|Reformed Methodist Church|
|Type of Government:||Theocratic hierarchy|
|Group type:||Religious Cult|
George Jones Martin Weir William Garcia Karl Grover
|Motto:||"Spreading the word of God along with his righteous vengeance"|
|Location(s):||South Texas, Tamaulipas|
|Notable members:||Martin Weir|
|Founded by:||Rutherford Jones|
|Goals:||Eradication of the devil's swill and temptation.|
|Enemies:||Anyone who isn't a member of their church or congregation, including other Christians.|
|Status:||Preachin' Purgin' and Saving Souls.|
Pre-War and Great War
The origins of the Reformed Methodist Church can be traced back to the year 2066 when a disenfranchised Methodist minister named Rutherford Jones formed his own church in the Texan oil town of Texas City. This small oil town, host to a number of refineries owned by a number of comapnies was suffering with the effects of the Resource Wars. With the lack of crude oil to refine, there was very little need for legions of refinery workers and as such many workers were being laid off by their employers. Money was short in Texas City and the oil refinery workers, many bitter for having lost their jobs and not being able to support their families began to look for something to blame for their troubles.
Minister Jones' rhetoric gave them that scapegoat as Jones proclaimed that the cause of their troubles lay in man's partaking of the Devil's swill and drugs, God had grown angry for man's use of such sinful substances and thus was punishing his children with eternal war, food shortages, and general suffering. The oil workers quickly took to this belief with vigor and soon many out of work refinery workers were out holding picket signs demanding the return to prohibition and that the death sentence be handed out to any person who dared to partake in such substances. Although many people looked upon the church as being nothing more than a more extreme wing of the already conservative Evangelical movement, their voice was a strong one and soon with the efforts of Rutherford and his wife Martha they had several smaller churches setup across South Texas.
By the time of the Great War the total church attendance for the branch in Texas City was around 250, with the church taking up a large space in the city itself, along with a small apartment building for the housing of its members, inside the building sinful substances were banned, any sort of birth control was banned and many other rules were in place, in an attempt to regulate the people's lifestyle in a manner befitting the minister's views.
Yet as things became more hectic in the US, the already droves of poor vagrants lining food lines, swelled exponentially until rationing took effect and when the rations ran out, riots. In the wake of this violence the church goers, under the direction Minister Jones the church began to store up weapons and ammunition within their increasingly fortified compound. Eventually as city officials lost control of the city the church began to defend themselves from roaming gangs of rioters, gunning anyone who came close to their apartment or church. Eventually when the bombs did begin to rain from the sky, and the air raid sirens filled the air with their dreadful blare the minister and his congregation ducked into the shelter they had prepared under the apartment, sealed the door and waited for the Earth to stop shaking. Staying sheltered until 2090.
In 2090, Rutherford realizing there were only enough rations to last a few more months agreed to opening the shelter's door and to allow the church goers to resettle in the wastes. When the door opened they found a desolate wasteland, void of life beyond some mutated animals and packs of raiders, yet Rutherford used the condition of the Earth to rally his flock. He told them that God had spared them of the rapture and that they were gifted the Earth by their creator in order to resettle it as Noah did and reshape the world in a way God had wanted it, clean, orderly and devoid of temptation including booze and drugs. Thus Rutherford led his flock out of the ruined apartment building and into the ruins of Texas City, there he and his flock founded a small town and began to regrow their flock.
Several decades later and the Church controlled large chunks of the ruins, chasing off groups of bandits and raiders, along with groups of wasters who wouldn't convert to their faith. Many a-time those new converts who did enter the church were either desperate for food or simply looking for shelter from the horrors of the wastes behind the town's fortified walls. However no matter who they were, they eventually ended up becoming believers of the Church's rhetoric and soon the population had grown to several hundred members, living off food either recovered from the ruins or from crops grown within the walls. By 2100 the Church had begun to spread into the ruins of the city, patrolling the ruins, enforcing the church's extreme Blue Laws upon the wasters and killing anyone who didn't strictly obey them.
It was in 2110 that a patrol wondered into one of the old refineries during their daily patrol, after looking through the building and its systems they realized that the refinery was still somewhat operational and if some hard work and repairs were done, it could be brought back online. Taking their news back to the Church's Bishop, the Bishop; George Jones, grandson of Rutherford Jones declared that they were to take control of the old refinery and that repair work was to begin as soon as possible.
A week later the church had posted several militiamen inside the refinery building and with workers escorted over from the town began to repair the refinery's systems. This whole effort was made so that the Church could have the kind of leverage that refined oil would allow them to have over the region and form the Protestant Republic, a Theocracy ruled over by the Church's Bishop and ruled using the strict teachings that the Church expounded. Thus they would be able to accomplish Minister Rutherford's prophecy that they would recreate the Earth. As the repairs continued, so did the Church's growth, topping off at a grand total of 834 members in 2123. By 2130 the refinery was repaired enough using parts stripped from the surrounding refineries that it could once again begin to refine crude oil into gasoline and diesel fuel and thus allow the Church to form the Protestant Republic, using the refined oil as leverage.
The Protestant Republic
The Foundation of the Protestant Republic came under the rule of Bishop George Jones in 2130. The first move the Bishop made was to declare that all of Texas, parts of Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mexico were now under the domain of the Protestant Republic. The number of the Church's patrols within Texas City grew as the militiamen setup roadblocks and checkpoints on roads leading into the city, furthermore the Bishop encouraged his congreagation to leave the confines of the Church's walls and settle into the ruins, paying those families who chose to leave. At the refinery, the workers there began to siphon crude oil from the nearby bulk plant and begin refining it, within the first day of the refinery's opening they had refined 600 gallons of oil, and had encountered numerous mechanical and system failures.
These failures would prove to be the greatest hinderance to the refinery's operation as the Church continued its bid for power. Missionaries were sent into the field to convert the local populace and to bring the whole if what had become known as the Corpse Coast under their control. However as word spread of a pre-war refinery being brought back to life by some cult the Corpse's various gangs, and factions began to break down the barrier's of the church's efforts. Checkpoints were attacked, patrols ambushed, missionaries killed and various other attacks on the Church and its people were made in an attempt to get at the refinery and the oil it was producing. Yet even then there quickly arose an issue for the Church, the bulk plants which they had thought were filled with millions of gallons of crude were suddenly running dry as, they discovered, barley half of the tanks were actually filled in any capacity with crude.
It seemed that the Church's one bargaining chip had been a facade when they were contacted by a group of survivors known as The Oilers. The Oilers had lived off shore on a pre-war oil rig, surviving off of fish and whatever they could trade with Rafter merchants while keeping their rigs drill in operation to supply themselves with oil to power their station. The Oilers had kept tabs on the activities of survivors onshore and had taken notice of the Church's efforts to unify the Corpse and had decided to support their efforts. The trade being that the Church supply them with whatever spare parts they had in exchange for crude oil to refine. The Church accepted this deal and soon shipments of oil started coming over from the Oilers on motor launches. However as they solved their oil supply problem things were getting rowdier outside the walls as wastelanders tried on several occasions to break their way into Texas City, only being stopped by the miltiamen firing into the crowds of people.
Eventually several gangs of armed raiders showed up on the Church's door step and began to attack the church's defenses in earnest. The end result being the Church's defenses being broken by the constant attacks and the streets of Texas City once again running red with the blood of the Church's congregation. At the refinery a group of bandits armed with grenades attacked the place, setting barrels of refined oil on fire and as the fire spread, the refinery as a whole. The Oilers, seeing the massive fire onshore ceased sending shipments and cut all ties once again with people on shore. Inside the Church's walls the elderly George Jones was helpless as gangs of violent raiders entered his once secure city and eventually into their fortified settlment, killing and maiming all those they could find. When it was all set and done, the settlement and most of Texas City was a smoldering ruin and the Church seemed to have been erased with it.
The survivors of the Church decided that it was in their best interest to put some distance between themselves and the Corpse, although a few stayed to help out the fledgling church they had setup in the ruins of Corpus Christi, the rest turned for the West and hoped for the best. While on the trail the Church's caravan broke up as members left to settle in Falfurrias, Rockport, Los Fresnos and the various other border towns along the Rio Bravo, and although they continued to expound their Evangelical rhetoric they never gathered a massed following in any of these locations. Others continued West on into San An, while a few went North towards the Permian Basin, a few were even said to have made it as far west as New Mexico, in Caesar's territory. It wasn't until the Church's rising star, Martin Weir entered the town of Fort Brown did the church gain any sort of meaningful power once again.
The Second Protestant Republic
The Second Protestant Republic as it became known as, came into being in the 2168. With Martin taking over the town and controlling until the year 2172. You can read more about the events of the Second Protestant Republic here.
Currently the Church and its severely reduced and spread out congregation are working to convert the peoples of the wastes to the true form of Christianity, while fighting the spread of those heathen faiths out there such as Catholicism. In the eyes of the Church goers there is nothing worse than the Catholic Papal States and many of the various forces opposing the Papacy can trace at least some of their support back to the Reformed Methodists. To add the Church has succeded in taking over a number of towns and settlements across Tamaulipas and Southern Texas, where from the safety of their town walls they wage small, personal wars against the non-believers, sinners and heathens that surround them, the only exception being in the Royal Dominion where a small, minority of the Protectorate's population follow the Church's dogma vehmently.
The Church is usually run by a Bishop, with high placed clergy selecting the Bishop from their own ranks. Thus making the Church a sort of Theocratic Oligarchy, the Bishop then has the ability to command the actions of the Church without having to worry about interference from his lower brethren. Although in recent years there hasn't been any formal elections held by the few surviving Church elite, adding to the Church's continued fragmentation.
As for the Church's militia, these men are an essential part of the Church's operation with the militias being formed from the local populace for the purpose of enforcing the Church's strict Blue Laws, and striking at those who dare defy the Church's dogma along with defending the church and the town it sits in from outside source. The militiamen themselves are under the overall command of the Church's local representative whether that be the the local clergymen or some high held member of the congregation. Crimes committed within the walls of a town controlled by the Church are usually punished by death, with even petty crimes such as larceny, cursing and extortion being punished with a firing squad, thus is the basis of the belief that the Church's militia is nothing more than a holy death squad. The one notable exception to this rule natrually is The Royal Dominion.
Culture and Beliefs
The beliefs of the Reformed Methodist Church are based in the Christian faith, but are far devorced from the actual teachings of Christianity. The Church's beliefs are as follows, when it comes to booze and drugs of any kind they are strictly against the use of such substances with offenders being punishable with death, whipping, placed in a sweat box or fed to Deathclaws. Next, every member of a community controlled by the Church must attend church every Sunday, those who don't attend are liable to be charged a hefty fee and those who don't attend due to other religious beliefs can be banished from the town or executed. Aetheism is strictly prohibited. Murder or rape are sins of the flesh and are punishable by death or some form of corporal punishment, repeat offenders will be castrated.
Now for the petty laws, swearing and cursing is frowned upon and anyone who violates this law can expect a hefty fine, lights must be out by 9 pm. Marriages must be arranged by the girls Father with a befitting partner, premarital sex is punishable with a fine and mandatory attendance at confession. Talking in church is again punishable with a fine. Working on Sunday is punishable with a fine, along with eating any sort of meat products during Lent. Lastly, there is to be no taking of the Lord's name in vain, such an act is punishable with a public whipping or other form of Corporal punishment.
A descendant of refugees from Texas City, Lazlo grew up as a paisano in the Papal States, specifically la Baronía de Santander Jimenez. His family's beliefs in the Reformed Methodist Church had to be hidden from their neighbors to ensure their survival. Luckily, most of the nobles and paisanos in Santander Jimenez were none the wiser of their beliefs, not noticing Lazlo fake drinking wine at Mass and other incidents he had been trained for. Also, Lazlo was taught to read and speak English at a young age so he could read the family's rare Gideon Bible.
The day after Lazlo's twentieth birthday in 2281, he was told he had to accompany Pedro Salvidar on his expedition to establish a barony in the Highlands. Lazlo reluctantly followed and from there went on the greatest adventure of his life. After assisting Salvidar in founding his barony, Lazlo returned to the Papal States and turned his journal entries on the journey into a book, Lost in the Highlands, thinking it might make a pretty penny. Against his expectations, Lazlo's book became a bestseller in Soto La Marina, and Lazlo soon became the richest paisano in the Papal States.
After the success of Lost in the Highlands, Lazlo has focused both on further endeavors in writing by traveling across Tamaulipas and giving back to the Church that had helped him so much in life. For this, Lazlo has gained the hatred of many of the clergy and nobility in the Papal States, as they see him as nothing more than an uppity, heretical paisano. Luckily for Lazlo, his habit of staying on the move has prevented any serious attempts at assasination.
Reverend Noah Blaire was born to a strict Baptist Father and Mother in the ruins of what is today known as the District Capital. His parents worked hard to keep their young son safe from the fighting that filled the capital and give him a proper Christian upbringing, and yet when his parents were killed by a sniper when Noah was 16 he was left on his own. left starving, tired and weak he seem doomed to die within the Capital when he was rescued by a man named Minister Jonn Vasquez. Vasquez was at the head of a nearby Church and refuge, where he took young Noah and had him nursed back to health. Once he was well again, a grateful Noah went to work for Minister Vasquez going out and spreading the good word and striking down those who dared defy the word of God. He quickly took on the beliefs of the Reformed Methodist Church, dropping his old Baptist views, when he was 21 he became the head of the local church and as a nod to his dead Father he took on the title Reverend rather than Minister. From his position at the Church he would lead his flock on a crusade to purify the District Capital which would take him from the slopes of The Ridge to Las Pistas the very heart of the Capital, a crusade he is still leading to this day.
|This has been written by CaptainCain. Please contact this user before editing this article.|