• Friday Messiah: Isaiah Robertson, Prophet of Niagara Falls

    Photos by Fred Scruton
    Photos by Fred Scruton

    Okay, it’s stretching things to call Isaiah Robertson a messiah—he’s a prophet, rather, with an apocalyptic message, which predicts the Rapture in 2014, and pinpoints the Second Coming to Niagara Falls, NY—but oh, how he puts that message across!  He expresses it in carpentry and bright colours, in patterns of rocks and beads, candles and found objects, notably including his own modest bungalow.  That is, it started out as a modest bungalow, in much the same way that Robertson started out as a humble housebuilder.

    Born in Jamaica in 1947 and raised by a devout Adventist mother, Robertson became a carpenter because that’s what Jesus was.  He came to Canada in the early seventies and continued as a building contractor, eventually adding to his income by buying, renovating, and renting out cheap properties on the US side of Niagara Falls.  Then, in about 2003, came the fateful, life-changing contract: to drywall the sanctuary of  Mt. Erie Baptist Church.


      It seems that God spoke to him personally and made it clear that drywall was just not good enough; what God wanted was oak.  Robertson duly, and at his own expense, did the whole interior of the church in oak.  Further, he found that God guided his saw as he cut the wood, divinely inspiring inlays, cutouts, and panels, even coding messages for Robertson in the fine grain of the oak.  Robertson realized that he was not just panelling a church—he was being given a prophetic revelation.  And when the church was done, he continued with the revelation by gussying up his own house in what looks, at first glance, like metastatic Christmas decorations. At second glance, the charm takes hold.


    Clearly, the Prophet Isaiah is somewhat beyond eccentric, and his apocalyptic vision of Christ touching down on Goat Island and casting sinners into a lake of fire at the base of Niagara Falls is—well—hilarious.   But what a better world it would be if all prophets and messiahs worked out their visions with jigsaws and paintbrushes, oak panelling, and pretty patterns of  rocks and beads.

    Category: Atheism

    Article by: Rebecca Bradley

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    1. His neighbours must really love his grotesque house. And is he talking about the American or Canadian Falls? Everyone agrees the Canadian horseshoe falls are spectacular compared to the American side. Must be the American if the Messiah is using Goat Island. If news of this gets around watch the crowds storm Niagara. Good for business anyway.

      1. Heh. At least he hasn’t rigged up a sound system blasting out hymns and apocalyptic warnings. That would really get the neighbours…. And yes, it is the American side. Apparently the touchdown will take place on Goat Island (one of the links shows a picture of the exact place), but the judgment seat will be set up on Three Sisters Island. When he realized this, he moved permanently to the little house on the US side, leaving his soon-to-be-ex-wife in possession of a large house on the Canadian side. He’ll be an interesting one to watch when his prophecies fail, as I kind of think they will.

      1. Oh, the house has a wild and wondrous charm! I love it, though I’m not sure I’d want to live in or next to it. But he’s given me some great ideas for our garden. 🙂 And the oak interior of the church is stunning.

    2. I would be delighted if all “over the top” religious crazies were harmless and creative like Robertson and Tapley

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