Phil Arms is in bad shape as he takes the pulpit of Houston Church on the morning of Sunday, January 9. He shifts his weight back and forth from his right leg to his left, sips from a glass of water and dabs at his face with a white handkerchief. He puts on a pair of dark sunglasses, takes them off and puts them on again. "I have a problem," he begins, "in fact, several this morning." One is an abrasion on his right eye that, he says, has had him weeping all morning. Another is that his voice is going out. On top of that, he feels ill. But Phil Arms's real problem this morning is more spiritual than physical. He has been accused of sinning against the church, and that finger-pointing has doused the preacher's usual hellfire and brimstone style. This morning, he's supposed to be contrite. He's supposed to be standing atop the green carpeted steps of the altar confessing to his congregation that he has become addicted to prescription painkillers and has taken money from the church coffers in order to... More >>>
The shorter Arms (left) made the taller Garner squat down in their photos together.