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Marjoe is (as we are told more than once) the fourth in a line of evangelical pastors, and his parents Marge and Vernon Gortner… [citation needed]. As he grew to manhood, he traveled doing tent revivals, preaching, prophecying and working miracles... but the amazing truth was - Marjoe was a fraud! Born January 14, 1944, Marjoe Gortner was, like most other pint-sized preachers, the child of an evangelist. Born on January 14th, 1944. As a young man, he preached on the revival circuit and brought celebrity to the revival movement. He was kind of the Michael Jackson of Pentecostal preachers. This film is a documentary done in the early 1970s by a man named Marjoe Gortner, who was raised by televangelist parents in the 1940s and 50s. His parents earned large sums of money off of his earnings until the point he outgrew the novelty of his youthfulness. Part documentary, part expose, this film follows one-time child evangelist Marjoe Gortner on the "church tent" Revivalist circuit, commenting on the showmanship of Evangelism and "the religion business", prior to the start of "televangelism". Among the most famous was “Marjoe the Miracle Child” who once preached for a week near my hometown in Morgan County, Kentucky, when he was about five years old. At age 20, Gortner considered suing his parents, but never did so. The formation of his name from combining the names of Mary and Joseph is alluded to in numerous sources; however, some early sources state that he was named for his mother, Marge. He claimed they compelled him to do this by using mock-drowning episodes; they did not beat him as they did not want to leave bruises that might be noticed during his many public appearances.[7]. Although released on VHS, the film had long been out of print and had deteriorated. [2][3], A soundtrack was released by Warner Bros. Records, consisting of sermons and spoken word segments by Marjoe (from age four), intermixed with songs. Marjoe performed his first marriage at the age of 4 and even Jesus didn't come out until he was 12. Written by Steven F. Scharff Plot Summary | Add Synopsis His father, Vernon Robert Gortner, was a third-generation Christian evangelical minister who preached at revivals. He starred in the television movies The Gun and the Pulpit and Pray for the Wildcats, and appeared in an episode of Nakia, a 1974 police drama on ABC. That was the childhood of Marjoe Gortner, who was a young “child preacher” trained by his mom using operant conditioning techniques like smothering him with a pillow and beating him where the bruises wouldn’t show. Maybe we should send a copy to Benny Hinn!!!!! [1], Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Black Fox: The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler, Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World. Produced and directed by Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan, it’s flat-out great, a singular document chronicling the life of former child evangelist, Marjoe Gortner who, as an adult superstar preacher, admits on film that he’s using the whole evangelist racquet to scam answer-hungry parishioners out of … Marjoe was supposedly taught to say "hallelujah" before he could say "mom" or "dad." Born in 1944, Marjoe Gortner’s parents trained their young son to preach, and had him ordained as a Pentecostal preacher at the age of four. Marjoe was ordained and started preaching to Bible Belt communities by age four. He offered a documentary film crew unrestricted access to him during his final revival tour, which took place in 1971. It was back in 1948 that little Marjoe, dressed in a sailor suit and topped with a head of golden curls, married a California couple and made Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not. Hugh Marjoe Ross Gortner is an American actor and former evangelist preacher. 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