Saturday, June 30, 2012

Secret Sins: Murder in the Church Prologue

                Spirit Temple Pentecostal Christian Church has everything a good bible thumping Holy Roller would want, shouting, speaking in unknown tongues, Holy Ghost dancing, fainting and rolling around on the floor in fits of rapture, live music along with a big choir. Membership has reached seven thousand. This is the Easter morning service, and that means it will be very long, and they still have to come back for Evening Service. Evening services can last past 2 A.M, and that is seven days a week.  Sunday school is at 8 A.M. and church services start at 9:30 A.M.
            The first collection starts at about 10:30 A.M and the Ushers are wearing white dresses. Sister Nadine is an elegant old woman of seventy, and she hands the collection plate to a woman sitting at the end of the pew and she passes it to the person sitting next to her. This continued for about twenty minutes until they completed the ritual, and that’s with almost thirty Ushers. Some people dropped cash into the collection plate while other dropped a collection envelope into the gold plate. This was not Nadine’s Sunday, but the regular Usher was helping someone that over-heated and passed out in the Holy Ghost Room, so the Mother of the Church, Mother Beulah asked her to help with the collections.
            Nadine sent the tray down each of her rows without a problem until she got to the end of the last row. She noticed an opened collection envelope on the top, and sticking part of the way out, a lottery ticket.
            On musical queue the ushers marched to the end of the church to a waiting Mother Beulah with their collection plates. Nadine whispers to Mother Beulah, “Someone put a lottery ticket in the collection plate.”
            Shocked, Mother Beulah asked, “Who did it?”
            “There are so many people…I couldn’t tell,” says Nadine.
            Mother Beulah informs Nadine, “It’ll be okay. I’ll take it out and throw it away in the counting room.” 

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