THE CHURCH OF THE SAVED

Membership: Byron Gresham, Homer, Keena, Louis, Phil, "Joe Rainey", Reverend Samuel "Sammy" Smith, Sandie Smith, Melissa White, Vickie White, others unnamed

Purpose: Private sect of Reverend Samuel Smith

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Punisher, Ray White

Base of Operations: formerly a church in New Jersey;
    formerly Smithtown, Dutch Guiana

First Appearance: Punisher II#4 (November, 1987)

History: (Punisher II#5 (fb, BTS))- Keena came into The Church trying to rob the place, but was met by The Reverend who convinced him that what he was doing was wrong, and Keena decided to join The Church instead of robbing the place.

(Punisher II#4 (fb))- In Guiana, the Reverend killed Homer for betraying him.

(Punisher II#4)- The Church of the Saved was revealed to be a sect run by Reverend Samuel Smith. Ray White told Punisher about "The Church", and how his wife was enrolled with them. The Punisher decided to infiltrate The Church. As "Joe Rainey" he was introduced to Byron Gresham and The Reverend. The Reverend sent "Joe" on a mission with Gresham and Keena to bring down a man about to make a documentary on "The Church". Byron Gresham and Keena were sent alongside "Joe" on the mission. Byron was wounded by the man, and "Joe" was shot by the man as well, but managed to kill the man, and was taken to The Reverend by Keena. The Reverend saved him, and accepted him into the organization, introducing him to Vicki White. The Reverend told him that The Church wass about to leave America and to go to Guiana. Later "Joe" left The Church to watch the documentary he found at the man's apartment, and hid from The Reverend. On the tap, he saw pictures of The Reverend killing Homer.

(Punisher II#5)- "Joe" sailed to Guiana with members of the Church, and arrived in Georgetown. They drove into the jungle circa 125 miles to a camp (Smithtown) where The Church was to be based. The Reverend asked "Joe" to kill congressman Richard Fryer when he arrived at the camp. "Joe" told him that he wasn't sure he could kill a US congressman, but The Reverend insisted, and "Joe" finally agreed. He asked Vickie White to take him to to his chamber. There Vickie locked the door, and "Joe" asked her about her husband, but she told him that the marriage ended years ago, her husband just didn't know. She began to take off her clothes and kissed "Joe", and wound up spending the night with him.

The next day "Joe" was awakened by Keena, and the two of them drove out in the jungle, where "Joe" began to teach Keena about weapons. Keena told "Joe" that a Pan-Am airplane would pass shortly and that they should shoot it down. "Joe" stopped him, telling him that it would only cause an international crisis and lead investigators to the camp. Keena agreed, and began to tell "Joe" about his life. Byron called them to ask them to return to the camp. On the way back Keena told "Joe" about Sandie, The Reverend's sister.

Back at the camp, "Joe" was introduced to Sandie. Sandie told him that her brother was jealous of "the touch", Joe said "I thought he already had the touch," whereto Sandie answered "Oh, he does, but not like mine...." The two of them went to a room, making out, "Joe" told her that he was already spoken for, whereto Sandie told him that the Reverend didn't permit monogamy, thinking it was dangerous to his socialist ideal. "Joe" asked her if they should join the party instead, and they walked out of the room. They met with The Reverend, and Sandie asked him if they could talk privately for a moment. The Reverend left the party alongside Sandie and "Joe". She told him that congressman Fryer would land in Gerogetown tomorrow or Thursday. The Reverend was angry that she hadn't told him earlier, but she just said "I only now just found out." and left. The Reverend was mad, but decided to go back to the guests at the party.

An hour later, as the Reverend was speaking, a man with a knife tried to attack him, but "Joe" saved The Reverend. The attacker was revealed to be "Brother" Louis. The Reverend told all the people that he forgave Louis and ordered "Joe" to take him to "The Tool Shed" to take care of him later. "Joe" took him to "The Tool Shed" but told him to run through the jungle far away from the camp. Louis began to run, but was gunned down by Byron Gresham. Byron asked "Joe" why he let Louis go, and "Joe" answered that Louis wasn't a treat to anyone. Later he met with The Reverend and Sandie, and The Reverend told him that they must all prepare to die for the cause, a revolutionary suicide. "Joe" was surprised, but The Reverend "comforted" him, with the fact that the strong must lead the weak, and sent him to his chamber. A little later Vickie came to "Joe"'s room, and they spent another night together.

The next day Byron was stressed out, and ordered the men to be ready for the coming of congressman Fryer. "Joe" cames and saw Byron about to execute a number of people, believing them to be CIA-planted agents. "Joe" finally revealed his true colors, shooting down Byron. He ran away from the rest of the armed men to The Reverend's house. Castle headed to the Rev's house, where he found Sandie preparing some cyanide punch for his followers. The Reverend had heard the gunfire and took "Joe" inside only to learn that it was "Joe" was the threat. Castle confronted the Rev and prepared to kill him, but Sandie threw cyanide in his eyes, allowing the Rev to alert his followers and then flee. Outside, he killed more of the armed men, and went back inside, capturing The Reverend once more. Sandie tried to knock him down again, but his gun went off, hitting The Reverend in the stomach. He went to a speaker, telling everyone in the camp that The Reverend had died. He returned to the room, where The Reverend lay, not yet dead. He begged him to take him with him, but "Joe" refused and left The Reverend to die.

Sandie and a number of other people disappeared quickly, and Vickie and her daughter were brought home to Ray White, having ended the threat of The Chuch Of The Saved.

Comments: Created by Mike Baron and Klaus Janson.

In Punisher II#4, Ray White told the Punisher that the Reverend was to settle in Dutch Guiana, a country with a lefty government, free of the facist, racist United States. Now Dutch Guiana became independant in 1975, and has been known as Surinam ever since. In Punisher II#5 Punisher arrives in Guiana with The Reverend and the rest of The Church, but now they arrived in Georgetown, which is the capital of Guiana, the former British colony. So was Ray White misinformed that it was Guiana not Dutch Guiana [Suriname] or did the writer and editor make a mistake?


Byron Gresham was one of The Reverend's loyal followers. He was introduced to "Joe Rainey" at the church in New Jersey when "Joe" saved him from an attack by Ray White. The next day he introduced Joe to The Reverend. Byron was sent on a mission by the Reverend to prevent the production of a documentary on the Church. In the course of hte mission, Byron was fatally wounded, and was returned to The Reverend, where he was brought back to life. He went with The Reverend and the rest of "The Church" to Dutch Guiana. Byron killed Louis when Joe let him run away. Later, Byron was killed by the Punisher to prevent him from killing a number of Church members. -Punisher II#4-5






Homer was one of The Reverend's followers who betrayed The Reverend and went to the police in order to see his daughter. The Reverend had him killed for this. A videotape depicting the murder fell into the hands of a documentary producer, who the Reverend also had killed. -Punisher II#4 (fb)







"Joe Rainey" was one of Frank Castle's army buddies in the Vietnam war who was killed in the war on June 28, 1967, leaving no relatives, and having about the same size and age as Frank Castle. As the Punisher, Castle took his name for use on special occassions while working undercover. Using this identity, the Punisher infiltrated the Church of the Saved as a member, and participated in a mission alongside Keena and Byron in preventing the production of a documentary on the Church. The Punisher abandoned his "Joe Rainey" guise and ultimately toppled the Church, and left the Reverend in Guiana to die. -Punisher II#4-5





Keena was The Reverend's strong man, loyal to the cause. He lived on the streets in the Bronx since he was 7 years old. After an attempt at robbing The Church, Keena was convinced by The Reverend to join them instead. He was sent on a mission by The Reverend alongside Bruce Gresham and "Joe", and brought back a wounded "Joe" to the Reverend. He and "Joe" were to have brought down a plane carrying congressman Fryer, but he was convinced by "Joe" to abandon the plan. His whereabouts following the collapse of the Church are unknown. -Punisher II#4-5








Louis was one of the members of "The Church" who became so frustrated with The Reverend, having taken his wife and boy away from him, that he tried to kill him with a knife, but he was defeated by "Joe". The Reverend publicly claimed to forgive Louis, then ordered "Joe" to deal with him. "Joe" allowed him to run away into the jungle, but he was gunned down by Byron Gresham. -Punisher II#5










Phil was one of the armed members of "The Church" who tried to kill the Punisher after they had learned that he wasn't on their side. -Punisher II#5













by The Beetle

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Church of the Saved should not be confused with:

Congressman Richard Fryer has no known connection to:

Guiana is not to be confused with:


Last updated: 08/25/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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