The Church Service No One was to Talk About

     Sunday evening meetings at WOFF would often times include the discussion of “church family” issues. Sometimes issues were addressed in an open forum. Jane would ask a question and  open the podium for others to ask questions or tell what they saw during a “situation”.  At times, families or households would be called up front and stand before the congregation while the situation was being discussed.  These meetings could include public rebukes for anyone in attendance or listening over the phone to the service. Also, most engagements or births were announced in these services.

     One Sunday service, (not sure if morning or evening) Jane said, “I think we have an announcement?”.  Then the as the couple that was to announce came to the podium. This happened to be a couple slightly older than the normal range for first marriages. The fellow had come to WOFF a few years ago and had gone through many struggles and changes. The lady had come from Texas and may have been a part of a very large church there. She worked on staff at WOFF. He worked selling granite at a church-member owned company. The woman had been a “friend” to the fellow for a while. As he went through his adjustments and struggles, she was there to “help” him. They had been on two or three “ministry” trips together with other folks. So, this was not a surprise.

     Next, another older couple got up to announce that “God had shown them they were to be married”. He was quite animated and asked Jane if they could get married VERY SOON. Well, just asking Jane did not guarantee the ceremony would happen quickly. They still had to “walk out a relationship” and get some more “breakthroughs”.

     I am not sure of the order of the next few events. But, there may have been some singing and/or prayers of thankfulness offered. Members started coming to Jane who always sits on the front row, and speaking in her ear. This was common for many folks to do. Some even would kneel before her. Men and women of all ages made their way to the front. Jane soon allowed the “news” to start being told. The people were coming telling Jane that “God had shown them who their mate was to be..” When Jane had a “release” about it, she would nod or give some signal. The couple would come to the podium and speak into the microphone what had just taken place. They were “set on course in a new relationship” and the understood part: this would lead to marriage.

     The couples kept coming and coming. The flood gates were opened. By the end of the service, there were 21 couples engaged in the church! Most of them had been first acknowledged in this meeting. Each one had “checked it out with Jane” before moving to the podium to share with the congregation. Some had been friends for a while, some had never spent time together they were just “obeying God”.

     Towards the end of this time, Jane began to tell the members that this was not a service to go out in the community and talk about. Why? Some folks coming were under the legal age of consent and had heard to marry this person that they had never spent any time with… Jane said she was not sure about some of the younger couples of high school age, especially the ones in eleventh grade. But, she would “carry the whole situation and see where God would take it”. She did say “others would not understand what God had just done so don’t go talking about it loosely”. This was a service that I didn’t know if I understood. The behaviors displayed were strange even to one who had been in the group for years.

     WOFF had been rightfully accused of monitoring closely the personal intimate lives of married couples. So, how would this news of impromptu relationships approved by Jane be understood within the surrounding community? Several folks have been married since this services. But, I have no updates on the young high school age folks that said “God told us to be married”.

      Later, Jane announced that one man had already been on the phone calling his son who had left the church, telling him if he was still in the church; God may have given him a mate! It was truly one of the strangest services I had ever experienced in the 16 years of attending WOFF. This is the only service I remember that Jane wanted kept secret.

     Please, consume the information on this site responsibly. Be sure to tell every member that you know at WOFF about this blog. It could very well save their life.

      (Please, take time to read the Terms of Use for this personal blog. As mentioned, the information about WOFF is from my memories and recollections as perfect as that may be or not be. )

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3 thoughts on “The Church Service No One was to Talk About”

  1. This is from conversations I have had with others concerning the young people going into a “relationship” and “finding their mate”. It appeared that many of the young people looking around would find the “best” out of the group to become friends with. I know at one time there were about three boys wanting to be friends with one girl. They even discussed it and were rather aggressive about it all, but a quick stop was put to it. But, they are desperate and know this is it, who do I choose? Do I wait for someone else to come into the church maybe in one, two or three years from another country. What if they do not? Then I am stuck without a mate. We would laugh about the one family that had 7 sons, we knew they would all be in high demand as husbands. Yes, I do believe many there did find their “true mate”. I do not deny that, but now it appears to have become a get one before they are all gone mentality. It is very scary. If they run out of people their own age, will they begin to put them with older, more mature adults? When Jane’s daughter was in high school and her first years in the local college, she dated local boys. Jane said she brought the boys into the church, which a few still are within the church today. But, then a stop was put to that. The locals all know about who she dated and still believe she cares very deeply about one young man, but was not able to marry him. This whole behavior is viewed upon in the community as very, very scary.

  2. it is sooo sad one of the marriages the guy was in love with the sister but then was forced into marrying the younger sister! Could you imagine what that poor girl has to deal with knowing that her husband was deeply in love with her sister.

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