The Bible Went Down With The Birdie Jean: an elegy

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This is a serial project in which Potts's own reporting, photography, and memory cast a parting look at his past life, growing up as the gay grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts: between September & January 2016, every other Sunday in 33-post "books," Potts posted a 300-post Instagram account of this story — 9 books of 33 Instagrams each . 

In Potts's words, his own originary story is tied to the rise of his grandfather Oral Roberts as the famed televangelist and charismatic Christian preacher: "At twelve, my grandfather climbed into his Prayer Tower and said he’d die if he didn’t get $8 million; I was a gay kid living on a Pentecostal compound with an autographed photo of Ronald Reagan on my desk. At eighteen I left most of that behind, rarely looking back."

Potts's story is a compelling, wonderful, and moving mix of comedy and tragedy, documenting the fragile beginnings of a life marked by abuse that nonetheless reveals hope and beauty as Potts moves on from the past.

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Andrew Klein