Mary Cosby is certainly one of the most animated cast members on RHOSLC. (Although to be fair, aren’t they all?) And while some of her past antics have resulted in popcorn-worthy drama (does anyone smell hospital up in here?) other times they just left us baffled. So we were super disappointed when Mary skipped the season 2 reunion show and quit the series following accusations surrounding her most sacred love: her church.
Now, the First Lady won’t have to face Andy Cohen in that hot seat. Given the way she has avoided so many other tough conversations with the ladies on the show, we shouldn’t be surprised. So, we decided to delve into the strange accusations surrounding the Faith Temple Pentecostal Church instead and examine how Mary was at the centre of it all.
Former church members are speaking out
Former followers of the church have been sharing their shocking experiences for a while now, accusing Mary of referring to herself as “God,” manipulating them to work for free or on minimum wage, and verbally insulting them.
“It’s not a joke,” one former member told The Daily Beast. “She’s got these people terrified. That woman is the most evil thing that ever walked this Earth. You have no idea, all those smiles and s—t — that is not real.”
Mary’s family is speaking out, too
It’s not just former acolytes who are accusing the church of shady happenings. Cosby’s uncle, Ernest Walton, also told the publication he feels the place of worship is an “abomination” that he can’t stand behind. “Everything’s coming out into the light now and everything’s coming down,” he said.
Those allegations started playing out on the show
As the ladies began investigating the rumours that Mary’s church isn’t what it claimed to be this season, the cameras caught some pretty powerful figures also speaking out against it. That includes the scene in which Lisa Barlow met with the late Salt Lake City community leader Cameron Williams. “Is it a cult? Does she call herself ‘God?’ Yes,” he said.
Let’s throw a rumoured affair into the mix
Cameron Williams, by the way, was the man that Mary allegedly had an affair with. Fans already know that Mary married her step-grandfather after her grandmother passed away so that she could inherit the congregation. However according to one person, she hasn’t exactly been faithful. A guy named Dan C. claims that his daughter was dating Cameron, and the pair went to Mary and Robert for counselling. There, Dan says that Mary would bring up reasons why the couple shouldn’t be together. Once they did break up, Mary reportedly visited Cameron’s home where the supposed affair happened.
Mary’s lavish lifestyle hasn’t helped the rumours
If anything, the fact that viewers have had access to Mary’s abundant home, clothes and other things has only infuriated those who claim that they’ve drained their own bank accounts on the church’s behalf. “They would sit and demand money until they got a certain dollar figure, whatever [sum] was in their head before they let people go” an anonymous member claimed. “Now, that didn’t mean they had guns to your head, but they would shame you if you left. They would shame you if you didn’t give enough. So, it was a form of mental manipulation.”
Related: Ranked: ‘RHOSLC’ stars net worth.
Some say Mary believes she determines who gets into heaven
On the series, Mary defended herself and claimed that she wasn’t telling people she was God. “I’m not God! I worship the god in me!” she told Barlow. However some former members of her church have called her out on that.
“Mary is trying to convince people that she’s God, or like this special mediator,” another anonymous source said. “That she has power that she can talk to God and she can decide where you’re going [heaven or hell]. Mary tries to equate herself to like a female Jesus.”
And then there’s the leaked recording
Even fans that stuck with Mary through most of these accusations have had a hard time with the leaked audio recording of her sermon that found its way onto the internet. In the clip, she berates parishioners for being “poor and stingy” and only giving her 14 birthday cards.
“Coming in here draining me. I ain’t preaching over y’all’s sin. I’m doing everything else,” she says. “Y’all ain’t helping. Halfway pay your tithes. I got 14 birthday cards. Your old stingy selves. You old poor people. I don’t want poor people around me. Your poor self. And if you ain’t poor, you’re stingy so you’re still poor. God said you was poor. Said you’re reaping…what’s that scripture, Norman?”
Now Mary’s parents are concerned, too
One of the latest twists in this story concerns Mary’s parents, who believe their daughter is a victim. In a tell-all interview they revealed they weren’t upset that their daughter was chosen to lead the church, as was previously claimed, and that Mary herself didn’t want to marry Robert back in the day. “He convinced her with, ‘Mama wanted you to marry me. By the way, here’s a couple hundred thousand dollars and it’s your birthday, here’s a brand new BMW for you to go with it,’” Mary’s father said.
Not that they’ve spoken in a while
Mary and her parents no longer speak, so it’s hard to know how she feels about their recent comments. However they have a message for her if she does ever see the interview: “Just that I love her and I want her to get away from that man,” her mom said.
The future of the church is unclear
These days, we know that Mary is done with RHOSLC and isn’t returning for season 3. What’s less clear is the future of the First Lady’s church. In January, the Faith Temple Pentecostal Church shut down in-person services “due to COVID” and as per the church’s website they have not resumed since (at time of press). Furthermore, eyewitnesses have claimed that all signage has been removed from the property, and the spot is completely boarded up. So is Mary laying low for now or done with it all? “Silence is enough!” she randomly posted on Instagram on Feb. 2.
In other words, you be the judge.