Tonight I was telling some folks about this guy who used to live in St. Francisville, and who developed a provocative method of street preaching. He would dress up like the Grim Reaper and go stand down by the Mississippi River landing, where cars would come on and off the ferry, and tourists from the Delta Queen riverboats would disembark. There he would stand, telling people they were going to die and they should repent. The mayor had to go tell him to knock it off because he was hurting the tourist trade.
This guy also had a strategy of dressing up in Grim Reaper drag and invading crawfish boils and bonfires, trying to scare people into salvation. Somebody told him to knock it off before he got himself shot.
I was telling these friends about this street preacher, and I wondered if they thought I was pulling their leg. Nope — this is the guy. If you go down into the clips on that page, you can see him in costume in at least one photo. Here’s a little-bitty shot of him and a young helper: He’s still preaching, but I haven’t seen him as the Grim Reaper. Want to go to their church, which is in Woodville, Mississippi? Here’s how you do it. But you’d better be serious. From the website:
It is our prayer at Consuming Fire Fellowship that God would give us a fire-bathed message that will utterly offend everything outside of Christ. Let everything be driven in or driven out. Never a gray area. No middle ground. Our worst nightmare, as the church of the Living God, is to entertain spiritual mixture/leaven. May God grant us grace to feed the “sheep” and utterly starve the “goats!” Oh, for an atmosphere that cultivates spirituality and terrifies carnality!
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Flannery O’Connor was a realist.