Good morning, y’all. There’s a lot of disturbing stuff in the news today. I’m still mulling over the concept of the Dallas police sending in a robot bomb to kill the Dallas assassin. Intellectually, I know that dead by SWAT is the same as dead by robot bomb, it just feels less sporting, or something. Of course, I always question why time limits get put on these things. If the perpetrator is pinned down, and you know he’s not going anywhere, wait until he goes to sleep. I guess waiting makes the police look like they’re not in charge or something. Hard to say.
While we’re speaking of time limits, it brings us back to the retelling of the history of The Full Gospel Original Church of God. The board meeting after Wednesday Night Preayer meeting found the members tussling with a couple of issues. First, the second trailer was being adjoined to the left side of the little church. To keep on schedule for this Sunday’s service, the crews were working late into the night. The board members were having to raise their voices over the occasional rip of a table saw to be heard.
Mulva Lite began the meeting with the accounting reports, which were outstanding. The collection indicated either that the new crowd attracted to the little church didn’t understand the concept behind tithing, or their income was way higher than the average follower. Either way, the little church was flush with cash. Even after paying for all of the associated costs of the expansion, in cash, the church was still roughly doubling the previous year’s income.
The only disturbing financial negative was the resettlement of the Bread brood to the trailer park at TackyToo. Mulva had donated the use of a trailer to Alva Bread and her family for as long as it took for them to get back on their feet. Mulva’s husband, Bud, was none too happy about the arrangement. Bud’s “last button had been pushed”, when the Bread children had stomped Bud’s prize Irises into oblivion.
Mulva had enlisted the Ladies Auxillary to provide at least one hot meal a day for the family, it was the Christian thing to do; but Mulva was concerned about the rest of their needs. It had been confirmed that Reverend Bread was living in town with Ophelia Bottoms, and that neither seemed to have found employment. A motion was made and passed to appoint Mulva as “secret guardian” of the Bread family until such time as the family was able to get back on their feet. Mulva could draw as much as one thousand dollars a month to provide for the shelter and other needs of the Bread family. Though it went without saying, Elder Wiley felt compelled to remind Mulva that under no circumstances was Dale Bread to receive any benefit from the fund. Mulva agreed, and reported that no one had seen hide nor hair of their former pastor since the family moved into the park.
Satisfied that they had handled the “Bread” issue, the group moved on to more positive topics. Barring any unforeseen acts of God, the second “addition” would be ready for occupation on Sunday. Elder Diggum would be tasked to setup the audio visual in the second trailer to provide as good an ecclesiastical experience as possible.
At this point, Elder Diggum jumped in with some rather exciting news. The “geek” that had setup the new audio visual had attended services on Sunday to make sure that everything was operating smoothly. The “geek” was so impressed with the service that he had pitched the idea of broadcasting the service to his bosses at the public TV station, Channel 99 in Blairsville. Elder Diggum had been contacted by the producer at Channel 99 on his way to prayer meeting that very evening. The producer wanted to setup a meeting to see if the church would be interested in allowing their services to be broadcast.
“It might be a one time thing”, “It might be part of a special documentary about churches in the area”, “It might be a rotational thing between us and other churches taking turns each week”, Elder Diggum said. “It’s all very ‘conceptual’ right now.”
The other board members looked at each other closely. Widespread exposure had always been a very bad thing for the little church.
“When does this fellow want to meet?” asked Elder Wiley.
“As soon as possible”, replied Elder Diggum. “He says they could be ready for this Sunday with a day’s notice.” “So we’d have to let him know by Saturday”.
“Ok, so let’s plan on meeting him Friday for lunch,” Elder Wiley said. “It will give us some time to pray on it, and to check them out.”
Everyone looked at Elder Cheatum for a response. Elder Cheatum scribbled a bit on his copy of that weeks’ Profit and Loss statement before answering. “It can’t hurt to meet,” he said. “And for some strange reason, I’m feeling like it might be a positive thing.” “We’ve got cars from all over North Georgia and East Tennessee in the parking lot every Sunday.” “The word of mouth about what we’ve got going here is spreading our message like wildfire.” “Can you imagine the exposure we could get from a TV broadcast, even if it’s just a public access channel?”
“We are talking about a double edged sword here,” Elder Wiley responded. “For every person drawn to us, there’s probably ten that are repelled by us.” “Some of those that are repelled are going to be powerful people who will seek to shut us down.” “None of us wants to go back to the dark days.”
A look of apprehension passed between the board members as they remembered the dark time when practicing their faith was a capital crime.
“No, we don’t”, Elder Cheatum said. “But there is something very different about Reverend Helena.” “Maybe it’s something as simple as the fact that she is a woman.” “Maybe it’s something much, much more”, he continued, “I don’t know; but I know that whatever it is that is happening in our church, people are telling their friends and their relatives.”
Elder Cheatum continued, “This ‘geek’ told his bosses, and now his bosses are interested.” “I say we setup the meeting and decide after we meet with the guy.” “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” “Now let’s all get the heck out of here before we all go deaf”, the Elder said as he gathered his papers and headed for the door.
The sounds of the table saws were going full pitch as the board walked through the sanctuary on their way to the parking lot. The trailer was being matched to the side of the building while being leveled on the outside. It was dangerous work in the dark, and Elder Cheatum said a silent prayer that the work would be completed without incident. The Elder wanted the meeting with the TV station to be about the positives of the church, not the death of a worker.
“Ok, Friday for lunch, Barry you pick the time and place,” Elder Cheatum said as they reached their cars. “Mulva, you can come if you like.”
“Why, thank you”, said Mulva somewhat flustered at being included. “I’ll try to be there if I can,” she said as she got into her car. The board members headed off into the night to their respective homes, anxious that their little church was about to become famous and what it might mean.