Churches are not free from problems … and I had a big one! The prophetess didn’t like me.
It was my first associate pastorate and I’d gone head-to-head with the self-declared prophetess in the church. I’d changed the order and length of the Sunday evening service and removed her avenue of control. She responded by proclaiming my doom.
“Sister” Cora began coming to the church services late and in a grand production worthy of a Hollywood movie contract, she threw herself on the floor and moaned. During prayer times she’d swipe her hand through the air between us and cry out, “The blood of Jesus! The blood of Jesus!” again and again. She accused me during one service of being demon possessed.
I went to the pastor and asked his intervention. Bad behavior that isn’t addressed grows into more bad behavior. His reply was forthright: “This is the Holy Spirit’s church. I don’t get involved.” He walked away and lost my respect.
The head usher, Bill Stocker, overheard the conversation and agreed to be my witness as I confronted the woman. Bill did warn me: “She hides a tape recorder in her purse.”
Bill and I met Cora in the church basement. I thanked her for meeting me and invited her to take out her tape recorder so she could get better sound quality. I explained how disruptive her behavior had been and that it needed to stop. Church services that continued until midnight and her threats of God’s doom if people left were not helping anyone. Nor was asking people to be prepared before singing special songs wasn’t an affront to the Holy Spirit. Then I reminded her that she was not the one appointed to oversee the evening church service.
There were no more problems with “Sister” Cora.
Knowing that Bill “had my back” was all I needed to confront Cora; I didn’t have to go into battle alone.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up … and a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12).