Honkey tonkin’ on a Sunday morning

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By Vicki Scott

Another weekend has come and gone, and the coronavirus is still creating hinderances in fellowship. Whether churches meet or not depends on incidents of the virus within.

One of our residents at George Wallace Senior Center who is utilizing our Monday thru Friday curbside service during all this mayhem called me out of the blue because she was bored.

She told me that her priest had the virus and that they were not having mass at St. James Catholic Church in Gadsden. The church my mother attended canceled church because of the pastor’s son testing positive for the virus.

We went to church at a honky-tonk. That is between God and my husband Alan, but I feel the need to explain.

When my mother was alive, part of staying with her included taking her to church. There was discord during this time. I do not know anything more except there was tension in the air, a tension so strong that nothing could be resolved.

Many people approached me to explain, but I would stop them. My mother was my focus and I did what I could to protect her. The church eventually split, leading some people I love dearly to stay and some to go.

The ones that left the church met at place until the first of the year, but the meeting place had a new owner and the church was forced to find another place to gather safely. The church needed enough room for growth, and one of the local bars fit the criteria.

The bar is also an event center, and there was an opening for Sundays. The owner advertised all the events and one can only imagine the comments! I was shouting, “Glories to God” because it sparked a memory of a pastor I heard of who turned a honk-tonk into a church. I was impressed!

The owners of the event center where we went to church are dear and longtime friends of ours.  They would pick our children up from school when I could not make it. They love our children and I love them. The owner’s wife and I walked every day for a long time, and I miss those days.  Our children have so many fond memories of this couple.

We stayed in our own element until this past Sunday. When the couple invited us to join them at church (which was the first time in 30 years for him, I dropped everything to sit beside them on the back row in the honky-tonk, because I am Baptist who enjoys going to church. Our elements collided, and it was awesome!

The Flora-Bama is a honky-tonk that has church services on Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. I did not know this until recently. That might inspire me to visit the place someday on a Sunday. I just thought I would throw that in there.

I need church and I need church fellowship. COVID, COVID, go away, Do not come again any other day! I praise God for the churches doing everything they can to continue worship. Worship is not about the building.

Stay safe, y’all!

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