Well, what's good preaching if it doesn't include a little investigative journalism? Many of you will remember a reading I did several weeks ago out of the Lowell Nystrom pamphlet chronicling a newspaper article in The Thirteen Towns from 1908. The article briefly discussed feelings of people in the area toward the Pentecostal movement in the Fosston area, referring derogatorily to the people of Hill River and Queen townships as "the holy jumpers." It also discussed one unnamed man, aged 21, from Queen, who "lost his reason" and "was taken to Crookston and from there to Fergus Falls, suffering from a deranged mind" after "attending meetings of a particular sect." That particular sect was Queen Church, or course.
Yesterday I had a conversation with some of the holy jumpers whose families go way back and, in the midst of this, something someone said about the baptism of one of their relatives sparked this thought in my mind: "Hmmm, that sounds an awful lot like that 21 year old who "lost his reason and had to be carted off to the asylum." We did the math and it turned out this guy would have been, you guessed it, 21 in 1908, when the Thirteen Towns was breaking the story in all its grisly details. Naturally, I'm not going to tell you who it is; what fun would that be? You'll have to come on Sunday to find out during our final installment of Big Church called, Big Family. Until then, happy jumping, you lovely holy rollers!