Good morning, y’all. Well if you look at today’s news you’d think there might be a fine line between crazy and insane. You’ve got a guy jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, hoping to be caught on the ground by a safety net. You’ve got a political figure insulting war heroes and their parents. What’s the difference? One of these nutjobs has a safety net, I don’t think the Donald does. There is never a dull moment with the Donald, so maybe that’s why he should go back to reality TV where he belongs. Maybe he could pair up with Ozzy Osborne.
Conjuring up the memory of Black Sabbath recalls the retelling of the history of The Full Gospel Original Church of God. The board members, “plus one”, arrived at the former Mormon church in Blairsville, known as the Crystal Palace, promptly at 9AM that Monday. While the unique architecture of the building looked like a giant golf ball made of glass and steel from the outside, one had to actually enter the church to absorb the wonders of the design.
The main building was constructed of glass triangles fitted together to form a geodesic dome. While looking like a piece of Waterford cut crystal, the dome shape was extraordinarly strong, and provided protection from high winds and other maladies. Upon entering into the auditorium, the group was struck by the almost 360 degree seating arrangement. In addition to the floor seating, which was impressive when compared to the Little Church in The Valley, the seating continued up into the dome, stadium style. Behind the pulpit there was an expansive area for the choir and other dignitaries to sit. The offices, changing rooms and storage were in a smaller brick building directly behind the main church, connected by a covered walkway. A large landscaped area separated the office building from a large pavilion at the back of the property that was used for picnics and reunions.
“Wow”, said Reverend Helena as she swiveled her head around looking about the interior.
“Just the response we were looking for”, said Elder Cheatum, “welcome to your new home.” “Well, not your ‘home’, but you get my idea”.
“I’ve only been by here a couple of times”, said Mulva with a look of wonder on her face, “I’ve never been inside, I had no idea.”
“Well, it looks more up to date than it really is because of the design”, said Elder Cheatum, “We’ve got a lot of behind the scenes work to do before we can invite the public.”
“Like bringing the wiring up to code”, said Elder Diggum.
“And updating the heating and air conditioning to something from this century”, chimed in Elder Wiley.
“And just washing everything down with a good vinegar solution”, said Mulva as she ran her finger through years of accumulated dust on the altar.
“Yeah, this is clearly the biggest window washing job ever seen”, said Elder Cheatum, “so we’re going to reach as deep into our membership as we need to, to find a solution.” “Obviously, it’s going to be an ongoing issue.”
“Probably why the Mormons gave it up”, wisecracked Elder Wiley.
“Why did the Mormons give it up”, asked Reverend Helena.
“Well, I’ve been told they thought the demographics were right for them”, replied Elder Wiley, “People in this area are very self-sufficient, have large families, marry young and generally stay married, even if it’s to just one wife”. “Our voting habits would suggest that we are extremely racist and misogynistic, so we had that going for us as well.”
The Elder paused to give the group a grin, “When they started proselytizing the area they had an excellent following, particularly when people found out that the Mormons operated huge food banks for their followers that needed a hand.” “It didn’t take long before people found out the free food, wasn’t really free.”
“And it didn’t include meat or coffee”, chimed in Elder Diggum.
“That too”, said Elder Wiley, “but they had built this beacon for Mormonism right here in Blairsville, hoping to draw worshipers from the tri-state area”. “They did very well at first, a lot of people came just to see the church, but after a while folks couldn’t tolerate their teachings, and drifted away.”
“Telling folks we’re descended from aliens is crazier than telling folks we’re descended from apes”, inserted Elder Diggum.
“Wow”, said Reverend Helena., “the things they don’t teach you in seminary.”
“Well, we hope to turn their loss into our gain”, said Elder Cheatum, “we have a two year lease that is very favorable.” “We have already agreed upon a very favorable sales price should we decide to purchase at the end of the lease.”
Elder Cheatum looked about the auditorium and said, “The challenge before is daunting, but I know the good folks of The Full Gospel Original Church of God are up to the task.” “We are going to have to rely on the Ladies Auxillary, and their husbands like never before.” “Everyone is going to have give, and not just financially.” “We are going to need carpenters, painters, electricians..”
“And window washers”, added Mulva.
“And most certainly window washers”, answered Elder Cheatum. “So what we want to do today is spread out, look in every nook and cranny, and make a list of the obvious things that need to be repaired.” “We’ll let the specific trades people come in and look at the bones, we just want to target the things that untrained labor can remedy.”
When the group reconvened an hour later, Reverend Helena was first to speak.”Did you all know there’s a baptismal pool under the stage?” “It looks like it can be raised to floor level for Baptisms, and then hides out of sight when not being used.” “That’s very cool”.
“We prefer Hawker creek, but, that’s kind of limited to the summer time”, added Elder Wiley, “it might be good to be able to anoint people three or four times a year.”
“OK, everybody give your lists to Mulva and she’ll assign the volunteers to the tasks”, said Elder Cheatum, “I don’t know about you all, but I’m starved.” “Barry, where are you taking us today?”
Elder Diggum didn’t even rebel at being assigned the task of host. “Well, I was going to say the ‘Maison De Golden Arches’, but now that you’ve made a big deal of it, how about Outback Steak House?”
The group had plenty of time to chat on the ride to and from the steakhouse in Suwanee. When they returned to the Crystal Palace, each member had their marching orders. Excited, and filled with anticipation, the group left the parking lot of the new location of The Full Gospel Original Church of God.