THE FLYING PREACHER
When I was a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was “The Flying Nun.” It starred Sally Field as Sister Bertrielle, a nun who possessed the God-given ability to fly.
“The Flying Nun” was the launching pad (pun intended) for Sally Field’s fabulous career as an actress, which included her Academy-Award winning performance as “Norma Rae,” her wonderful portrayal of journalist Megan Carter in “Absence of Malice,” and my all-time favorite Sally Field role as Carrie in “Smoky and the Bandit” and “Smoky and the Bandit II.”
But while Sally Field (a/k/a “Gidget”) quit the flying habit (again, pun intended) years ago, there is now a flying pastor, Reverend Bartholomew Orr of the Brown Missionary Church in Southaven, Mississippi.
Rev. Orr does not star in a TV show called “The Flying Pastor,” but he may soon get one, as he has become an internet sensation having recently flown from the balcony of the Brown Missionary Church to his pulpit, and then having flown away from the pulpit at the end of his sermon. I’m confident that when he did so, the choir sang “I’ll Fly Away.”
According to a recent article in the Commercial Appeal, Rev. Orr decided that the Lord was calling him to fly while attending rehearsal for the church’s Singing Christmas Tree production.
The production featured a number of angels floating down from the heavens, with the help of suspension wires. While watching the rehearsal, Rev. Orr decided, “Hey, I want to try this!”
He then took a test flight during the Singing Christmas Tree production rehearsal. The flight was captured by one of the members of the choir in a short video which was posted in the church’s Instagram. It was, as they say, a viral sensation, and members of the Brown Missionary Church then urged their pastor to take flight during the next Sunday service.
On the following Sunday morning, Rev. Orr stood up from the balcony of the church, and then proceeded to jump from the balcony and fly to his pulpit while delivering a message about the eventual return of Jesus Christ to the earth, which supposedly will not be done with the use of suspension wires.
The response of the congregation was overwhelmingly positive. There were a few nattering nabobs of theological negativism who questioned the use of church funds for the aerobatics, and one or two even called for the pastor’s suspension (third pun, also intended.)
But the overwhelming response was rejoiceful.
At this point, Rev. Orr has not made a second flight, and it is not clear whether he intends to do so on Christmas Eve or at any other future Sunday service.
I think he should. In fact, I think he should start his own TV show, “The Flying Pastor” with a cameo appearance by Gidget-Sister Bertrielle-Norma Rae-Carrie. Together they can explore the heavens.