Reverend Nebbish Peacock, the current preacher at Sandy Valley, followed Elder Milton Matthews as pastor. Last time we mentioned that Elder Matthews was perhaps still peeved with the Sandy Valley body of Christ for putting him out to pasture. Elder Matthews had a pleasant and productive stay at Sandy Valley; well, at least until a prank turned the body of Christ sour on him. It all happened like this.
Elder Milton Matthews was a fiery fire and brimstone preacher. No matter how hot it was, he always wore his coat and never came out of it. Well, he sure could work up a sweat; he kept a handkerchief rucked and ready in his coat pocket, to wipe away the fluid flood that flowed from his brow. On this occasion Elder Matthews had his shotgun loaded, his sights set on the sinners, and was about to unload with both barrels, when, haplessly he yanked forth his handkerchief with a flourish. Not only did his handkerchief obey, but a deck of cards flew forward landing on the floor, scattered before the front benches. A few innocent children rushed toward them, before mothers snatched them back to reality. Elder Matthews apologized for the unknown occurrence and sheepishly concluded his communication.
The body of Christ immediately appointed a committee to investigate (playing cards was among the sinful exploits prohibited by the church decorum). The preponderance of opinion agreed that Elder Matthews’s teenage boys had pranked him (though a few doubted Matthew’s piety). The dear pastor stood somewhat exonerated until calling time – when it was aptly pointed out that he was probably not guilty of playing cards, but he surely was a little slack on child discipline! The call to Elder Milton Matthews was not renewed.