Courtesy Instagram

Painting, songwriting, filmmaking, noodle sculpturing — they’re gratifying endeavors executed by empathetic souls seeking deeper truths about our shared existence, which is why creatives are overwhelmingly progressive on issues like racial justice, reproductive rights, and equality. Fort Worth, like a lot of other big/big-ish cities, enjoys a détente between artists and right-wingers because conservatives usually stay in their lane. Going around advertising that you speak in tongues and believe QAnon bullshit isn’t necessarily a great way to make friends.

As charismatic churches like Mercy Culture on the North Side keep preaching spreading the “good news” to us heathens, we’re seeing more intrusions by zealots into the Near Southside, the most unabashedly progressive neighborhood in Tarrant County. One recent example is Roots Market, whose owners completely misread the room when they set up their outdoor market in May on a bustling portion of Magnolia and then denied access to a queer vendor. Several weeks of pro-LGBTQ protests later, and the property owners gave Roots the boot. See ya.

Naturally, because most conservatives are — like their obese orange daddy — cons, Fort Worth and especially the Near Southside are becoming targets for opportunists trying to cash in on the creative class. One local artist says there’s a new coworking space run by Trumptards that progressives should avoid. It’s called LaunchBox, and filmmaker and one-time LaunchBox supporter Wesley Kirk alleges the Near Southside company blocked him on Instagram right after he posted in support of women’s reproductive rights. Another artist, George Apodaca, said LaunchBox allegedly advertised his coworking/film production space Blanc Studio for rent on an online marketplace without his permission.


LaunchBox’s owners, the husband-and-wife team of Jenny and Dave Pfahlert, said there must have been a simple miscommunication. When asked if they attend Mercy Culture, they said they have occasionally but do not agree with everything the elders preach.

Said elders include gaslighters extraordinaire Heather and Landon Schott. Insiders have told us that anytime a congregant complains about Mercy, the Schotts redirect the criticism back to the complainants. Outsiders are treated similarly. When nearby Oakhurst residents expressed their justified concern over Mercy’s idiotic plans to cram nearly 100 sex trafficking victims into a single compound by the church, Landon called the neighbors “evil witches.”

Megachurch charlatans like the Schotts have figured out that Fort Worth is ripe for the grifting. Our population, which skews young and is becoming browner every day, includes a ton of clueless trust-fund babies. The upshot is that with youth comes a lot of open-mindedness, though you wouldn’t know that from listening to our backward county judge, Tim O’Hare, who can hardly hide is hatred toward the queer community, and Sheriff Bill Waybourn, who would lick Donald Trump’s well-worn golf shoes if given the chance. Near Southsiders are hip to the spreading, money-grubbing Christian Nationalist movement in their ’hood, and they will not put up with the white trash who lack the self-awareness to realize the difference between a place of worship and a cult.

If you’re looking to set up shop on the Near Southside, the easiest way to avoid the ire of our sometimes-feisty creative community is simple: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And maybe don’t attend any church headed by narcissistic grifters.


This column reflects the opinions of the editorial board and not the Fort Worth Weekly. To submit a column, please email Editor Anthony Mariani at He will gently edit it for clarity and concision.


  1. Excellent writing! Keep up the good reporting on the MC cult, the charlatan Schoots, O’Hare and Weyborn. I lived in Oakhurst for 14 yrs. And am NOT a witch.🙄🙄🤣
    Could you please answer a question?
    Did that crook in sheep’s clothing, Kyev Tatum, ever pay his taxes and a $600 (or more) fine? This was a bone of contention a few years back. Thanks.