Schism Ch. 1 – Pt. 4: Prayer

Last Time: Following an argument between the Deacon Board and Pastor Payton’s Altar Bearers, I posed a pivotal question to both Pastor Payton and the Deacon Board about what can be done to settle the problems happening in the church.


February 29th, 2010


Pastor Payton looked at me with a stoic expression to answer my question of whether or not the church would benefit if we got rid of either himself – Payton – and/or a member/members of the Deacon Board, “I can answer that in two words: Effective communication.”

Our pastor went on to tell us that he would put his best foot forward to fix the communication breakdown between the parties involved. Everyone cheered for Payton following his positive speech. Well, mostly everyone.  Another person with words for Pastor Payton was Charlotte Travis – Deacon Samuel Travis’ wife.

Sister Travis expressed her God-given growth and humbleness over the past year and was proud to hear the Word from Pastor Payton, but felt Payton’s overlying messages had become so negative, “In the current world we’re living in, coming to church shouldn’t make you feel bad.”

Sadly for Sis. Travis, Pastor Payton didn’t give her statement a response. Instead, Pastor Payton asked if anyone else had something to say. Lucille Lyles spoke up in regards to a comment Pastor Payton made about people not being able to pray shouldn’t be praying in front of a congregation. For some reason, the dull-faced Payton couldn’t remember saying anything like that. Unfortunately for our forgetful minister, there was someone who did remember Pastor Payton saying what Lyles referred to – me.

My hand shot up so I could verbally recount what happened that day, “Yeah, I remember when you said that. I’m sorry, but I can’t lie. You said it, straight up. And you said it after Brother Deacon Richards had done his prayer.”

A collective groan ran through the room as Dcn. Richards’ head dropped toward his chest.

Deacon Calhoun patted Richards on the shoulder while mumbling, “That ain’t right.”

For the first time in a while, Pastor Payton seemed concerned; stating that he either misspoke or we misinterpreted his words.


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