“Channel 6 asked me for a statement about the pastor’s video and Trey taking over as the new pastor.” Associate Pastor Dwayne Dexter said to Deacon Red Berry over the phone.
“Yeah, they talked to me and a number of church officials, we have got to keep the pressure on if we are going to prevail.” Red replied.
“I can’t believe that charlatan is gonna try to steal my church from me.” Dex said.
Red chuckled and said, “Well we are going to do our best to get it out of the Harold family.”
“Hold up…I think I see it coming on the TV.” Dex said.
“Bethel Community Church, one of the historic churches in the community, is in turmoil…” The reporter began.
“Pastor Carter Luther Harold III has not spoken to reporters except to say that the video is fraudulent.”
Dex laughed, “Well he ain’t lying.”
“However, we have spoken to a number of church members and leaders. While many support the pastor, some are ready for Pastor Harold to leave.” The reporter continued.
“This guy has taken our money and slept with our women.” A church member that Dex recognized said next.
Red laughed on the phone and said, “I’m glad I told Darryl to say that.”
The report continued. “A number of members had that sentiment, but some expressed support like long term member Geraldine King.”
“The Pastor is loved by the church and only a few people who want to steal the church are causing trouble.” Geraldine said on the report.
“What do you have to say about reports that he has stolen money and has had affairs with members?” The reporter asked.
“I think the devil is busy. I support Pastor Harold and will support his son when he takes over.” Geraldine said to the reporter.
“Mother King, that sista told me that she loved me. She will support anybody who is pastor.” Dex said to Red.
“But one who challenged the pastor was Deacon Red Berry the chairman of the trustees of Bethel.” The reporter said introducing Red.
“Here we go.” Red said to Dex.
“Pastor Carter Luther Harold II is stepping down this week amidst a scandal that is brewing at your church.” The reporter said on the television.
“…He has indicated that his son is taking over as pastor.”
Dwayne Dexter looked up with interest.
“Mr Berry? What is the church’s position on the scandal and the Pastor’s son taking over?”
“The church is shocked at the pastor’s improprieties and we are looking into every avenue for making sure that neither the pastor nor any of his appointees will take over.”
“So the church is not in favor of the pastor’s son taking over?” The reporter asked.
“Would you be?” Deacon Berry asked.
The reporter stammered and ignored his question…
“The pastor has been caught in an adulterous relationship with the choir director and now he wants to appoint someone, let alone his son, to take over.”
“So is it your position that the son is unacceptable as the next pastor?”
“It is my position that anyone that is appointed by someone as corrupt as the current pastor is more than likely unfit to take over as pastor of the church.”
“Thank you Mr. Berry.”
The reporter then stepped in front of Red and said, “According to the sermon last Sunday, the church will have a Business meeting where Carter Harold II will pass the reigns to Carter Harold III. We will continue following this developing story. Back to you…”
Then the reporters started talking about the weather.
“That report was powerful.” Dex said to Red.
“Well, it might sway some people to our side, but at the end of the day, Carter holds all the cards.”
“What is Carter saying?” Dex asked Red.
“I don’t know. I ain’t heard him say anything and he ain’t returning my calls. Of course I wouldn’t either if I were him.”
“So he is probably…” Dex began to say.
“He is probably going to go forward with his plans to make Trey pastor.” Red interrupted.
“I’m going to church tonight and I am going to get as many folk as I can to stand with me. We need to do something else besides wait for this to happen.” Dex said.
“Well, there ain’t nothing much we can do besides…” Red got quiet…
“How bad do you really want to be pastor?” Red said.
“What are you talking about?”
“You know when Malcolm said, ‘By any means necessary?’”
“Yep…” Dex responded.
“Well…it seems to me that we couldn’t stop him from deciding to name his son as his successor…”
“Yeah…” Dex said enthusiastically.
“It is still simply about stopping him from taking over.”
“OK…we already know this.”
“If you want to be pastor, you need to stop him from naming someone else as the pastor.”
“And just how am I gonna do that?”
Red laughed, “Do I have to do everything for you? You figure that out. And you ain’t got much time.”
“So you are telling me to stop him from doing it?”
“Listen man, the only way he can’t name a successor is if somebody or something stops him from naming a successor.”
Dex looked confused and said, “Are you telling me to hurt Carter?”
“I ain’t telling you to do a thing. I am just saying what is a fact. It appears you can’t shame him into stepping down, maybe somebody…somebody besides me…should think of some other way to keep him from naming a successor.” Red said.
Dex didn’t like the tone of the conversation and said, “OK, um…I will see you tonight at Bible study.”
“Yes, this is probably the last time we will be able to be so close to Carter…well the last time before he names his son the successor of the church that you want to pastor.” Red said.
“Bye Red…” Dex said. He then hung up the phone and stood there thinking.