23 Chapters
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Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting at the Baptist Church

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Wednesday Night Prayer

Meeting at the Baptist Church j

Wednesday night meant prayer meeting at the Chillicothe Baptist Church. Before praying together, Baptists tried to reconcile themselves to one another over ham hock and lima beans, with ice tea and peace cobbler.

First, Brother Wachel announced that he felt pretty good for someone who had a funeral that morning. Next, he identified the larger concerns of the whole church so that folks could pray about it. One of those concerns was the building fund.

“Due to the increased activity of our young people we need to enlarge the nursery,” he said.

No one laughed. No one listened.

Another concern was that Brother Elroy was not fulfilling his role as deacon in charge of visitation. Some of the pew racks did not have visitor cards and some of the pencils in the racks had not been sharpened. The pencils were used by visitors to write their names and addresses on the visitor cards so that the pastor might visit the visitors, usually at mealtime.

Brother Wachel was concerned because some church members used the cards to write notes to each other, prepare grocery lists or share recipes. Teenagers used the pencils to write hymn titles on the cards adding “between the sheets.” “How tedious and tasteless,” “Blest be the tie,” “Fight the good fight,”

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Radio WWJS

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Radio WWJS j

Brother McCoy could find no backing for Station WWJS,

“What Would Jesus Say.” He called Brother Harold and enjoyed several minutes of long-distance listening to Jesus rock, sung by Christians who believed intelligibility was gay if not foolhardy. When he explained his problem, Brother Harold offered to sponsor an hour-long show on a local station if McCoy would promote Brother Harold’s products in addition to McCoy’s WWJS bracelets.

Sales of the Bible that bled red ink had slumped. However,

Harold had acquired Bibles that had belonged to heroes and other actors, including the Bible that sanctioned the deaths of more than two hundred German soldiers killed by Audie Murphy, the genuine Gideon Bible that Ronald Reagan included among the weapons he sent to terrorists, the Bible that told

Oliver North how to make crime look patriotic, the Bible that belonged to John Wilkes Booth, inscribed with his dying words, “Tell Mother I died for my country,” the Bible that told

Martin Luther King, Jr. how to die for his country.

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Slouching toward Zion

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Slouching toward Zion j

I

Thurston Morton was the kind of Baptist who when he said

“thirty-ought-six,” he expected everyone to understand what he meant. Elaine was raised in the Church of Christ and when she said Acts 2:38, she expected everyone to understand what she meant.

However, when Elaine reached puberty she became a Baptist because the Baptist Church had something every night.

Giving Elaine an excuse to go out every night. Best of all, her

Church of Christ parents wanted to hear nothing about Baptist meetings, which meant they would never know where she went or who she was with. When she and Thurston became engaged,

Thurston’s buddies warned him that Elaine had dated every male in Chillicothe. “Chillicothe’s not that big,” he said. Five others, including the halt and the married.

Elaine had proved to be a good wife—silent in church, faithful at work, obedient at home—the way the Good Book said. All she asked was that some day they take a trip and

Thurston promised some day they would.

Thurston worked at the grain elevator in the summer and the gin in the fall and listened to radio preachers who promised that God would prosper him if he would prosper them. And

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Do You Have a Rapture Lawyer?

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Do You Have a Rapture Lawyer? j

The Lord is going to return very soon, probably before the next election. If your chances of being raptured are greater than those of a pecan pie at a Baptist picnic you need a rapture lawyer. As you rise into glory, what happens to your estate?

You may think you don’t need a rapture lawyer because you have a valid will leaving everything to your wife. What if the rapture comes while you are driving your car, you disappear in the air, and your car goes smash into an X-rated video store?

Your wife is going to the poor house, and your estate is going to a pornographer and pervert.

You may think you don’t need a rapture lawyer because you have given up driving, along with other litigious liabilities, and you have a valid will leaving everything to your wife, children, and grandchildren. What happens if you raised them right, correcting your wife along the way, and they are raptured with you? You may think you will be so happy in heaven with God, the angels, your relatives—including your sainted mother who preceded you—that you won’t care what happens to your estate. Think again. The estate that you spent your life trying to protect from the government is going to be seized by Uncle

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Ten Mistakes that God Has Made

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Ten Mistakes that

God Has Made j

Haskell Gatewood, an evangelist of the Southern Baptist persuasion came to Chillicothe for a revival. After a tour of the churches, school, water tower, and cemetery—the cemetery had the most people in it—he pitched his tent, ready to save folks from sin, sickness, disease, doubt, and Democrats.

Brother Haskell put his tent where downtown used to be, before the general store migrated to Electra, and gathered a crowd by declaring a week of preaching on “Ten Mistakes That

God Has Made.” A sermon on one of God’s mistakes each night of the week and two sermons on the Alpha and Omega Sundays. A large crowd showed up for the meeting, many of the people bringing their own lists of God’s mistakes.

Brother Haskell said the first mistake God made was giving himself too many names. “God” was easy to remember, easy to pronounce, and easy to spell. When God went beyond that, He made a major mistake. Was it Yahweh or Jehovah? No one seemed to know. Those other names, Immanuel, Incarnation,

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