Good morning, y’all. So Ford announced today that they are going to be selling self-driving cars in five years. Hmmmmm. So when Tesla and BMW actually are testing self-driving cars right now, they are getting a load of grief. Ford on the other, gets treated like, “oh sure, Ford’s going to be doing it, no problem”. Well, as one who remembers the Pinto and a lot of other epic Ford failures, I am at a loss as to explain while the press is not asking more questions. Maybe Ford let the press know they were going to use the Tesla system once it was perfected. It does give Tesla five years to work the kinks out.
Speaking of working the kinks out brings us back around to the retelling of the history of The Full Gospel Original Church of God. The members, past and present, that received the Ladies Auxillary’s invitations to come to church had to read the invitations carefully to realize that it was going to be this Easter Sunday that the Crystal Palace was going to hold its first service. The parishioners that inadvertently showed up at the church of their parents and grandparents were greeted by the ongoing experiment of the Little Church in the Valley.
The “backsliders” who had not attended church in the last year were rather amazed at the look of the old church. What once was a quaint little shotgun style country church had been morphed into something different. Not necessarily good different, but very, very different. The two trailers added to either side of the existing church to expand the auditorium looked like a bad Legos experiment. The trailer that had been added first, on the left side, was white, the color of the church. The trailer added last, on the right side, was beige. With out the familiar front door and the ringing of the church bell to call them in, the Chreasters (Christmas and Easter attendees) would have been lost. First impressions are important, as they say, and their little church now had a face only a mother could love. For the many who had not gone through the church’s recent growing pains, it was dispiriting to see the old church tarted up this way.
All of the worshipers that had not been in attendance for a while were not surprised to see the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread at the helm. In spite of the fact that the majority of the crowd was at the other location, Reverend Dale planned on redeeming himself with the flock he had been given. It had always been said that Reverend Dale’s Easter sermon was his number two service, with Christmas being his best effort. Reverend Dale planned on “bringing it” to the followers who had decided to stay in the old location. Some of the old fixtures were still in place. Granny Waller was front and center like the Rock of Gibraltar, or Ages. Hugh Morris was in his usual spot, just as if he didn’t go home from Sunday to Sunday. Constance Whiner was sitting off to the right side in one of the new trailer additions. Apparently Constance liked the image projected to her on the big screen TV rather than looking up at the live minister speaking to her from the pulpit.
Ophelia Bottoms was leading the choir with a strong assist from . There was no doubt that his deep bass voice made an excellent background to the choir. While Bubba Hawker was not known to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, he did have the hymnal memorized backwards, forwards and sideways. Forty years of church services five times a week will help imprint those long term memories. It was also said that he could deliver fifty different sermons if the conditions were right and someone got him started with the first sentence or so. Bubba was always on standby if needed.
To the casual observer it was somewhat surprising to see one of the younger members of the church, Anita Goodman, sitting dead center in the auditorium. She was sitting about four rows back from where Alva Bread sat with her brood. Most of the under forty set had followed the Reverend Handbasket to the Crystal Palace and Ms. Goodman seemed somewhat out of place in a congregation that now resembled Bingo Night at the Senior Center. Even the C&E members who had been roused to attend services by the Ladies Auxilary were all well past fifty. Right Reverend Dale was ministering to a flock that had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. He would have never predicted his fate would be the one that was playing out before him.
Regardless of the octogenarian status of his followers, it was the Right Reverend Dale E. Bread’s task to cast the demons out and to let the spirit take over. In spite of not having the background singers and musicians and the overall persona of the Reverend Handbasket, the Right Reverend did put on a fine show. When he led the choir in “Up From The Grave He Arose” at the end of the service, everybody that could, stood. Most of the pepole in the audience were already stomping their feet when the Right Reverend went into his “tap dance for Jesus” at the testament of faith.
The Right Reverend was truly having a testament of faith of his own as he began wrangling the serpents. He did a fine job, and everyone in the little church was happy that there had been no altercations between the serpents and the Reverend. One of the “backsliders” did mention to an acquaintance after the service that there were no serpents over three feet long. “I’m not saying that they’re not just as deadly, I’m just saying that there were no ‘big boys’ out on the floor”, the skeptic was overhead saying.
Fortunately, the Right Reverend did not overhear the slight. With his wife and two paramours in attendance he felt like he had juggled the most deadly situation deftly. After he shook the last hand at the front door, Reverend Dale called Mulva to get an update on the service at the Crystal Palace. In spite of all of the hurt feelings and misunderstandings, Reverend Dale wished Reverend Helena well. He felt that his future success was tied to hers.