Ordinarily, the summer revival at Gobbler's Knob Holiness Church would have been considered a great success, with seven getting saved.
The trouble is, two of them were corporations, Ace's Storm Door Repair, Inc., and a local beauty parlor which specializes in big hair and fresh gossip, named Cut 'n Strut, Inc.
Both are closely help corporations, especially the hair place, which is owned by two women who themselves had been closely held by a lot of errant husbands, whose wives were not provided contraception at work, and thus used an older method of not getting pregnant.
All sorts of issues immediately arose. Only one of the hairdressers came down the aisle. Do the church fathers require some sort of corporate resolution or minutes of a meeting to keep the other owner from going Baptist?
Never miss a local story.
Several of the elders went to the Bible but couldn't locate the section on corporate salvation.
They didn't exactly know how to make sure the corporation's beliefs fit the church's.
They asked Ace his views of certain things. He declared that marriage would be between a man and a woman, but thought maybe that could be expanded to a man and maybe more than one woman.
He also wasn't so sure that the Earth is only 6,000 years old because he doesn't see how mankind could have invented Bit O' Honey in that short of a time.
He finally just gave up and told them, that whatever it is that the church believes is what his storm-door repair company believes, that he didn't come to church to start thinking, and he was willing to let somebody else do his thinking for him.
Then somebody brought up the problem of tithing. Should the church get 10 percent of the gross of the storm-door company, or 10 percent of the net, or just put in the little dab that individuals do?
Then there was the issue of baptism. They weren't about to put these companies on the church roll without some sort of baptism, and the question was who, or what, do you baptize?
Companies have agents, often times lawyers, called process agents, so that the public can serve legal papers on the company.
Ace called his lawyer and asked him if he would come down to the creek and be baptized in behalf of the corporation, but the attorney was afraid that, once he did that, he would have to quit lying.
He suggested that they just take the certificate of incorporation and dunk it, which is what they ended up doing for both new church members.
But when they thrust Cu 'n'Strut's certificate under water, the letters on it ran and faded, so that by the time it got to the church registrar, an old man who looks and acts like Charlie's Uncle at the chocolate factory, all he could make out, and what he wrote on the permanent rolls of the Gobbler's Knob church book, was "Cute Slut."
And truth be known, the gossip at the beauty shop never let up much and, if anything, was improved by what new rumors the stylist could pick up at church.
Reach Larry Webster, a Pikeville attorney, at firstname.lastname@example.org.