New Church, New Me
“Welcome to Old Trinity Church, the young African-American man said out loud with a smile on his face. He shook a few hands and welcomed about a dozen people who entered the Victorian rundown building in a small, typical town in the west of Missouri.
Patty smiled at the young man and offered him her hand, which she took into a firm handshake. She introduced herself first to save him time.
“Good Morning, Pastor Jones. My name is Patricia Wells, but you can call me Patty.”
Patty fixed her blazer, making sure she was suitable and decent.
“I am new in town,” she revealed. “I moved just a few days ago and would love to be part of a new church.”
Pastor Jones’s smile brightened the room Patty was sure she could see all his teeth. “Well, welcome to our lovely and small congregation. Mrs. or Miss Wells?”
She had prepared for this moment. “Ms. Wells.” She showed him the ring. The ring she’d bought from a friend but she wouldn’t dare telling anyone that small detail. “I’m a widow.”
The young pastor nodded with respect. “I see, Ms. Wells. I am glad you found us.”
“You’ll love it here, darling.” Patty heard a female voice dragging the “r” sound behind her. Patty turned to see where the voice was coming from, and a woman around her age, maybe early fifties, smiled at her.
“I’m Missy Hailey. I’ve been a regular here since… well, since Pastor Jones was still in diapers.”
“You’ll never forget that, right, Missy?”
Missy chuckled, holding Patty’s arm as if they were school friends. “What fund would it be if I did, Pastor?”
“Go easy on our special guess!” Pastor Jones warned Missy with a wink.
Patty followed Missy inside the beautiful church and the two of them grabbed a seat next to a group of women. They were probably in their 60s or 70s, making Missy and Patty stand out. The women greeted Patty with a warm smile. It was all smiles and hugs at first, she thought.
Patty took a deep breath and enjoyed the moment, looking at the altar as the mellow organ sounds made their way throughout the room.