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Country Bumpkins #5 in a series of short stories"Jeb at the Holy Ghost Church"

Updated on August 4, 2013
A church in the Smokie Mountains of Tennessee!
A church in the Smokie Mountains of Tennessee! | Source

JEb is walkin' to church

That preacher gonna preach Hell and Damnation!
That preacher gonna preach Hell and Damnation!
Country Fried Chicken-Yummy
Country Fried Chicken-Yummy
Appele Pie without ice cream--is still really good!
Appele Pie without ice cream--is still really good!

“Well, I reckon I’ll just mozie on down to the church and see who all is gona show up for this here revival meet’n. I suppose that thar evangelist will be shoutin” hell and damn nation and tryin’ to save my soul, again.”

“He’s got another think comin’. Ain’t gona walk up that thar center isle in front of all my friends. “

Jeb just kept on walkin’ in the direction of the Holy Ghost Church, mumbling to himself, “I reckon it won’t hurt me to sit through the service in exchange for the good, old, home- cooked grub the lady folk always pile high on the table afterward.”

Fried Chicken

He was imagining the smell of fried chicken, black-eyed peas and cornbread just drifting along on the gentle breeze and could almost taste the hot apple pies that always arrived when Ms Jenkins pulled up to the church. UMMMM she could win blue ribbons with those pies if she would ever enter em in the county fair!

Alter Call

Jeb slipped into the back pew of the church where he figured he could sneak out if he got too bored or felt the need for a chew of tobacco, if he had a hankerin’, before the preacher man closed with that thar hymn, they call the alter call song.

♪ Come home, come home, ye who are weary , come hooommee. Softly and tenderly ♪Jesus is calling, calling “oh sinner, come home. ♪

And lord oh mighty, if that one didn’t work them folk would jist start right in with the next one on the list.

Just as I am
Just as I am

Oh, them songs could really reach down into the heart and soul of some folk who felt they be so full of sin they jist had to let the preacher pray that sin all away.

Not me,” he thought, “I ain’t no sinner, jist like to have a little fun now and again. Ain’t never kilt nobody ner nothing like that”

I can jist hear that choir now, singin’ all them songs thinkin they can get me to tremble and shake my way down yonder…No siree, this here man can stand on his own two feet. Don’t need no spirit I cain’t see dippin down and takin me over. “

As the service began Jeb was back yonder in that thar last pew, ready to jump right up and skeedadle if need be and as he relaxed in that seat…He heard a voice, right behind him sayin’ “Jeb, tonight is the night. I have been really patient with you son, but now it is time for you to return to me”.

Jesus is knockin" on Jeb's heart
Jesus is knockin" on Jeb's heart

Jeb near jumped out of his bibbed overalls, as he felt a tinglin of fear near shakin him silly. He looked all around and couldn’t see nobody near enough to have said them words to him. He felt near glued to the pew seat---couldn’t move--- as much as he wanted to jist run right out of that place. He felt that jug hangin from his side, full of moonshine and it took near all his strength to leave it hangin there. He really needed a drink of that liquor to get him through this here time, waitin for the vittles bein’ served later. That fried chicken was jist callin’ to him, but he couldn’t get none if’n he didn’t’ stay for the preachin.

Preacher, Praising the Lord


As the preacher stood in the front, the choir started that there dreaded song. It always seem to pull at some part of Jeb, seemed to make him jist want to fall down and say, Yes, lord, Yes lord, but Jeb had always resisted except that one time when he was a little bitty boy, near bout nine years old. Oh yeah, that time he couldn’t resist and now he began to remember: how good it felt, to jist say Yes Lord. But that be a mighty long time ago, and Jeb knew he weren’t a very good man to be walkin’ down that there isle.

♪Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. ♪

Jeb suddenly heard that voice again, saying, “Jeb, I love you and I want you to come. I have plans for you, plans you can’t even imagine. I need you to love me again and feed my sheep. I will be right beside you each step of the way”.

Feeling a wonderful peace surrounding him, Jeb stepped out into the isle and walked up to the alter that night. And as he walked, he felt others rise and follow him, as though they were sheep hungry for a savior, and if Jeb could make the walk , the others had nothing to fear.

Sotly & Tenderly- Alan Jackson on youtube

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    • Bettyoverstreet10 profile image

      Betty (Alawine) Overstreet 4 years ago from Vacaville, Ca.

      Thanks so much for your comment! We find that most churches don't even give an alter call in todays world. If you don't attend a small group or Sunday school class or meet a Christian to guide you- a person would have no idea how to reach Jesus! Very sad!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      An AMEN story that has some meaning. Many feel it but won't make that walk because they think it is shamin'. If they only knew how freeing it is. Good story.