Welcome worn out at New Welcome Missionary Baptist Church

August 17, 2011
  • Rowland

Sometimes you wish it might happen more often — a good, old-fashioned church brawl to release pent-up anger and frustration that is the obvious byproduct of all that "love thy neighbor" junk.

Speaking for myself, I know that if I have to go around all day loving neighbors and forgiving enemies that by the end of the week, someone's going to pay. And apparently that's what happened at the New Welcome Missionary Baptist Church in St. Elmo, Ala., Sunday, according to multiple media accounts.

There's no easy way to get into what happened, so I'll just lift this graph from The Huffington Post:

"A deacon at an Alabama church stabbed the minister of music's mother after her son tased the church's pastor in a church brawl on Sunday evening after services."

It goes without saying this would appear to be a multilayered event that must be separated into manageable categories before it can be dissected.

It would seem that the minister of music — this being a multigenerational brawl — is at the heart of the matter.

And indeed, it was he who had just been fired by the pastor and issued his final paycheck when the unpleasantness commenced.

The paycheck did not suit the minister of music, who then "tased" the pastor as retribution. The story, unfortunately, does not address why the minister of music was carrying the Taser in the first place. On a Sunday. Who knows, maybe he thought they were saying "Tase the Lord."

Unless all Baptists carry Tasers as a matter of course. That could be what's known as a game changer. Couple lousy Unitarians come crawling around here, and we'll see how "tolerant" they are after we've put 4,000 volts through them.

But I guess you don't want to miss a note if you're in the choir at New Welcome.

But back to the brawl. The minister of music's mom said that during the argument over pay, a number of churchgoers ganged up on him, and he only whipped out the Taser in self defense.

I've seen that somewhere in the Bible, I think. If someone should smite thee on the right cheek, counter with a left hook. The Gospel according to St. Patraeus.

So here we stand, pastor shocked with a Taser, maestro on the verge of being beaten by a contingent of the flock, when mom moves on — she apparently deserves some distinction as being the only member of the congregation who was unarmed.

Because just as she was trying to break things up, a New Welcome deacon pulled a blade and slashed mom's arm deeply enough to require 19 stitches.

What followed was a general melee involving somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 of the Lord's baddest lambs that you've ever seen. I mean, we expect this kind of behavior at a Little League game, but not in church.

I guess they take their religion a little more seriously in the South, but if they get this worked up over a severance check, imagine the carnage when they begin discussing faith versus works.

The other obvious question is this: If the congregation can accomplish all this on a Sunday morning, what couldn't they do on a Saturday night?

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at Tune in to the Rowland Rant at, on or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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