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Bishop James Silver


about 400

Service Length

3-and-a-half hours

Maximum Bonnet Radius

12 inches

Sign-Language Translators


Congregational Fervor

At a recent Sunday service, the golden Bible painted above the pulpit was livelier than the congregation. Although a full band and choir were present, they sat idle for much of the service. Instead, a piano player improvised noodly Windham Hill–style riffs that kept the crowd quietly in their seats. Despite the low levels of spirit, one man began to run around the perimeter of the church during one such musical interlude. However, he did only one lap.

Food for the Soul

“I’m gonna make everybody mad on this one,” claimed Elder Donald Parker during a sermon titled “Steel Holiness.” The preacher shared his disgust with comedian Tyler Perry’s book, Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings, the cover of which depicts the author dressed as his popular character Madea, in geriatric drag. “I’ve got a problem with a man dressed like a woman,” said Lucas. “Anytime the devil can get you to laugh at all kinds of homosexuality and sin, it becomes all right. This is why our children wander around with their pants hanging down!”

Food for the Body

No refreshments were available before, during, or after the service.

Overall Worship Power

“You can get up here and testify until everybody in the building is dancing, but that won’t tell me how strong you are,” said Silver during a sermon on the importance of perseverance in the face of difficult times. The preacher then went on to recite a long list of his own relatives who had met unhappy ends throughout the years from causes such as suicide and drowning. “You gotta get through this,” said Silver, “or all you’ll ever be is a crybaby.”

—Aaron Leitko