Things got very heated there were sharp words even

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Unformatted text preview: same Lord, but chose very different styles of worshiping him. The majority of whites expected to be outside the church building at five past noon on Sunday, and seated for lunch by twelve-thirty. Blacks really didn't care what time the service broke up, or what time it began for that matter. On my church tour I visited twenty-seven black congregations and never saw a benediction Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, before 1:30—3 P.M. was the norm. Several simply went all day, with a short break for lunch in the fellowship hall, then back to the sanctuary for another round. Such zealotry would have killed a white Christian. But funerals were very different. When Miss Callie, along with Sam and Esau, walked into the Maranatha Primitive Baptist Church, there were a few quick stares but nothing more. Had they walked in on a Sunday morning for regular worship, there would have been resentment. We arrived forty-five minutes early, and the lovely little sanctuary was almost filled. I watched through the tall open windows as the cars kept coming. A loudspeaker had been hung from one of the ancient oaks, and a large crowd gathered around it after the building was full. The choir started with "The Old Rugged Cross," and the tears began flowing. Pastor Cooper's soothing message was a gentle warning for us not to question why bad things happen to good people. God is always in control, and though we are too small to understand His infinite wisdom and majesty, He will one day reveal Himself to us. Lenny was with Him now, and that was where Lenny longed to be. They buried him behind the church, in an immaculate little cemetery inside a wrought-iron fence. Miss Callie clutched my hand and prayed fervently when the casket was lowered into the ground. A soloist sang "Amazing Grace," then Pastor Cooper thanked us for coming. There was punch and cookies in the fellowship hall behind the sanctuary, and most of the crowd hung a...
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