Friday, October 10, 2014

Flashback Friday #251

Going To Church

Greeting to all who just happened to stumble by this way. If you read last week's post (and if you didn't, you really should for this to make sense.), you'll see how my best friend, Bart, tricked me into attending church with him. But there's more to the story...

Sunday morning came and I got dress, dreading the decision I had made to got to church with Bart & his family. I had packed a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt, not realizing that I would be going to church the next morning. I was told not to worry about what I was wearing.

It took about 30 minutes to drive to their church. We passed several churches along the way. Why were we going so far away?  I had only ever been to two churches before, not counting a VBS that I attended when I was about seven. Whenever the church down the road from us (the Wesleyan church where Aunt Shelly went) was giving away something, I would go for the freebies. Then I went with Doris just because she was pretty. It was Pentecostal. This was neither. It was some church that started with an "A". Abostol, Apostoc, no, wait, Apostolic. Yeah, that's it.

When we got there, I noticed something strange. All the people called each other "Brother" and "Sister". Was everyone in this church related? I was told that since we were all God's children, that made us brothers & sisters. OK. Whatever.

Bart escorted me down to the Senior High Sunday School class where I saw several of the kids that I had seen at the hayride the night before. The teacher was a big, burly guy they called "Brother Simmons". He was quite jovial and laughed a lot. Sunday School was over before I knew it and, unlike Aunt Shelly's church, there wasn't more church after Sunday School. We piled in the car and headed home.

In the car, Bart's mom asked if I wanted to stay for lunch. She was planning to make pot roast, mashed potatoes & green beans. Even the picky eater that I was liked all of those offerings. I told her that I'd stay.

While she was cooking lunch, Bart showed me the movie player that they had check out of the library. This was the days before home VHS players. It was an interesting contraption. Most of the "movies" that came with the player we greatly abridged versions of classics. When you can get through "Around the World in 80 Days" in about 30 minutes, that what I call abridged. There were also several "Little Rascal" silent shorts. We watched these until it was time to eat.

After lunch, we commenced to watching more while Bart's mom cleaned up. About 5:30, Bart's mom asked if I was going with them to church that evening. She said that if they tried to get me home before they went to church, they would be late for church. What? Church at night? Who had ever heard of such a thing? Aunt Shelly's church didn't do that. If the church that I went to with Doris met at night, I hadn't gone.

Great. Here I am again getting guilted into going to church again. They had fed me well and I hated to make them late. Oh, OK. I'll go. Once again we made the 30 minute trip and got there just before church started. I think there had been some behind-the-scene planning going. They sang some songs and then the pastor, "Brother Kramden" preached.

I couldn't tell you what he preached, but I was convicted. However I wasn't going to go up and pray. So I put my head on the back of the pew in front of me. Shortly thereafter, the pastor came over to me and asked if I had ever been to a Pentecostal church.Pentecostal, this wasn't Pentecostal, it was Apostolic. I told him that I had attended a church in Mt. Gilead that was Pentecostal. He said the pastor there had left this church to begin a work there.Wait. Apostolic and Pentecostal were the same type of church? I was assured by the pastor that they were. They followed the Apostles doctrine and were Pentecostal in their worship.

 I thought to myself' This is really weird. I've only been to two churches in the last two years and they are the same denomination. Coincidence? I don't think so. I think God is trying to tell me something." I made up my mind right then & there that I would start coming with Bart's family every Sunday. That was the 1st Sunday of November in 1980. I'm still at that church.

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