Rapper Craig Mack, who passed away aged 46 after suffering heart failure Monday, belonged to a South Carolina church that has been called a cult, and, whose leader is accused of molesting children.
Mack, who is from New York, and had 90’s hits like ‘Flava In Your Ear,’ was sick and knew his death was imminent according to close friends.
He had been a member of the Overcomer Ministry for most of the past decade, after turning away from his life of rap fame that started with him joining Sean (Diddy) Combs’ Bad Boy Records.
The leader, Brother Ralph Gordon Stair, is a self-proclaimed prophet of the Ministry, whose congregants live on a self-sustaining farm while they await the second coming of Jesus. Stair stands accused of molesting young girls and women at his compound.
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Over the past decade, before Criag Mack’s (pictured) passing, the rapper had renounced his former life after having 90’s hits like ‘Flava In Your Ear’ and joined a ‘cult-like’ church
Brother Ralph Gordon Stair (left, right in recent mug shot) of Overcome Ministry where Craig Mack was a devote congregant, was arrested after video surfaced in Oct. 2017 of him cupping a 12-year-old girl’s breasts
Stair is pictured embracing Mack in a 2012 video of one of his sermon’s where the rapper denounced his old life
Stair, 84, was arrested in December on charges of assault with intent to commit first-degree criminal sexual conduct, third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, kidnapping, first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary and three counts of criminal sexual conduct, according to the Daily News.
He was granted a $750,000 bail in February.
Mack did not live on the commune built by Stair, but in a home nearby, and was a frequent face of the church, and likely its most famous adherent.
The Ministry posts many of its sermons online, and in a 2012 video, Stair calls to Mack. The rapper denounces his previous life of ‘wickedness’ and says he was instead following a path of ‘righteousness.’
‘Craig Mack is dead. We have somebody who used to be Craig Mack. He didn’t join anything. God joined him,’ Stair says in the video, embracing Mack.
Stair had been investigated by the state since October, when a video surfaced of him cupping a 12-year-old girl’s breasts whole saying ‘I’m gonna touch those things till nobody else can,’ he says in video obtained by Live 5 News.
Several women also said they were inappropriately touched, and even raped, by Stair during their time within the church.
Two women accused him of raping them multiple times on the compound, which he denied. He was arrested in 2002 on two counts of second-degree criminal sexual assault.
Hard times: Rapper Craig Mack passed away aged 46 after suffering heart failure on Monday
Late star: His producer Alvin Toney spoke to The Daily News to confirm the devastating news as he insisted: ‘He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord. He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready’
He plead to lesser counts of assault and battery and was sentenced to time served, according to the Post and Courier.
They claimed the pastor’s behavior would begin as aggressive hugging, and build to sexual acts he would call ‘God’s will.’
People who had left the church called it a cult.
The compound has 70 people residing on its 130 acres of land and they are required to give their ‘worldly goods and monies to the Lord’ to live in modest residences built on the land.
‘We live in community homes of mobile trailers for each family or accommodations for brothers or sisters with common baths and common eating, all seeking to live together in love for God and each other,’ a ministry brochure reads.
‘We go nowhere, no shopping or trips to see what have you. Your life will be here on the farm until Jesus comes.’
Stair founded the Overcomer Ministry in the early 1980s.
On Tuesday, Mack’s producer opened up to the Daily News, to confirm the news, explaining that the rapper knew his death was coming.
‘He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord. He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready.’
The Nineties hip-hop star was part of Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Entertainment and was behind The Notorious B.I.G’s breakout performance on his single Flava in Ya Ear.
In his confirmation, Toney said: ‘God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine. He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord. He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready.’
He passed away in a hospital near his Walterboro, South Carolina home.
Tributes poured in for the musician, with musician and actor Tyrese penning: ‘I hope this isn’t true…… This hurts…….. Damn…. RIP Craig Mack… Big March 9th….. Craig March 12th – Prayers love and light to your family and loved ones’.
‘God bless’: In his confirmation, Toney said: ‘God bless my friend. He was a good friend of mine. He was prepared for whatever comes, to go home to the Lord. He was prepared to do that. He wasn’t scared. He was ready’
Stars: As a member of Puff Daddy’s label, Craig’s (second left) most famous single – Flava In Ya Ear – saw his biggest commercial success and also acted as a breakout for both Biggie (right) and Busta Rhymes’ first appearance
Grammy-nominated star DJ Scratch took to Instagram to lament the news, as he penned: I just got a disturbing phone call. I cannot believe this dude is gone.
‘He just reached out a couple of weeks ago for me to speak on his documentary about his life. Because Craig was my rodie on tour. He would set up & break down my turntables every night on tour. Rest In Peace Lil Bro.’
As a member of Puff Daddy’s label, his most famous single – Flava In Ya Ear – saw his biggest commercial success and also acted as a breakout for both Biggie and Busta Rhymes’ first appearance.
Despite the success of the 1994 hit, Ready To Die – the groundbreaking debut album from fellow Bad Boy Entertainment star Notorious B.I.G – meant his rise to prominence was overshadowed.