Saturday, April 10, 2021




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 Lou shouted.” 

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.”   



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