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Chapter 3. The Mountain Church

January 11, 2010

The Mountain Church

The sandwich board signs written in “hard-to-read” font at 30mph announced the fact that service was in progress at a Pentecostal Church one block away. Three or four of the less than 20 prayed before the church service. The others remained quiet and listened.

After the pre-service prayer, the pastor then invited everyone to greet one another.  An old grumpy looking man on the back row would not shake hands with the new visitor. He kept his arms crossed ignoring the proffered hand of the visitor, stating simply, “shaking hands is highly over rated”. The visitor quietly turned and found a place to sit.

The pastor’s wife corded on the small piano. A copy of “Music Theory for Dummies” leaned against the stool upon which she sat. A teenage boy slumped in his seat and pretended to be asleep. He was there, but he wasn’t happy.  A 15-year-old girl colored in a coloring book the whole service. She had the mind of a small child.

The man behind the pulpit had a lot of desire and zeal. Being the only Holy Ghost filled man in the church besides the pastor, he by default had become the song leader. He was trying to teach himself the guitar. There still was much to learn.

He strapped it around his neck and tried to play and sing. He did pretty good considering. Somehow about every other song, it became a challenge for the piano and guitar to sync in their rhythm and beat. The conflict was ignored and the people sang and cried and worshipped.

The visitor’s 20-month-old child cried too. Then it babbled incessantly throughout the preaching. Everyone turned and looked, the parents seemed oblivious to their child. There was no nursery or cry room. It’s incessant and disruptive behavior ceased as soon as the preaching was over.

The two older women always wore pants to church. They never seemed convicted by Old Testament scriptures, though the claimed to be members. They claimed they loved the Lord and seemed very certain that God didn’t have a problem with their apparel.

The pastor was the only one that prayed with seekers in the altar. He has to do it all by himself. Evidently no one else seems to think they are qualified to pray with a seeker. He prays so hard too. It’s difficult to carry the whole load by yourself. He works a job to pay the bills. He may die younger than he should. He’s trying so hard.

Bro. Tom, the new man waited until the altar service was over to be baptized. A horse tank for baptisms had been placed behind the last row of seats and in the middle of the entrance area. When the signal was given for the new convert to go change his clothes, Tom quickly disappeared. The church sang a chorus while they waited.

To the pastor’s dismay, out came Tom in a tank top and Speedo. His bony white legs were stared at in amazement. He walked over to the horse tank, stepped in and sat down, looking around with big smiles for everyone while he awaited baptism.

This is Home Missions!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2010 2:51 am

    “To the pastor’s dismay…” Couldn’t help but “LOL” when reading the part after! This is quite a take on Home Missions. Sounds pretty real. Enjoyed.

  2. Yolanda permalink
    January 11, 2010 1:50 pm

    Good stuff…..thanku for sharing it!

  3. RSeals permalink
    January 14, 2010 10:46 am

    I know its a little funny.. but, it sure sounds a lot like OUR little home missions work here in La. We would feel right at home, lol…

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