“Brothers and sisters prayer is the answer. We've gotta be a prayin' church! God's listenin'. So, we're starting a prayer chain here at Glory Be Church. When prayer-needs come to our attention, we're gonna call upon the Lord!” Pastor Neal B. Formy closed his Bible and passed the sign-up sheet.
Could this really work for our diverse, small congregation? I wondered as I signed my name, Anna Lytic, to the end of the list. It wasn't twenty-four hours before our first test.
“Hello, Ira? This is Yule B. Sari. Have you heard about the new family in town? Pastor says there's five kids and no father. Seems the mother's lookin' for work. And the kids don't have no school clothes. We need to be prayin'. Get the word out. And Dane Juress fell off the roof he was puttin on their shanty of a home. You call and let Hal know.”
“Hal? Hey brother...this is Ira Peete. Gotta call from Yule. Man, we got sum prayin' to do. This new family in town's causin' quite a stir. Them kids don't wanna wear no clothes. We can't let that rub off on our kids. Their ma just sits around, ain't gotta man. Now, we don't want that kind getting' too close, you know what I mean. We better be on our knees. Dane's already been up there messin around. Heard she had him wound around her little finger...and him married. Call Iduma.”
“Iduma? Hey lady! It's Hal E. Luya. Boy, Pastor's worried about them new folks in town. She's a worldly woman, if you know what I mean. Trying hard to get Dane's marriage broke up. Guess she's on welfare...you know the kind. House full of kids running around wild. We got to pray them outta town. Get on the phone to Nora right away.”
“Nora? Is that you? You sound outta breath. This is Iduma Best. Pastor needs our help. Dane Juress has left his wife and took up with that new woman in town. And him a Deacon, too! Hal thinks maybe Dane knew her before. Someone's gotta be the father of all those kids. That youngest one has Dane's red hair. I would never have believed it if it hadn't come straight from Pastor! Get on the phone to Morty. Church's gotta pray!”
“Hey, Morty. It's Nora Spect. Brother, our church is in big trouble! This just might be the end of our church if we can't get to the bottom of it. Dane's got a kept woman no one knew about...and a kid. How could we have ever voted him in as Deacon? Pastor's really worried. Can't say as I blame him. He's the one who wanted Dane to be Deacon, remember? He's most likely worried we'll be asking him to leave! Call Perry. Oh, yeah...and pray.”
“Perry? Glad you're at home. It's Morty Fide. We're gonna need to get up a pastor search committee. Oh, Man. Dane done gone and showed his true colors! Shakin' up with that woman. Keepin' secrets from all of us in the church. You know how close Dane and Pastor are...he had to know. Kept it from us I say. Makes you wonder what else he hasn't told us! Signs of the times, I say! Hurry up and call Leigh.”
“Leigh? Guess you're at work. It's Perry Noid from church. Our church is splitting in two. Church's gotta find a new pastor...after we run him outta town. Call me when you get this message. And call Phil. He's next on the list.”
“Hey, Phil. It's Leigh VaMessage. I know you've heard about all that's goin on at church. Call and make sure everybody's at church Sunday. We've gotta face these demons head on.!”
Phil N. D'Blanc called all members of Glory Be Church to come together Sunday morning. The pews were full as Pastor Neal B. Formy stood tall before his congregation.
“Before we get started, I would like to introduce a new family to all of you. This brave woman just returned from serving the last eighteen years as a missionary in China where her husband is in prison for preaching the gospel. Please, make her welcome. I told her she'd feel right at home here at Glory Be Church.”
“Greeting from China, a land filled with wonderful people who need to hear about Jesus. My name is Ima B. Leaver and these are my children...
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