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He’s media-savvy, and has been profiled by the Fort Worth . Instead of having a standard baptismal scene behind the stage, the backdrop at DBC was a tattoo-style banner, with “Jesus” in the middle.Polaroids covered the walls, memorializing those baptized by gallon-water jugs in the parking lot.But, unlike at other churches, they could pray however they wanted: sing, dance, run around, shoot hoops.

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In yet another tale, Adrian allegedly prayed that congregants would find gold teeth, and an associate pastor discovered that his fillings had turned gold.

(There’s video evidence of that one, but the picture quality is fuzzy).

The punk-rock church, with its charming leader and its willingness to accept outcasts, became an obsession for some followers, many of whom were looking for guidance.

Daniel Cathey started attending DBC while couch-surfing with friends in high school.

The church’s leadership marketed it like an exclusive club, a “subculture church”; the name of its ministry was the Nation of the Underground.

Its T-shirts had an antiauthoritarian bent, reading, “Religion Destroys, Christ Saves.” Hour-long jam sessions energized the crowd preceding sermons, which mixed Bible verses with lyrics from Adrian’s encyclopedic knowledge of punk bands such as Mx Px or the Descendents.So when Williams learned that he could see his favorite band at a Saturday night show, then again the next day at worship, he was intrigued.The first time he showed up at DBC, Williams says, it was “like clean, pure water for my filthy, filthy soul.” For these kids and others at DBC, Cleetus Adrian was a hero, a father figure, and a prophet.Adrian’s best friend Jeff Davis was the first to show up at DBC’s inaugural service.DBC wasn’t much of a church at first: ten friends met at the YMCA gym in Fort Worth and read a few Bible verses.Within a few years, the Deliverance Bible Church had ushers and a full praise band, with Adrian still installed as pastor.

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