WAS A SPECIAL CHURCH LADY
My papa had a way of telling a story
that all the children enjoyed. Some of my favorites were church stories. “When
the Holy Ghost gets a hold of some people,” he would say, “strange and
mysterious things happen.”
Many times papa told the story about Aunt
Maggie Lou Simmons. There was a saying
among the younger ladies of the church, “Hold my baby while I shout,” but Aunt
Maggie Lou was older and all her children had grown up and married off. But it
never failed every summer during the
revival, Aunt Maggie Lou would shout. In fact, most of the church members
looked forward to the shouting time of this elderly lady.
“As the revival continued,” Papa would say, “it would come
time for Aunt Maggie Lou to get filled with the spirit. On Saturday night it
happened. While Brother Myers was in one of his spiritual moments, Aunt
Maggie Lou jumped to the center of the aisle. When she landed, she flipped one
leg high in the air and sent one shoe in a rainbow arch towards the pulpit. As
soon as that shoe hit the floor, she flipped the other one in the same manner.
Now Aunt Maggie Lou was a devout Christian, and she believed that a Christian lady should never cut her hair. Her hair had been growing all her life, and the only way she could manage it was to braid it in pigtails, roll them up in a big bun, and pin the bun to the back of her head.
When Aunt Maggie Lou hit the floor to shout, all the regular church members knew to cover up the babies faces, and protect their eyes with songbooks. When Aunt Maggie Lou was filled with the Holy Spirit, she performed what was known as the famous “head jerk.” When she jerked her head and popped her neck, bobby pins would fly through the church like bullets. Even the preacher knew to duck behind the pulpit. Her long pigtails would fall down, and she would pop her hair as if it was a whip.
It was evident that a supernatural power had taken over her
body, because even though she was a lady in her seventies, she could go up in
the air and stretch her legs like a professional hurdler. She would come
down on her toes, like a ballerina, and go into a series of back flips like a
high school cheerleader. The congregation would sit in amazement as Aunt Maggie
Papa told the story so many times that I remembered it just like it was yesterday, but one thing was for certain we never got tired of papa’s church stories. I later combined a series of his stories in a book entitled, “AND WE CALLED HIM BROTHER MYERS.”