This angry, old man used to be the bishop of New Jerusalem many years ago. Technically speaking, he should still have been the head of the congregation at New Canaan at the time of his death, but the Living Prophet is the ultimate authority short of God. Several years ago, Mordecai left New Canaan, along with almost half the population. They moved south, towards New Jerusalem, claiming that they were going to re-settle it. They were not successful. Mordecai and a handful of followers returned to New Canaan and never spoke about what happened to make them return. However, it is apparent that they were the only survivors of that ill-fated expedition.
In his final years, the silver-haired Mordecai angrily watched Jeremiah, fuming at what he believed was an impostor getting away with the mass deception of the Mormon community. Though he was in his seventies, he was every bit as passionate about the livelihood of New Canaan as he was about New Jerusalem decades earlier. He did not support the violent removal of Jeremiah, but did believe he should step down.
Once the leader of Daniel and his congregation, Mordecai was a very old and sick man, so much so that he could no longer walk. Being the caring and passionate man he was, Mordecai put no mind to his own well being even when others were concerned over his worsening condition. When the White Legssacked New Canaan, Mordecai was on the second floor of the church resting. While the others were fleeing, the White Legs set the church a blaze. Because there was no time to get him, Mordecai perished in the fire.
Interactions with the player character
The following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
↑The Courier: "You're the man in charge. If something's troubling you, it could affect all of us." Daniel: "[SUCCEEDED] I never thought I'd be in charge of anything. Don't know why. Bishop Mordecai was old. He had been sick for years. He couldn't walk anymore. It wasn't a problem for the rest of us. He made it out to be more trouble than it really was. Just his way, I guess. When the White Legs came... he was upstairs. We couldn't get him out in time. The house caught fire at the base and worked its way up. Fast. He didn't die of smoke. I wish he had. Sometimes I wake up and for a minute or two, I think all of it was a dream. But it's not. It wasn't. I wish all of this were some fevered vision of what could have been. Instead of what is, what we let happen." (Daniel's dialogue (Honest Hearts))