration. Bangs is quite green with lovely old oak trees. Lake Brownwood is only 20 miles away, and it is actually not a dry, dusty town as the article implies. It is, however, very small and how Terrell found it remains a mystery.

      • Caleb Pirtle

        Amber: I think Terrell found it because he didn’t think anybody else could. Go to Bangs and remain hidden forever. What I remember about Banks is driving down from the top of the mountain at night and see the lights of Brownwood glitter like stars in all directions. It is a spectacular sight.

  • Caleb Pirtle

    Don: The good reverend has gone to meet his Maker. His end time came.

  • me

    Hi,i am an X terrellite.First of all i would like to say he is not dead though that is a conforting thought.Times were even harder for us back then than you could imagine.I was drug here by parents who believed this mans lunatic rantings.Raised in this church i had no ideal that all his rediculous prophesies were false.As a child i shook in my shoes during his long winded sermons and prayed to die every night so i would not have to endure the judgements he fore told ofAttending school was not mandatory as the world was going to end ( according to him ) any day .We were laughed at and teased to tears in school.Hungry almost every single day as most of the time we had no food as parents gave all of their money as well as food stamps ( and yes they would demand our food stamps as well as money ).We were never ever dressed in style or even appropriately for the weather.He is a heartless evil man.What other kind would dare the mothers and fathers of small children to walk out with even a dime in their pockets night after night? The stories i could tell you would make you want to stone him ,smiling the whole time.He is still up there and still yelling all that judgement.How do i know all this ? I worked for him for a while as a young grown up.That is how i found out the truth.I wish the sherrif would turn him in again for tax fraud because you know he is still at it.Just sit in his service and watch……

    • Obviously, like Twain, his demise was greatly exaggerated. Your letter cuts to the quick and grieves the heart. You lived it. I only saw it from the outside. I hope you have been able to escape and move on with life. Lord knows, with what you went through, you deserve some good times.

  • me

    Oh yeah,he is now saying he never told anyone to move here to escape judgement.He said he stated that he was moving here and all of us just followed him here.He also said God would start killing people if they didn’t stop that lie.This was in last August right up there in Bangs.And yet they keep going back to hear him…… go figure…….

    • It is beyond me. But so many are so hungry for something that they can’t help themselves.

  • me

    i used to wonder how he could sleep at night and then it hit me…….pretty darn good on thousand dollar sheets………May God have mercy ( though very little) on him

  • me

    I just dont understand how any grown up could fall for that stuff he said or rather screamed at us.Night after night he would terrorize us with prophesies of destruction and suffering unless we gave all we had.He has actually had his guards to knock down and sit on people who tried to leave the service before he was through. He once slapped a middle aged black woman right in the face in the middle of a service saying she was lusting after him !!!!! He has a God syndrome going on.He says if you support him, God will let u and your kids into heaven.He claims God or Jesus speaks to him every day.There is sooooo much to tell but never enough time.By the way, i also know of 21 of his illigetimate children and who their Moms are.Two of the children he told us from the platform he adopted are actually his flesh and blood children.One by his then song leader.It is amazing how at one time he had a child by his wife, his song leader,and his book keeper as well as one of the single women in his orphanage in old mexico all in the same year……… He’s a hot mess to say the least.I have decided he is an athiest.He has to be.There is a line you and me will not cross when it comes to church.We would never stand in a pulpit and lie and say God appeared to us and said thus and thus and so.We would never !!!!! But obviously,he would and does.

  • me

    one of his claims to fame is that he fasts all of the time and that is why he is so skinny.He is skinny because he binges or purges all the time.He eats like a race horse then gags hisself within twenty minutes.One of his step children wrote a book about him but it was really vague and did not touch too much on the reality of the times.Why? She wasn’t around the tent or church very much.We,in that cult,knew everyone who ‘belonged’.She came seldom ( with her other sisters who were his blood children by one of the song leaders) and when they did,they sat on the very back row and did not mingle with us.The book came out last year.I was very dissapointed.She alludes to the fact he might raise Randall,his son,from the dead.The church was packed out.Not because we wanted Randall raised but rather like ,”oh my God,please dont do it!!!” Randall was twice as evil to us as his dad.He was a bullty to say the least.He demanded money from the pastors or people before and sometimes during the service and might actually say,” i can make my daddy love you or hate you “.He has spit on people.Hit people.Threw a big red soda all in a ladys face because he told her to move and she didn’t do it.We would cringe when we saw him coming toward us and let out a sigh of relief if he passed us on by in lew of a ‘better’ victim.This is not hear say…. i was eye witness to all of this

  • me

    Do you know i was in my twenties and had never watched t.v. There i was a grown woman watching Disney movies thinking wow !! this is great!Then getting deathly sick .Not sure if God was going to kill me for that or not.It has taken years to unravel the twisted mind he formed in me.Hope i got all the kinks out now…..

  • David

    I too am an ex-Terrellite. I know for a fact that David Terrell is a proud, egotistical, sociopathic, self-promoting individual who has hurt countless thousands of people with no remorse whatsoever. Terrell’s “stepdaughter” has written a book, Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir, documenting some of Terrell’s wickedness. Terrell brought pain and shame to multitudes of people. He brought pain and shame to his wife. He brought pain and shame to his numerous mistresses. He brought pain and shame to the very Jesus he preached about and hung him on the cross over and over, crucifying the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame (Heb. 6:6). Terrell brought reproach after reproach upon the church and has done more to hurt the cause of true Christianity than he will ever likely admit. (Here’s the correct address to the youtube video in Caleb’s article You can read my testimony here:

  • Brian

    I pray for you brother. Deleting comments that support the Gospel and keeping up the ones that slander it. Blood is on your hands. God have mercy on your soul.

  • ME

    Bro.Brian,do you live in one of the blessed areas? Do you attend the meetings? Were you in any of the meetings where he spent hours prophesying of the judgements to come upon America ?Do you remember how the blessed areas got started ? He said through prophesy that all the major cities in America were going to be destroyed by atom bombs sent over here by Russia.Hense the blessed areas where we would be spared .Do you remember any of this my friend ? The areas were,Ft.Payne Alabama,Dothan Alabama,Bangs Texas, which later included Cuero Texas,Dime Box texas,Ashdown Texas, and Harrison Arkansa.He said we would be safe within a 50 mile radius ( or rather through prophesy “God” said).He prophesied that if we would sell out and give all ( which is what we did.We sold or gave all our worldly posessions to ‘THE MINISTRY” and took up the cross to follow him.Those were his exact words)and start again,God would spare us.He said we must do our first works over.Did you do this ? I know you had too if you are a member.Now,all of these years later,how many of his prophesies can you count that didnot happen ? Count to yourself and feel free to replay some of his tapes.Nixion didnot commit suicide over watergait.The pope didnot die within the same year that he took office.The atom bombs that were supposed to come in the 70s,then in the 80s then in 2000 still arenot here.President Obama is not the man of sin.We are not in the middle of a world wide famine eating that famine food he had us canning..we are not being pursecute and being hung for the gospel sake.The slant eyed people he saw coming over here in boats to take over this country have yet to arrive (they are about 30 years late now).The antichrist have not came across the Mexican border to get us yet.and to add insult to injury,most all of the areas have folded up..Why? WERE YOU IN THE MEETING IN BANGS TEXAS last year?He said he never told anyone to move to any place.He said he never evenused the term blessed area when that was his theme.He now says God can keep you no matter where you are so why would he say anything else.Rememeber when he said God told him he promised to let him live to see him coming in the clouds of glory upon his return? So why is he now saying he is praying God will let him live to see him come?He not trusting what God told him years ago or rather not trusting whatever the voices are that speak tyo him?Do not listen to what others say wether it be good or bad about your pastor.Listen to what he says.Does he now contradict hisself?Get out his old tapes and listen for yourself.Borrow from your church friends.If you are a new follower,talk to an old timmer that will remeber..The Bible says God is not man that he should lie neither the son of man that he would take back his word.If he said it he will do it.If he promised it he will bring it to pass.You listen to those tapes and then get back to me and we can talk.Just tell me you donot hear him preaching and prophesying for hours on the destruction of America and how we will be spared if we,and i quote,”run run to these blessed areas where i will keep a people during this time of troubles” unquote.Lets start there.I will gladly respond to whatever you say with much respect for you and what you say as long as we both stick to the fact which are things that can be proved.Much love my brother. ME

    • me

      I often wondered if the antichrist was coming across the border from old Mexico,Why did God have us move right in their pathway.And if atom bombs were to hit all the major cities in America,no where in America or the world would be safe .We would all die.Everyone across the planet.He said <through prophesy,that childrens eyes were going to melt and run out of their sockets down there faces.It was horrible the things he prophesied that i have friends that actually commited suicide and the notes they left said they couldnot handle all that was coming upon the world.Br.Terrell said by the 1980s the world would be so bad that we would wish for death and death would not come.That we should bury Bibles because the anti christ would make it illegal to have them.Remember everything my friend.I know i do.Let us discuss everything he said.A friend from the church told me recently that i should ignore a lot of what he has prophesied as only about 10 percent has actually been right.This was from an area pastor.I said i serve a 100 percent God.Not 10, not 20, not 50 not 80.100 PERCENT.After all, if he plans to honor only part of what he syas,how do we know which part that is ?Maybe it is the part where he says he is coming back to get us.Maybe it is the part that he is prepring a place for us.Maybe it is the part where we are redeemed.I just cant trust a percentage when it comes to God,his word written or prophesied.It has to be all right or i choose to leave the whole thing alone .

  • J. Spickard

    Terrell is just one of the many typical post-modern Pentecostal
    revivalists who sold out for less… and accepted a substitute… an
    “Angel of Light” ministry. Satan can deceive many, many more people posing as something holy, divine, or angelic through such a false ministry. Instead, Terrell chose less by not paying the
    real price for something really genuine which could have keep him sanctified
    above the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and his innumerable, and countless,
    adulteries and fornications.

    Terrell is just another dissociative personality as many before him in post-modern Pentecostal ministries, who portrayed himself as saintly, yet privately lived like a devil; but could switch back and forth without any compunction, or guilt of the tremendous hypocrisy and deception that he was perpetrating.

    He is a very sick man.

    Jesus told of such ministries in the
    Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus said that “many” would come to him in
    “that day,” claiming to have preached in his name, ministered
    deliverance, and did many wonderful miracles. Jesus didn’t doubt their works, or their “spiritual power,” since the magicians in the court of Pharoah could also duplicate the first three plagues of Moses. But such powers and sorcery are from the “dark side” as described in the Book of Acts, chapter 8. There are poor deceived people still “bewitched” by Terrell. Yet, Jesus stated that he would
    tell such ministers:”I never knew you; depart from me, you all that work

    People need to learn spiritual discernment and know the differences.

  • me

    amen and amen Mr.Spickard .

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