Fear and Loathing in Fayetteville Baptist Church

Fear and Loathing in Fayetteville Baptist Church

by Suzyn Smith

I do not fear Hell, for I have been to a Baptist spring pageant.

It all started innocently enough, my advisor Pam offered to take me out to dinner and then to some sort of spring concert that her daughter Lisaís flute teacher was in. Lisa naturally went along too. We had a nice dinner, and I got to see the mall in Fayetteville for the first time. It turns out they have a GAP after all, so I may go there again. Lisa and I have always gotten along well, so everything was peachy.

I should have suspected when I heard the concert was in a church. But still, I thought of the Pilgrims Chamber Ensemble and looked forward to hearing something like that. I was further comforted when the church we were seated in turned out to really look like a theater. There was a nice orchestra and the choir looked proper enough. Then the dancers (it appears that this was a particularly liberal Baptist church) dressed as angels came out, but by then, it was too late to escape.

The audience was then subjected to a pageant that included:

Two hours and fifteen minutes into the production, a man stood up and asked Do you know where you will spend eternity? I was tempted to respond

Apparently, in this theater.

I didnít.

The play involved a man growing up living a virtuous life and going on to heaven, and all the wonders that he would find. These wonders involved chiefly dancing, singing angels and a Jesus who dressed kind of like Liberace. This was a church that used itís disco ball to maximum advantage.

At then end of the show, a woman sitting behind us leaned across the back of the pew and said Young lady? Can I talk to you? My heart and possibly soul were in my throat as I turned around. The woman was talking to Lisa. Whew! That was a close one!

Pam assured the lady that Lisa truly believed that Jesus Christ was her lord and savior. I think Pam swore up and down that he was mine, too before we made it out of there. (Pam would later tell me that she was afraid the lady would talk to me and I would talk right back.) As we walked out of the church, Pam put an arm around each of us and said that we would have a talk about Baptists in the car.

And we did.

Email: smithsuh@tartan.sapc.edu