Remembering – Part 23

I knew people like Uncle George–the Grand Wizard of the Kl an“would not approve but I felt that Dwight’s tools of prehension and mastication required a radical intervention.

Dwight came on Wednesday night and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. I saw him on Thursday personally could see no evidence that he had brushed his teeth but his conversion seemed to be sincere.

The problem was Dwight was converted on Wednesday night and thought he would visit us again on Sunday morning. He foolishly thought that since Jesus loved him all the time, and we appeared to love him on Wednesday night, that we would love him on Sunday morning too.

So, he attended our Sunday morning worship service.

Only one African-American had ever attended our church on Sunday morning. A new paper mill executive Marcus Danforth sought to transfer his membership from another Methodist Church in Chicago, Illinois. Mrs. Ollie Smith fainted outright when Marcus sat in her deceased husband’s pew.

Marcus never visited our church again. After Uncle George and his friends visited Marcus one evening, and burned a cross in his finely landscaped lawn, and after his children were not allowed to play in the local little league, Marcus quickly transferred to Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Dwight arrived promptly at 10:45 and shook Tommy Somerville’s hand. Without looking up, Tommy Somerville, who ushered the faithful to their pews, handed Dwight a bulletin. Dwight smiled. Mr. Somerville was speechless but D wight did not wait for Mr. Somerville to escort him to his seat.

Dwight sat in T-Bone Arnold’s seat.

Ten minutes later, arriving late from a fishing trip to Kate Adams Lake, T-Bone appeared noticeably irritated. Dwight was no doubt going to use the pew hymnal that was dedicated to his Uncle Harry Arnold. This was T-Bone’s favorite hymnal and no one used it but T-Bone. Everyone in my church knew that.

T-Bone growled (literally) but eventually sat next to the Widow Adams whose false teeth inevitably leaped from her mouth during the second hymn. T-Bone grimaced and carefully placed his Hymns of Praise in a position to catch the Widow’s teeth.

The first hymn was everyone’s favorite, “Holy! Holy! Holy!”

Before the end of the first verse Mr. Somerville he was politely asked to leave because “nigras” should go to their own churches. Dwight lowered his heart and walked away from our church and Jesus.

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