A charismatic evangelical church in McAllen, Texas did an illegal production of Hamilton recently. In the story Alexander Hamilton is born again and the pastor equates being gay with being addicted to alcohol or drugs. However, in this case for Pastor Roman Gutierrez the room where it happens is going to have a different take as lawyers from the Broadway version intervene and The Door Church in McAllen faces consequences for its behavior. This blog is just shocked, shocked I say that an evangelical church did a cheap knock off of a classic.
“He who steals a little steals with the same wish as he who steals much, but with less power.”
“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.
Revelation 3:14,20 ESV
Hamilton at The Kennedy Center
Last night I had a ticket to see the musical Hamilton at The Kennedy Center. I had long wanted to see it and remain the only member of my family who has not seen in. When I was up in New York City earlier this year I looked into tickets but they were too expensive. And the last time Hamilton came to the Kennedy Center it sold out quickly. But last night I finally saw it and as a history nerd just soaked it in. Earlier this week I learned of an evangelical knock off of Hamilton done by a church down in Texas. Since I was attending Hamilton this on my pile to write about it.
The Door Church in McAllen, Texas
The Door Church in McAllen was planted by the Door Christian Fellowship in San Antonio. The Door Church McAllen is a part of the Christian Fellowship Ministries Worldwide which was founded by Wayman Mitchell. Mitchell was out to convert hippies and founded a ministry that focused on targeting young people through concerts, rock music and other events. Christian Fellowship Ministries has a regular concert ministry that they do weekly in their churches. You can read about its history here. The Door Christian Fellowship movement seems to be Latino, or Hispanic based and influenced. This may be a representation of Hispanic growth in evangelicalism. Plus The Door Church is charismatic.
The Door Church McAllen is led by the pastoral team of Pastor Roman Gutierrez and his wife Nora originally were involved in the San Antonio church. Gutierrez said that he has died twice, and got off drugs through Jesus when he was born again at 25. He claims he has visited 42 countries to evangelize and and was a missionary in Bolivia for a few years.
Before “Hamilton” There was “Beauty and the Beast”
The Door Church allegedly has a history of stealing musical material from Disney. They have done illegal versions of Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, and Despicable Me. The church twists and rewrites the story. For example in their version of Beauty and the Beast, the beast is born again. You can see a clip of Beauty and the Beast below.
Door Church and “Hamilton”
The Door Church for the summer of 2022 did the musical Hamilton and changed the story and the lyrics as well. In this version as told by the Door Church Alexander Hamilton is born again and led to a personal faith in Jesus Christ. (Hmmm….I didn’t see that last night at the Kennedy Center) The costumes and staging were mimicked off the original Hamilton version. And it appears that Hamilton’s wife Eliza is a born again Christian also. Hemant Mehta has some of the clips below that you can watch.
After the show was performed the pastor at The Door McAllen, Victor Lopez went on stage and called for people to be born again. He also called for people to be born again from being gay. And compared homosexuality to alcoholism. Watch the brief clip from below.
Broadway and Lin Manuel Miranda Reacts to this Pirated Version
When controversy erupted The Door Church McAllen said that they had permission to do Hamilton. Then the producers of the Broadway version pushed back and said that no permission was given. The Door Church was caught in their own lie. Lawyers for Hamilton sent a cease and desist letter to The Door Church to stop future productions. The Door Church did one final production and they did not record the music. On The Door Church website they scrubbed all references to Hamilton and removed all their videos from YouTube. I checked out their YouTube page and its dead. The Dramatist Guild condemned the Door Church doing an illegal version of Hamilton. Lin Manuel Miranda who wrote Hamilton thanked the fans of Hamilton for bringing this to their attention. Miranda said that lawyers are involved in this situation.
You can read more about this in the following articles.
- People, “Lin-Manuel Miranda Responds After Church’s Unauthorized ‘Hamilton’ Performance: ‘Lawyers Do Their Work’“
- London Daily Mail, “Lin-Manuel Miranda speaks out publicly for the first time against the ‘illegal, unauthorized production’ of his hit Broadway musical Hamilton by Texas church.“
- CBS News, “Lin-Manuel Miranda slams Texas church for “illegal” performance of “Hamilton” with added anti-gay messaging.“
- American Songwriter, “‘Hamilton’ Fans Rush to Halt Texas Church’s “Unauthorized” Version.“
The Room Where is Happens is Going to Have a Different Meaning for Pastor Roman Gutierrez
Count me shocked, I say shocked that an evangelical church stole stole a Broadway productions and changed it for evangelism purposes! The talent which is good does not surprise me as charismatic churches focus on this kind of professional production. My former third wave charismatic church in Wisconsin did talented productions as well. Bethel in Redding has polished this issue well. The problem is that evangelicals as a part of their culture are known for doing cheap, knock offs. Many evangelicals take quality material and cheapen it and made it shoddy. No doubt behind the scenes at The Door Church they are teaching and telling people that they are being persecuted for teaching Jesus. Evangelicals, due to such behavior, are seldom held accountable for their actions. But in this case there might be a rare case of justice. For Pastor Roman Gutierrez the room where it happens may have a different take. The room where it happens will now be a lawyers office or a court room. This blog doesn’t have any sympathies for The Door Church. They have made a living by lying and deceiving their community through these kind of musical productions. One thing that baffles me is that this is coming from Roman Gutierrez who frequently talks of being born again. Why does being born again mean becoming profoundly dishonest, shady, shifty and cheap?