Mar 28 2014
Let’s Hear it For The Bun Ladies!
Testimony from Deborah Moerer
I am a member of Christ Gospel Church, but I haven’t always been. Like many people I decided to choose a different church and lifestyle for several years. At the time, I stopped practicing the church’s “holiness” standards and wore makeup and cut my hair short, as many people do. My father had been a pastor for Christ Gospel Church for many years, and so I grew up going to church there. My husband and I were both preachers’ kids, and we had both gradually stopped attending Christ Gospel Church for a myriad of reasons.
About six years ago in 2008, I began working for a local bank in southern Indiana after I had left Christ Gospel Church. Like everyone else, members of Christ Gospel Church would come to us with their banking needs, so I would often see people that I had known for many years. I was behind the teller women, when a few of my co-workers said “Here come the bun ladies.” Because we practice traditional Pentecostal holiness standards, women don’t cut their hair, and so many women put their hair up in a bun. I had never heard this term before. And as the “bun ladies” approached the counter, I could still hear my co-workers sniggering in the background. I noticed that I knew this “bun lady” in particular. So I of course greeted her and had a brief but pleasant chat.
As soon as this “bun lady” left, my co-workers pounced. They began asking me loads of questions – some of which were simply bizarre and ridiculous.
“So how do you know her?” asked one colleague.
“Didn’t you know that that church is a cult?” said the other.
“I heard that their leader brings snakes onto the platform and locks people in during services. I think they also have to sell all their possessions and give their earnings to the church.”
Oddly enough, I just couldn’t help myself – I started laughing. Maybe I should have been offended, but some of this stuff was just too funny. My co-workers looked at me in disbelief, “No. It’s all true.” I told them that it certainly was not. They then began peppering me with questions. “Well, how do you know? Have you ever been to a service and witnessed weird behavior? Were you ever a member?”
This was a pivotal moment for me in terms of reconnecting with Christ Gospel Church. I decided I wanted to take a stand for my church against all the lies, negativity and false allegations. I wasn’t doing it out of anger, but rather I wanted to stand for the truth.
I then explained to my co-workers that my father was a minister with Christ Gospel Church, and I grew up in that church. But I dispelled the bizarre myth that Christ Gospel Church was a cult. No one engages in snake handling – not even our harshest critics have ever said that.
Rev Bernice Hicks – we sometimes call her Sister Hicks, as she’s simply our sister in the Lord – doesn’t require us to give her all of our money. She preaches a tithing principle of 10% just like everyone else – although the church does engage in additional fundraising efforts and initiatives for other projects – like missionary work.
I suddenly found that I became the talk of our local bank branch. They asked me other questions about Christ Gospel Church, and I was happy to dispel any of the false rumors and cult-like allegations they had. In one sense, I was grateful for the opportunity. Because I wasn’t then a member of Christ Gospel Church, they seemed to accept my explanations.
So they then asked me, “So why don’t you practice any of the beliefs anymore.” I laughed and told them that I was “on sabbatical” and I probably would return to Christ Gospel Church one day. Although I’ve tried other denominations, no other church stirred my soul and inspired me the way Christ Gospel Church did. So they then started calling me “The future bun lady.” I wasn’t offended by it. I took it all in stride. In fact, people started coming to me with their personal problems. I became the de facto counselor of my branch. People asked me for advice on their own spirituality, their relationships, family life. It just goes to show you how God can use anyone in any type of situation. This was six years ago, but I look back and smile, and obviously, I rejoined Christ Gospel Church: I’m a Bun Lady again, lol…
In one sense, it could be hurtful that people say such mean and bizarre things about my church. Yes, we’re Pentecostal, but no, we’re not a cult. Yes, we live consecrated lives before God, but lots of other Christians do that. Yes, we believe in women preachers, but Sister Hicks doesn’t handle snakes. Lies have a way of spreading and multiplying, and many people never take the time to educate themselves or – Heaven forbid – actually visit our church – or even look at our website.
I think people will find that it’s nothing like they’ve heard. In fact, they’ll probably be pleasantly surprised and inspired by the great music and powerful Word of God that our church displays every service.
I hope you find my testimony helpful and insightful. May God bless you and keep you.