Rich People Church

from by Houston Hughes



Rich people church
just got an atm in the lobby.
Not the front lobby,
but the back one;
they’ve had one in the front since back when
they installed the coffee bar and the gift shop;

rich people church has a gift shop,
has cross shaped snuggies,
has ten plagues finger puppets,
has creepy porcelain bible dioramas,
has collectible jesus figure
with realistic karate chop action
has books like “fifty shades of pray -
how to bring the “biblical“ back into your bedroom”
has t-shirts that try too hard to play on words, like
“need an ark built? I may Noah guy”

rich people church has a worship team,
has a five piece piece arena rock band,
has a competitive choir
with coach and choreographer
to ensure they practice praising perfectly .
has a production crew to run the sound,
the lights,
and the jumbotron.
Rich people church has jumbotron...sssssss
So big you can see pastor ricks spit
as it baptizes the entire front row.
So, rich people church is essentially
just a concert plus a motivational speech

rich people church is where rich people meet once a week,
where lawyers and doctors and politicians
discuss rich people things,
like “brunch”,
like “golf”,
like “the inevitable destruction of the middle class
by a combination of stagnant wages and labor automation”
like “yacht clubs”

Rich people church believes the Prosperity Gospel,
believes god will direct money towards people
who SHOULD have it,
believes your poverty is a test or a punishment,
But don’t ask them how they know the difference.

But Rich people church needs to ask you
to make a few small changes,
like “blessed are the financially insoluble in spirit”
like “give unto caesar what is unable to be hidden in offshore accounts”
like “the love of money by people who haven’t worked hard enough for it
is the root of all evil”
rich people church can afford to genetically engineer
the special breed of miniature camels
that CAN fit through the eye of a needle!

rich people church makes religion a fashion competition,
where they always know what’s “in”.
Rich people church makes you think
about how both christians and dollars
come in denomination.

Rich people church
just adorned its lawn
with the largest crosses
IN ALL OF CHRISTENDOM least until the rich people church up the street
finishes theirs next week.
Rich people church
bought up cheap land for its new expansions,
increased the value of the neighborhood,
but changed the color its neighbors in the process.
Rich people church has great acoustics,
is a perfect recording booth,
an echochamber completely deaf
to everything happening just outside.

rich people church
does not like poor poet,
does not like him needing to get back change from the offering plate,
does not like him placing the christ action figures in inappropriate positions
does not like him entering the gift shop with a whip
yelling about money lenders,
rich people church has a security staff
to kindly escort poor poet outside.
poor poet wouldn’t mind,
except rich people church has poor poets parents.
has poor poets parents perpetually preoccupied preparing for paradise
by paying people to peddle prosperity,
paradoxically by preaching parables praising the piety
of practicing pure poverty by parting with property
But rich people church has always cared more about making dollars
than sense.

At rich people church we surround ourselves
with the comforts of those blessed with wondrous wealth,
but when faced with the poor, all we can say
is that money, our lord, works in mysterious ways.



from Growing Up, Not Old, released June 30, 2016
Music by Justin Velte & Houston Hughes

Additional recording by Skyler Greene

Jackson Jennings (
Trista McVey
Michelle Redmond
DM Shepherd



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Houston Hughes Fayetteville, Arkansas

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