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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