I'm not certain how long he had been with the congregation before the members began to notice. Surely, he must have been on his best behavior for at least a few months.

Some of the members believe the first time they noticed was the night he failed to appear for the scheduled personal work activities. The next day he explained to a fellow member that one of his neighbors had invited him to a high school basketball game. "I knew you could carry on without me," he said with a smile.

He also missed a number of Wednesday evening Bible studies. He always provided a substitute teacher, but people kind of expected the preacher to be at Bible study. His usual explanation was, "I had a job left from our remodeling to get done at home. It wasn't much but it was really bothering my wife."

Then he missed a Sunday evening service!! Just the week before he had spoken of the essential nature of worship and the importance of Christian fellowship. His explanation was, "Since we had a guest speaker coming in anyway, I was really tired and probably wouldn't have gotten much out of the service, so I stayed home with the family."

The whole issue came to a head the Sunday morning he failed to appear for the service. The members learned that on the spur of the moment he decided to go to the lake and do some fishing!! "Not many good fishing days left" He explained.

That was the straw that broke the camel's back. The decision was made to fire the preacher. The announcement appeared in the church bulletin as follows: "The decision has been made to fire the present preacher. It is clear that he cannot be the minister here because he insists on acting JUST LIKE THE MEMBERS!"

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