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PASTOR: Elder Joe C. Tisdale (of Hartsville, S.C.)

DEACONS: Lewis Freeman and Larry Mathis

SUNDAY-EVENING ATTENDANCE: 13

PRE-SERVICE LENGTH: 60 minutes

SERVICE LENGTH: 107 minutes

WHINING TODDLERS: 2

WOMEN IN HATS: 6 of 7

CONGREGATIONAL FERVOR

Congregants arrive before the service to pray in solitude. They crouch down, facing a chair, and place their elbows on the seat. Some pray in silence, while others hum, mumble, and chant, “Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus,” for up to an hour. The silence ends with the strike of a cherry-red Fender Stratocaster, signaling the end of prayer and the start of the testimoial service. The congregation sings along: “When he calls me, I will answer. I will answer when he calls my name.”

4 Stars

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Mathis gave a 45-minute sermon last Sunday that touched on several subjects, including evolution, Adolf Hitler, and women who show off unattractive bellies in the name of fashion. Mathis took particular offense at one National Zoo’s exhibit that showed the evolution of primates. “Then they go and talk about [how] we come from apes,” he said. “Glory to God, I’d have to be a sure-’nough fool to believe that….There’s only one true science —that’s God.” He later said, “They say we stole the land from the Indians. The land didn’t belong to the Indians. It belonged to God.”

1 Star

FOOD FOR THE BODY

No food or drinks were on hand at a recent Sunday-evening visit

0 Stars

OVERALL WORSHIP POWER RATING

Aspiring female preachers will be disappointed if they consider the Church in the Lord Jesus Christ of the

Apostolic Faith. Says a church pamphlet: “We do not believe according to the Holy Scriptures that God has ordained a woman to preach the gospel. Every woman that says God called her to preach the gospel must consider ‘…but I suffer not a woman to teach, not usurp authority over the man…’ (I Tim. 2:11) and also ‘Let your women keep silence in the churches’ (I Cor. 14:34).” Says Freeman of the service: “I know this is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, but God works in mysterious ways.”

1.5 Stars

Art accompanying story in the printed newspaper is not available in this archive: Photograph by Darrow Montgomery.