Prophet Isaiah Robertson
About the Artist/Site
Just before her early death when he was twelve years old, Isaiah Henry Robertson's mother received a vision that the Lord had special plans for her son. As a young man in Jamaica, she had taught him to pray for Salvation and, following Jesus' example, he became a carpenter and built his first house without having been trained in carpentry. He emigrated to Canada at age twenty-four, and worked primarily in the construction trades. Surprised by the low cost of fixer-up housing stock across the border in Niagara Falls, he moved there from Ontario in 2004, and began to renovate and resell houses. Never having been artistically inclined, Robertson left behind an unremarkable residence in Canada with no hints of his near-future undertakings.
Robertson is a parishioner—not a preacher—at the Mount Erie Baptist Church, located a few blocks from his Niagara Falls home, and he was hired by the church to sheetrock and panel its walls. However, he believed that God instead directed him to use oak, and the golden-brown hues of the architectural inlay of interlocking stained wood panels that he installed provided a rich ground for numerous applied wood cut-outs. Although these grain-cut patterns appear abstract and decorative, Robertson identifies themas biblical symbols and images. Soon thereafter, a speaker at an outdoor spiritual revival sensed that he had the gift of prophecy, and Robertson was directed by God to decorate his own home and its accompanying three-story sanctuary. He placed and lit over 1,000 candles around the property to celebrate his first prophecy, that a Jubilee year (a year of forgiveness and redemption) began in 2006. The contemplative, restrained, and monochromatically elegant look of the Mount Erie Baptist Church sanctuary contrasts remarkably with the kaleidoscopic rainbow-covenant colors of Robertson's residential site.
Working without plans, he accepts no credit for the precise and intricately fitted designs made material through his Servant of God labors. He explains that “the Spirit” simply takes over and animates his carpenter hands. Neighborhood passers-by knowingly confirm that “he is a prophet,” sometimes ringing the doorbell to make partial small loan re-payments, or to receive spiritual guidance from the Prophet's front steps.
Prophet Isaiah'ssecond prophecy wasthat The Rapture (the second coming of Christ and the ascension of the Saved) would occur in 2014. A dedicated “Holy Room” stays locked when not in use for prayer, but an overflowing of candles and symbolicpurple bead patterns on the floor, representing the path to Salvation, can be seen throughout the house.Later, directed to announce his message and offer a source of healing to the world, Prophet Isaiah built a 25-foot wooden cross at the head of his driveway, and soon covered it and his home with additional wooden cut-outs as well as signs, numbers, and symbols from this second prophecy. There is also a 300-pound boulder from nearby Three Sister's Island mounted to the front of his house;Prophet Isaiah visits the island daily, for he believes that it is there that the Rapture will occur. Throughout his colorful home site there are stars symbolizing scattered believers worldwide, an Amish “hex”-like symbol for the Lost Tribes of Israel, Stars of David “for the Jewish people,” and numerous other designs, all biblical references. His rock garden front yard includes a sepulchre: bone-white painted stones form a petroglyph-like body of Christ, and a red rock, encircled by red-crossed green rocks, symbolizes Goat Island, which splits the Falls, and where followers (sheep) will be separated from the unsaved (goats).Niagara Falls is a undoubtedly a spectacle of biblical proportions, and with the worldwide reach of its “charismatic” pull, awesome grandeur, and dismissal of vainglorious human challengers, it would seem a natural location for the Second Coming. Robertson sees the perpetual rainbow over the Horseshoe Falls as a sacred covenant, and has identified the roar of the Falls as “the voice of God” in the same way that the indigenous Onguiaahra people recognized such a spirit embodiment and held holy this force of nature. Prophet Isaiah had intended to move back to Canada after his construction work in the States was complete, but once the second prophecy came to him, it became essential to remain in residence near the Falls.
“This is not the work of man,” says Prophet Isaiah Robertson, “no man could be capable of this.” Much like the rest of us, he stands back in out-of-body awe to behold what has been wrought. As of this writing in summer 2012, Prophet Isaiah seems to have mostly finished with the visual expression of his second prophecy, and concentrates primarily on re-painting and maintaining his vision in pristine condition. The cross and other wooden structures have held up solidly under withering winds, but paint on the rocks and walkways is prone to chipping and peeling; often, instead of re-creating the previous patterns, Prophet Isaiah has been directed to paint entirely new symbolic designs. He welcomes visitors to his site.
SPACES Archives Holdings
A comprehensive collection of digital and color photographs by Fred Scruton from 2010-2012 and the following texts:
Forgione, Rick. “Local man ignites 700 candles to deliver God's message,” The Niagara Gazette,July 24, 2005.
Forgione, Rick. “Delivering God's Message,” The Niagara Gazette,February 9, 2007.
Neiss, James. “MULTIMEDIA: The Prophet Isaiah,”The Niagara Gazette website,August 6, 2007.
Michelmore, Bill. “Niagara Falls prophesied as site of Second Coming,” The Buffalo News, October 28, 2007.
Adly, Jack (dir). The End of the World 2014 In Niagara Falls, NY. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fimiZlZIzhc.
Map & Site Information
Niagara Falls, New York, 14301 us
Latitude/Longitude: 43.096214 / -79.037739
Niagara Falls, New York, 14301, us
Prophet Isaiah Robertson welcomes visitors to his site.
Buffalo, New York
North East, Pennsylvania