Vol. 3, No. 8
When one looks back over forty-five years of preaching, it is very difficult to choose just one particular occasion and say that it is the funniest thing that ever happened. But, one situation does come to mind that I have told often and will share with you.
It happened during that part of the worship which should be very solemn, the offering of the invitation. Let me help you understand the setting. I was preaching in a small community, a suburb of a large city in Central Ohio. The little town was divided into two sections, old ___________ and new _________. The newer section of town was largely business surrounded by new housing developments. Among the businesses were several places where one could purchase alcoholic beverages. In fact, a real nuisance existed in the form of a real roadhouse, notorious for late night brawls which disturbed the peace and tranquility of the neighbors. So, an all out effort was being made to put a referendum on the ballot which would make all of the city "dry" as was the older section. One of our brethren, a deacon and a very prominent businessman in town was heading the drive. He was also on city council and was running for president of council. One Sunday I preached on The Sin Of Strong Drink. At the appropriate time I offered the invitation. Imagine standing before a congregation of 200 people and being led in What Will Your Answer Be?, the first line of which is, "Some day you'll stand at the bar on high" after having preached on the sin of drinking. I don't know who had the hardest time getting through that song, the song leader or me. And, I did see quite a few smiling faces in the audience. In case you are wondering, we lost at the polls and consequently you could then buy liquor by the drink in all sections of town. And, the brother also lost the election. However, he did serve the community in other offices over the years, in a very fine manner I wish to add.
The following account was related to the Editor, but to protect the innocent (as well as the guilty), the names of all parties are withheld. A preacher and his wife were visiting an Ohio town, in which the preacher was applying for the pulpit work with the local church. The preacher and his wife were lodging with one of the elders and his wife. As the elder and the preacher conversed into the night, their respective wives retired for the evening. Finally, the elder and the preacher also decided to retire for the night, at which time the elder advised the preacher that the room in which he was to sleep was at the top of the stairs on the right. The preacher promptly ascended the stairs and opened the first door on the left, whereupon he happened upon the elder's wife standing there completely naked! By the way, the preacher didn't get the job!
[Editor's Note: Preachers are invited to submit amusing incidents that have occurred over the years during their ministries for possible inclusion in the pages of Gospel Gazette Online. Someday, these stories may also be converted to book format.]