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Chapter 44. The Gum In The Offering Plate Church

November 15, 2010

The Gum In The Offering Plate Church

Agnes was mad, she was real mad! She had long ago gotten past being upset. She was irritated by what was happening in her world. Her world was out of control. This was not the life she had planned for herself.

Her family was by far the richest in her hometown of Bolivar, Missouri. They owned the entire town. Well, at least most of it was theirs. Her maiden name of Burke was a name that was well respected in Bolivar. It got respect because it carried most of the money.

Everything had been wonderful in her world up till now. Her husband Bill was not rich nor did he come from a moneyed family like hers, but he wasn’t afraid of hard work and was a good provider. They loved each other. They had recently moved to the Riverside, California area.

When Agnes found out that Bill had somehow wandered into one of those Pentecostal Holy Roller churches, she was mortified. They were good Catholic people from a long line of Catholics. This shouldn’t be happening.

When Bill came home from the little Pentecostal church, he was acting different. He said he’d gotten the Holy Ghost and had talked in tongues.

Agnes was not happy, and went through the roof. She argued. She ranted. She raved. This was unbelievable and totally unacceptable. She had to find a way to get Bill back on track and away from all of them low class Holy Rollers.

She finally decided to go to the little church with Bill and see if she could fix the mess Bill had just gotten them into.

The ladies looked horrible to her with their long hair, long dresses and long sleeves. The women had their hair done up on their heads. They all looked old fashioned and out of date. Agnes knew she would never fit into a church like this one. All of the women in the church dressed that way. Agnes refused to comply. She was determined to show her disdain for their manner of dress. She was determined to never be part of something so ridiculous.

She seldom missed a service, however. Her attendance was not because she was interested. She wasn’t. She despised everything about this new religion of Bills. Somehow, she had to get him away from this craziness.

To express her disdain for the ‘holiness’ dress code of the holy rollers, she wore things she knew they would disapprove of. She wore sleeveless dresses to church. She wore slacks. She even wore mini-skirts just to get a reaction from them.

She hated every thing about these holy rollers. She criticized Bill’s involvement. She made his life a hell at home.

At church, Agnes purposely didn’t smile much. She just sat there and chewed her gum. She always did. She knew that chewing gum in church was considered disrespectful, but what did she care. When the offering was being received, Agnes would take her gum out and press it into the dollar bills in the plate.

She was pleased to watch the church secretary try to separate the gum from the paper dollars. It was one of the few things she enjoyed about church.

Her husband Bill had laid on the floor, she found out, when he was praying to receive the ‘Holy Ghost,’ or whatever it was called. He evidently thrashed around quite a bit and rolled back and forth so much that the Evangelist, Carl Ballestero, actually sat on him to hold him still so he could receive the Holy Ghost. How stupid, she thought.

For six months now, Agnes had constantly shown her disdain and disrespect for the Pentecostals.

Bill & Agnes Yandris after she received the Holy Ghost.

One night, a visitor came. The visitor was an old woman who had been in the original Azusa Street Mission. The presence of the Lord fell and people began to worship, but not Agnes. The old lady came to where Agnes was standing and even though she refused to pray, the old sister began to minister to her. In a few moments, she laid her hands on Agnes and prayed. God immediately filled her with the Holy Ghost.

She soon, dropped to her knees, and then fell on the floor talking in tongues. She rolled. She rolled down the aisle. She rolled up under the piano and lay there for two hours, talking in tongues. She couldn’t stop.

Bill took his wife home drunk in the Holy Ghost that night. She went to sleep still talking in tongues. At 3am, Agnes got out of bed and went next door to her neighbors, and beat on the door.

The neighbor lady said, ‘Agnes, what are you doing beating on my door at 3am? Is something wrong? Do you need something?”

All Agnes could do was speak in tongues. She gave up and went back to her house.

In time, God called Bill to preach the Gospel. A transformed Agnes and her husband, Bill (Wild Bill) Yandris, went to Merced, California and built a beautiful church to the glory of God. The Apostolic Tabernacle.

The very godly Sister Agnes Yandris will soon be 90, Her beloved Bill, has gone home to his glorious reward.

Bro. And Sis. Bill Yandris

Apostolic Tabernacle of Merced, CA

This too is Home Missions.


Here is a link to learn more of the Apostolic Tabernacle and it’s history.

Apostolic Tabernacle – Merced CA

9 Comments leave one →
  1. David Boyd permalink
    November 16, 2010 1:50 am

    This sooooooooooooooo GOOD!


  2. November 19, 2010 12:41 am

    I knew Bro. Bill Yandris but never knew his story. Amazing what God can do!

  3. November 21, 2010 5:36 pm

    Great! Loved reading this.

  4. January 3, 2011 4:01 pm

    WOW!!! Thats sooooooooo AWESOME!!! I love hearing these kinds of stories! Is this a book that I can buy?

    • January 3, 2011 11:22 pm


      • Rose Gonzales permalink
        April 25, 2012 10:06 am

        That is the Wonder of GOD. WOW. History like this makes my heart skip a beat. GOD is
        So GREAT in ALL he does. Maybe one day I will visit this church.

  5. April 5, 2013 4:14 pm

    yes…agie…was a great influence in my search for our loving savior… i had gone into a wayward way …feeling worthless to life,mostly my children i agonized about…at 11p.m. i would call her when i was in oregon…she never said,’why are you calling me at this hr, of the night?’ she made me feel like i was worth something as i knew i was a totally worthless person. she trully was a pearl of great price. im thankful for her…EPH.5;20…JN.3:16,17…REV.22:13-21…

  6. March 15, 2014 5:53 am

    Makes me wonder if Agnes ever got the “reaction” she was trying to provoke early on. “Lord, let me be patient with “provokers”… They could be the next Sis Agnes!”
    Thanks Bro Ballestero, great story!

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