Religion In The News

Twin Brother Impersonates Local Pastor

by Elroy Willis -- November 1, 1998

TULSA (EAP) -- Rumors were confirmed today that a Tulsa man tied up his twin brother and impersonated him when he took his brother's place on the pulpit of the Assembly of God Church in Bixby, OK.

Otis and Frank Simpson, twin brothers, are known for their frequent disagreements. Fran Simpson, Otis's wife, said that Frank and Otis were always arguing about their religious beliefs. She recalled a recent argument between the two in which Otis said, "This is the last straw Frank, I'll get even with you."

On Sunday, September 6th, Otis proceeded to tie up Frank in his basement, then dressed himself in Frank's Church attire. He then headed off to the Assembly of God Church in Bixby, and took his brother Frank's place on the pulpit for the early morning service.

"We had no idea that it wasn't our pastor up there," said Mrs. John Powell, a member of the congregation. "He was telling us there is no God, and Jesus is just a fairytale, and there's no Heaven or Hell."

"We just couldn't believe what we were hearing," said Tom Simmons, another member of the church. "Many people were upset and decided to get up and walk out of the service."

"He passed out magic markers and had us marking out parts of the Bible," said Susan Willoby of Bixby, OK. "Most of us went along with this, but we were feeling quite strange about it," she said. "We just assumed it was all part of God's plan for us."

A few people stood up and cheered "It's about time the truth was known," as others sneered at them.

At this point, Willoby said that some people were actually swinging and shaking their Bibles at each other, and one man actually started a fist fight with another man after being struck in the forehead with a Bible.

"All I could say to myself as I watched all of this was 'Oh my God, what is going on here?'"

Returning from an overnight visit with her sister in Stillwater, Mrs. Simpson discovered her husband tied up in the basement. After removing the duct tape from his mouth, he explained what had happened, and asked his wife to call the police.

The Bixby police department dispatched two patrol cars to the Assembly of God Church to investigate the matter.

Otis Simpson was apprehended while trying to flee the scene, and is being held on $20,000 bail pending charges of kidnapping and fraud. "He had no comments to make," said Paul Ruebens, one of the arresting officers.

When Pastor Simpson was interviewed after the incident, he said he felt bad about it, but will probably not be pressing charges, nor will the Church. "This is a total embarrassment to myself and the Church, and we don't want to make a big case out of it," he said.


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