THE FIRST AVERAGE BAPTIST CHURCH
Everywhere, U. S. A.
Several years ago in a former pastorate, there came to my attention a brief article by Dallas W. Davis of Belle Plaine, Kansas, in which he gave some information about the Tate Family, several of whom are members of many Baptist Churches. This set me to thinking about the people who make up many Baptist Churches, and I wrote the following description of not only the Tates, but also of several other members of most churches.
This church is presently without a pastor, but is seeking one, but has so far been unable to agree on what kind of a man they desire to lead them. They are considering Reverent H. A. ("Ham Actor") Promoter, who has shown himself able to gain large numbers of worldly people by his constant catering to their worldliness. He is a good mixer, but is a poor separator from the world.
Brother Saintly Seeker was the organizer of the church and its first pastor. He was a good and spiritual man, but he died of a broken heart because the church would not serve the Lord,
Reverend Speak Shallowater was the church’s second pastor, and is responsible for much of the current carnality of the church members, for he never preached any doctrinal messages, nor taught them anything. He was more of an entertainer than a minister.
Reverend I. M. Forme was the church’s third pastor. He had no concern for anyone but himself and his own family. He was content with whatever happened in the church so long as he received his salary on a regular basis.
Reverend I. L. Backdown was the most recent pastor. He was a compromiser, and never stood for anything. He was president of the local Ministerial Alliance the whole time he pastored here.
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH
Deacon Reddy Worker. A real jewel of a church member. He is a spiritual man who enjoys serving the Lord in any capacity that is offered him. He was saved under the ministry of Brother Seeker.
Deacon Will Resistall. He can be counted on to always be opposed to any and everything that is proposed in the church.
Deacon Watchdog. He feels appointed to harass and hinder the pastor’s work. He seldom prays for his pastor, but is always critical of him.
"Clinch" Tightfst. The Treasurer of the church. He thinks that the church money is his, and he never wants to spend it unless it is absolutely necessary. He would prefer to see all missionary support dropped and the money put instead in a savings account "where it can do some good."
Mr. Heza Hellrazer. He is unable to get along with anyone but his wife, but they work together well in resisting all spiritual programs in the church.
Mrs. Ima Hellrazer. The wife of Heza. She is the church’s resident troublemaker. She works well with her husband so long as she is allowed to make all of the decisions.
Mrs. Constance Flaptongue. The church gossip. She will even manufacture gossip if none is available.
Mr. N. T. (nicknamed "Anti") Mission. He resists all gospel work except what is local, and he only tolerates this.
Mr. Fearful Faithless. He is always crying calamity, and is sure that the church is going to fold up anytime because it does not maintain at least $50,000 in reserve. His philosophy is "God helps those who help themselves."
Mrs. Queenie Runitall. She must be the center of everything in the church or else she pouts and refuses to attend or support the church. She is well to do, and so, uses her liberal offerings as a lever to get her own way.
Mrs. Emma Tate. She thinks the church should conform its activities to what all the other churches in town are doing and never differ from them. She seldom reads the Word of God. She is a sister to the last pastor, I. L. Backdown.
Mr. Dick Tate. He is the husband of Emma, and a strong-willed man who always insists on having his own way in all things. He is another well to do member who uses his offerings to influence the way things go in the church.
Mr. Speck Tate. The eldest son of Dick and Emma. He is a grown man, but never takes any part in any of the church activities, but prefers to just watch what goes on and to criticize anything that seems the least bit wrong.
Mrs. Humble Prayerwarrior. A quiet and unobtrusive person, but one of the real pillars in the church. She was also saved under Brother Seeker’s ministry.
Mr. Mission Minded. A great hearted man who would like to see the church support every missionary who comes by. He is not a well to do man because he gives so much of his income to missions.
Mr. Ro Tate. The brother of Dick Tate. He equates change with progress, and so, he is always wanting to change things around. He likes to see both pastors and deacons changed every year or two, no matter how good a job they are doing.
Mrs. Agi Tate. The wife of Ro Tate. She is another one of the trouble-makers in the church. She is never happy when the church is at peace, and if there is trouble abrewing, you can be sure that she is involved.
Mr. Irri Tate. Another of those who constantly stir up the other members of the church. Because of his lack of concern for others, he has the ability to cause trouble just by walking through the room.
Mr. Hesi Tate. A man of weak faith, he always fears to do anything for the Lord, and so, is one of those generally on the sidelines just watching.
Mrs. Vegi Tate. The wife of Hesi Tate. She too is a staunch practitioner of donothingism. Since she never takes any part in the church services, she is more a fixture than a member.
Mr. Devas Tate. Always the first one to stand up in a business meeting and throw cold water on any plans the church has for revival, mission work, building, etc.
Mr. Poten Tate. A man who would like to be a big shot and run everything in the church. He is a twin brother to Mrs. Queenie Runitall.
However, not all of the Tates are bad folks. Some of them are jewels and valuable assets in the church. Such are the following.
Mr. Medi Tate. Another of Brother Saintly Seeker’s converts, he is a great student of the Bible, and therefore knows how to speak a fit word in its season. He and his wife are great assets in the church.
Mrs. Felici Tate. The wife of Medi Tate, and a sweet spirited woman who by her spirituality, makes everyone happy, and sets a great Christian example.
Mr. Cogi Tate. The twin brother of Medi Tate. He is a great thinker, and always seems to come up with the best and most spiritual ideas about how the church should do things.
Mrs. Facili Tate. The wife of Cogi Tate. She is also a great practical Christian, and is one of the workhorses in the church, always taking the jobs that no one else wants, and doing them well.
The Tates—that is, those who are less spiritual—like most large related groups in a church, tend to try to run things to suit themselves, without regard to whether it is Scriptural or spiritual, and their attitude is "We can have our own way if we will just stick together."
The Just B. Long Family. Is another rather large family in the church. These take no active part in any church activities, and but for their names being on the church roll would be unknown to be members. In fact, the only time they ever appear in the services is when the church is to vote on disciplinary action against negligent members, or some other unpopular matter. Then these will appear to vote with other unspiritual members against any spiritual decisions.
Dear Reader, do you recognize yourself in any of these negligent and unspiritual members of the First Average Baptist Church? If so, you ought to repent and seek for grace that you might be the kind of a church member who brings to God "Glory in the church by Christ Jesus," (Eph. 3:21). Remember, "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints," (1 Cor. 14:33). And again, "We know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," (Heb. 10:30-31).