Tunnels in the Briar Patch (Tales of Roland McCray) - Kindle eBook by Blaine Coleman

Roland McCray enjoys doing the same things all boys like to do: rides his bike around the neighborhood and in the “crater’, a remnant of a Civil War battle, plays in the woods and catches salamanders and frogs in the creek, flies his kite and “collects” insects in the big field behind his house. He also attends a nearby Baptist church for preaching services, which he doesn’t like at all. His family moves to an old farmhouse in the country when Roland is ten years old and his mother finds a different Baptist church to attend, a much larger church where he doesn’t know any of the other kids. He is taught to believe that Jesus loves everyone, even little children, but he sees adults at the church, including the Reverend, do things that Roland’s grandfather wouldn’t approve of. The Reverend makes a big deal of everyone tithing as recommended, but he wears tailored suits, flashy gold cufflinks and a fancy watch, and the his wife drives a big Cadillac. Roland’s father says that the Reverend is a “snake oil salesman”. Roland could attend church with any of several relatives who visit the farm on a regular basis. But an aunt who “got religion” and wants Roland to go to services with her attends a church where she says that members are “filled with the Holy Spirit”, sway and fall out in the aisles or speak in tongues. He also has an uncle who becomes a preacher and starts his own congregation, but that same uncle is a member of the local KKK and Roland doesn’t believe a person can preach the love of Jesus on Sunday, then attend Klan meetings on Saturday nights. Roland doesn’t join either church, because he believes what his grandfather taught him about God and Jesus and their Love of all people, without excluding anyone.

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