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the Rev. James M. Plummer



Lay-to-Nonlay Ratio

1-to-1 (pastor, two deacons, two choir singers)

Service Length

2 hours

Sample Worshipper Dress

black pants, black shirt, black woven skullcap

Inexplicable Native-American Statuettes


Congregational Fervor

Wallflowers beware: With only five people in Trinity Religious Temple’s congregation at a recent service, it was a bit difficult to hide modestly. Under the watchful eyes of the tambourine-accompanied, two-member choir, the meager smattering of attendants obediently clapped and hollered along to such call-and-response hymns as “Hold on to God’s Unchanging Hand.”HHHHH

Food for the Soul

For part of his sermon, Plummer acted out the story of man’s exile from the Garden of Eden, proving himself to be not only an excellent preacher but also a well-developed thespian. “Are you there, Adam?” Plummer called out, in the deep baritone of the Creator. Then, assuming the role of Adam, he cowered behind an empty chair and assumed Adam’s nasal whine. “I’m right here, God; I’m hiding because I’m naked.” HHHHH

Food for the Body

No food or drink was available at the service.HHHHH

Overall Worship Power

Those unsure of their Christian devotion know that communion is not optional. After the majority of the congregation had received their wafer and thimbleful of grape juice, they formed a semicircle around the altar and silently beckoned the two stragglers to partake. HHHHH

—Aaron Leitko