Thursday, July 5, 2012

Past Blast

So I'm driving along MLK Boulevard in...Mineral Wells, when I notice this church.

Wow - I don't think I'd seen that name on a building in almost 35 years.

Sure, I'd been baptized Presbyterian at six weeks, dragged to Episcopal Church a couple handfuls of times, and attended Catholic school, but the Church of God of Prophecy was something altogether different.

[Unison] "It was something different!"

The reason for my going to this denomination, as you might surmise, was a woman.  Well, at the time, said woman was 16 and I was 15, but you get the picture.  The church was in the Poly or Stop Six area of Fort Worth, a neighborhood with which this prep-school boy was totally unfamiliar.  (Yes, she was a white girl.)   It was the first time I'd seen folks a-layin' on hands, rollin' on the floor, and speaking in tongues - it kind of weirded me out, but, you know...the girl.  Anyway, we ended up going to Summer Camp together in East Texas, but scarcely saw each other that week - on account of the eeevil thoughts that teenagers might get in them piney woods after dark¹.

After a year or so, I lost track of her.  Then, in the mid-'80s, she called me, out of the blue.  She'd been shacking up with a doper in Ohio, but had gotten free from him and moved back to Texas.  We went out for drinks, a Ray Charles concert in the Botanic Gardens, and to her new church home: Word of Faith Family Church, in Farmer's Branch/Carrollton.  Yep, Pastor Bob's church.

We went to WOF a couple of times together.  This was when the church was trending and Pastor Bob hadn't yet been exposed as a charlatan.  Then, we drifted apart, much as we had seven years earlier.  I started taking being a Methodist more seriously.  I've not seen or heard from her since.

I like the church I attend now, though it's nothing I would've imagined attending ten or twenty years ago.

I just hope they don't start handling snakes...

¹ Although at one time I was crazy about this girl, I was raised well, and did not know her.

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