Saturday, February 8, 2014
Reverend Ike & the Joy of Money!
"If you want 'pie-in-the-sky when you die' then Rev. Ike is not your man. If you want your pie now, with ice cream on top, then see and hear Rev. Ike on TV." So reads the copy from newspaper ads touting The Joy of Living with Rev. Ike
Millions of mostly poor people tuned in each week to hear the pleaful sermon from the flamboyant Reverend Ike, who drove flashy Cadillacs and stood at the pulpit dripping in gold chains and diamond rings.
No, this wasn't a sitcom, this show was a 'serious' Sunday morning religious show from the early Seventies.
Reverend Ike (real name Frederick Eikerenkoetter) was one of the first television evangelists who shamelessly pandered for cash and was openly proud of what he spent it on - sparkling jewelry, new cars and beautiful women.
The good reverend toned it down a bit in the late-seventies amid criticism that he was too much of a show-off - but he always defended himself by saying there was nothing wrong with a prosperous man of God.
After all, as Reverend Ike himself was quick to say, "The LACK of money is the root of all evil."