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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 14, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 10 THI LETHMIDOI HERALD Saturday, July 14, 1973 Appalachian sect thrives on literal Bible experience By WAYNE SLATER CHARLESTON, -W. Va. (AP) "You may not believe this, but I've been here five times said the "sixth body" of Rev. Henry Holstine, minis- ter to a band of Appalachian Holiness people known as the Neverdies. His is one of many religious sects still active in the region, splinter as snake the Perfectionist Holiness movement which took the Appalachian states by storm early in the 19th century. Mountain pious Adventists to arm-slinging Pen enchanted by fundamentalism, perfection and magic. Reincarnation found its way into the theology of some sects, while others praised God by sip- ping strychnine and walking on hot coals. INSPIRED BY VISION Rev. Holstine had a vision three years ago in which the hand of God rousted him from sleep, he said, and pointed to the corner where five corpses of his past lives were stretched out shoulder to shoulder on the linoleum. He interpreted his vi- sion as a message from God that if he behaved himself in this life, he would never have to die. Holstine and the Neverdies believe in immortality of both soul and body. The soul returns to earth in a series of reincar- nations, they say, until the believer succeeds in living the perfect life. At that point, his body can live forever. Appalachian snake handlers have gone underground in many states, but continue to practice their art with the gusto of their predecessors. During worship services they speak in unknown tongues, drink strychnine from jelly glasses, try to heal the sick and handle deadly rattlesnakes, wft- ter moccasins and copperheads. The practice is outlawed in Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina. Brother Johnny Tennessee Dennlson's 27th Street Jesus Only church on the outskirts of Huntington, W. Wa., is one of a number of active snake-handling groups in West Virginia, a state where it is still legal. The service at Brother Johnny's begins with gospel music, an opportunity to "tes- tify publicly for and some uninhibited clapping and dancing. On one occasion, Brother Johnny prepared for the cere- mony of the serpents by step- ping to the front podium and shouting a passage from the Gospel of St. Mark into a mi- crophone. "Lots of people claims to be Jesus he roared, "but these signs must they follow: 'They shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them." PASS SNAKES AROUND He then reached into a black case and jerked out two fat tim- ber rattlers, tossing one across the room to another member of the congregation. "If you ever cast out a devil, you'll not be afraid to handle be shouted. "People in the Jesus Church are not a bunch of cowards." Fffr about 20 minutes the cer- emony continued, with mem- bers of the congregation lurch- ing and wailing and passing the snakes with Pentecostal zeal. Snake-handling was started near the turn of the century by George Went Hensley, a funda- mentalist preacher from Grass- hopper Valley, Tenn. Since that time, enthusiastic Holiness Church people have gradually spread their revelation, picking up converts from southern Georgia to eastern West Vir- ginia. Deaths are relatively rare, al- though at least two persons died last year in the United States of snakebites received during reli- gious services. Hensley, the fa- ther of the ritual, died in 1955 after being bitten by a rattle snake. Two ministers in Newport, Tenn., died April 8 after drink- ing strychnine as a test of faith at a religious service. Change of pace Most Rev. E. W. (Ted) Scott, primate oF the two million-member Anglican Church, works in the basement carpentry shop of his Toronto home. The 54-year-old prelate was elected to the church's top post in Niagara Falls two years ago and was the youngest bishop to attain the office. Anglican primate wants better sermons Catholics battle sham and slurs By GEORGE W. CORNELL AP ReHgtoa Writer NEW YORK (AP) On both sides of the fence, among church defenders and reform- ers, groups of Roman Catho- lics have organized recently to do battle against what they see as sham, sMfftts and slurs regarding their religion. In the case of a newly formed women's group, it also aims to fight asserted eccle- siastical insults to their sex. It will "receive and publi- cize reports of specific cases of discriminaton and degra- dation suffered by Catholic women within the says Frances McGillicuddy, president of the SL Joans Al- liance. On a wider front, another unofficial Catholic group re- cently was set up to combat nusinformatkm about the" church and what it considers signs of rekindled anti-Cathol- irism in the country. But groups took their cue from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, a long-time organization set up to expose prejudice, misrepre- sentation and slander against Jews. FAVOR EQUAL STATUS Borrowing the name itself, the women's group was desig- nated the "Anti-Defamaton Committee" of St Joan's Alli- ance, a group favoring equal status for women in the church, Including the priest- hood. Christian principles demand "equality of the the group said. "We are feminists because we are Catholic." The other group, called the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said it was modelled both on the Jewish Anti-Defamation group and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Founding of the league was spurred partly by recent court decisions permitting abortion and preventing aid to church schools, both contrary to the traditional Catholic position. "Many Catholics fear that these decisions are an expres- sion of judicial anti-Catholi- Stuart D. Hubble, the leagues executive director, told a news conference in Washington, D.C., where the new organization was an- nounced. The league also said anti- Catholic bias is cropping up in communications media. Hub- ble said Catholics must learn from blacks and Jews to fight such slurs directly. In regard to women's reli- gious rights, the International Institute of Human Rights of Strasbourg, France, is plan- ning a world colloquium on policies toward women in Hinduism. Buddhism, Islam and Judaism as well as in the Christian church. TORONTO (CP) Mos Rev. E. W. pri- mate of the two million-mem- ber Anglican Church is a soft- spoken, candid man with a warm open manner. The 54-year-old prelate was elected to the church's top post in Niagara Falls two years ago and was the youngest bis- hop to attain the office. Since then he has been on the move constantly. When he does relax he is usually found working in his basement car- pentry shop. "I think the church as an institution has seen its influ- ence waning for a variety of reasons. One is that it wanted to act in a pattern of power that it didn't really he said in an interview. "However, the church in terms of a community of con- cerned persons is actually hav- ing a much deeper influence than ever before. More and more committed lay people are becoming involved in the corporate decision making process at every level of Ca- nadian life. As they become individually they are finding the meaning of Christ's words about being the salt of society. Critical Archbishop Scott said he would like to see his clergy speak out more clearly on human values and become less academic and anemic. "I share the view that there is a low level of preaching in our church and an over-reli- ance on the sacraments in- he said. 'We don't challenge people enough to realize the responsi- bility involved in the Sunday sermon." Archbishop Scott said women have a right to be concerned with the general attitude of wo- men in the church. He said be favors the ordina- tion of women to the priest- hood and believes it will be ac- cepted in Canada in the not- too-distant future despite some strong opposition from ultra COMBINED SUMMER SERVICES St. Andrew's PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH Flirt Chinch 1614 5th Avenue South 1811 5th South Minisler-THE REVJRENO I. 0. HANKINSON, B A. ORGANIST-MS. W. VANDERKOOY Evangelicals on one hand and the ultra-Anglo-Catholics on the other. Tbe archbishop said the Plan of Union presented recently to the Anglican Church, the Unit- ed Church of Canada and the Churches of Christ Disciples in Canada has a 90-50 chance of succeeding. "The growing feeling I meet everywhere is that the real issue is not a merger of churches but a pooling of all Christian re- sources in the country or joint action and be said. "Union will only catch fire if it can be seen to fit this con- text." One of Archbishop Scott's chief concerns is for the native peoples of Canada. "There has been a tendency to get the Eskimo and Indians to ignore their own culture and conform to ours. "We need to realize you can't respect and love a per- son without respecting and ac- cepting his culture, too. "The native peoples have much to teach us about ecolo- gy, about a sense of oneness with the whole created order and about reverence for life. "I believe there can be i synthesis of Indian religion and its values with those of the church. Jesus, after all, said: "I am come not to destroy but to fulfil." THE LITHIRIDOE HERALD RELIGION Korean Presbyterian has often faced death TORONTO (CP) Rev. Chairin Moon, who faced prison camp death three times in his 76 years, returned to Victoria University this spring to receive an honorary doctorate of divinity. The Korean Presbyterian minister graduated in 1931 with a bachelor of divinity from the same institution, part of the University of To- ronto. He recalled a life of perse- cution which he calls "the story of the three graves I left behind me." It began in July, 1945, when the Japanese, Imperial police came to a rural town in Man- churia. Mr. Moon was seized and taken to a prison in So- ngjin, North Korea. His wife Shinmuk, obeying his orders, had hidden with her three youngest children. Mr. Moon said: "When we arrived in So- ngjin the prison commander showed me a list of those who were to be put to death if the war went against the Japa- nese. My name was on it. "There were two-prisoners to a cell. The one I shared was just a small hole dug un- derneath the prison yard." DREAMED OF RELEASE But in that four-foot square cell, Mr. Moon had two prophetic dreams. "I was in a car crash, but crawled out unhurt to find the road ahead covered with huge rocks and tree trunks. Then a huge man appeared, lifted the car and set me down on a straight highway. The car was undamaged. "When I awoke I said to my fellow prisoner, 'I am to be freed.'" Later, in a trance-like state between steep and wakeful- ness, he heard a Japanese voice. "I do not understand Japa- nese but somehow I knew the voice was saying 'the llth of August.' True to its promise and for reasons I do not know, I was released on Aug. 11 and made my way home." Japan surrendered three days after his return to Man- churia. "My own country was occu- pied by the victors of war; Russia in the north and the United States in the south. Witches spook minister TORONTO (CP) A brief letter, written in pencil on or- dinary note paper, recently was shoved under the doorway of a United Church minister in nearby Brampton. Rev. Gordon Williams said its message was simple, to the point and threatening stop trying to save a young Bramp- ton girl from witchcraft. Mr. Williams, who a few years ago shrugged off witch- craft and black magic as non- sense, thinks differently now. He said in an interview that he has saved 25 to 30 girls from witchcraft and, as a re- sult, has had bis life threat- ened. The plight of Mr. Williams is one of several examples cited by Sheila Gormely of Toronto Star in a story des- cribing the apparent increase in witchcraft, black magic and Satanism among young per- sons in the Metropolitan Toron- to area. LINK WITH DRUG USE The story says it's impossi- ble to pinpoint the precise number of persons involved in such practices because many groups call for the death'pen- alty for members talking about their involvement in witchcraft. But persons inter- viewed agreed that interest in all aspects of the occult has in- creased in the last two or three years. They also agree there is a direct link between witch- craft and the use of drugs. Mr. Williams says he is con- vinced there are witches' cov- ens operating throughout the Metro area. He has had six threatening letters. He says he knows who sent the last one. concerning the Brampton girl, but declined-to What magic words calm a suicide? Draw near to God! SERVICE OF WORSHIP AT ST. ANDREWS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 10KX) o.m.-GOD'S LAST APPEAL IS LOVE PLEASE NOTE: ONIY ONE SERVICE YOU ARE INVITED TO WORSHIP WITH US Go out to live NEW ORLEANS, La. (AP) What magic words can a would-be suicide down from the steel maze of the Mississippi River bridge? Or consote fee wife of a fireman who died on the job just one day before retire- mfnl? Or comfort the policeman wbos2 partner has just died in his arms, the victim of a sniper's bullet? The crackte of an emer- gency radio disturbs the quiet, heavy air of a small Roman Cattwlk drarch nest- kd near the French Quarter here. Father Peter V. Rogers grabs a yellow slicker with a black cross painted or, lie back and bustles into his car with tie blue police flash- er on top. Like most of his trips as cbspilain for the New Orleans police and fire department, this one doesn't have a happy ending. Two firemen were killed by a collapsing wall. One cf them, ready for retirement, COTld have stayed in the sta- tion house. "It's so sad. So damned sad." Not rote words from a priest's prayerbook. But words from a man who sees tragedy day after day. AH ico often, he can do lit- tin but console. name the person. "We'll screw up her mind so much not even your God coulc help that note claimed "She's now confused. And beinf used by your false lies. Well reach her soon. She draws near." Mr. Williams said the situa- tion is serious, and puts some of the blame for it on today's churches. "We have to be aware this is one of the solutions people are turning to because they've failed in the churches." TOLD OF SACRfflCES Mike Anderson, an employ- ee of an occult bookstore in Toronto and a self-proclaimed student of "all says there are enough drug-de- ranged and psychotic persons pretending to be witches and Satanists that evil things might result. Lloyd Johnston, a Pentecos- tal minister who operates a Toronto agency to help young persons with drug and emo- tional problems, said a young girl he helped frightened him so much with tales of sacri- fices and witchcraft that be telephoned police. He says be fears that 'someone so deeply engrossed" in occult beliefs night be cap- able of performing an actual sacrifice. Rev. 1Mb Putnam, another Pentecostal minister in Toron- to, says "there is a demonic invasion like we've never before." "Peopie says they haven't i leard about .ritual murder in Toronto but it's here. But in no vast amount. Mostly it's animals." "In October, two months' after I had been released by the Japanese, the North Kore- ans arrested me. It had been decided I was a South Korean spy. "Again I was imprisoned and again I was on the death list." ARRESTED AGAIN But the Communists, seek- ing more popularity, freed local leaders, Mr. Moon- among them, three months after his arrest "I thought this was the end of the prison he said. "What I did not know was that the interference of the Chinese-trained Commun- ists had angered local (Rus- Canadians told to cut support for schools TORONTO Canadians con- cerned about religious liberty and public education should or- ganize to "roll back tax sup- port for separate sectarian schools. This was the central theme of the keynote address by Edd Doerr, educational relations di- rector of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, to the annual convention of the Humanist Association of Can- ada, meeting at York Univer- sity in Toronto, June 9. Mr. Doerr said that human- ists share with very many Ca- nadians of all religious persua- sions a deep concern for reli- gious freedom, public educa- tion, separation of church and state, and interfaith harmony, and concerned Canadians should work to end government support for sectarian segrega- tion in education. Mr. Doerr also described sec- tarian segregation in education as uneconomical and anti-ecu- menical. NATIONAL GROUPS Mr. Doerr, a leading author- ity on religious liberty and church-state problems in the United States and elsewhere, also urged that humanists and people of all religious tradi- tions concerned with religious liberty around the world form national organizations or coali- tions analogous to the highly successful group in the United States, Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Mr. Doerr'explained that fail- ure to fully adopt the church- state separation principle and to confine public tax support to religiously neutral public schools is largely responsible for the violent sectarian strife in Northern Ireland and for educational and religious lib- erty problems in the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, West Germany, and many oth- er countim. Stan-trained) North Korean Communists. "After three weeks of free- dom I was dragged out of my house by some Russian sol- diers and put on a truck. Later I learned the North Ko- rean Communists were -so bit- ter they had sent the Russian military police a false charge sgainst me." During his third internment he had another prophetic dream.' "I found myself on the grounds of our mission school. To my great distress I saw three newly made graves with giant tombstones." A passing student told "Rev. Moon, they are your graves." Some prisoners were re- leased and others sent to Mos- cow but Mr. Moon remained in prison. One day a guard told him to come out without his bundle of belongings so Mr. Moon thought he was finally to be executed. Instead be was re- leased again. He and his wife came to Toronto to join his son in 1971 and he now tours Korean churches across Canada. "God is with us wherever we he said. I cannot prove this to anyone. I can only tell them how I found this out." Elected Margaret a black woman judge from Washington, D.C., has been elected moderator of" the United Church of Christ. She is the first of her sex and race to attain the post. The American church has two million members, including more than and of Puerto Kioan, In- dian or Oriental ancestry. The outgoing moderator is Dr. David G. Colwell of Seattle, Wash. Church Ghuckles fcyCARTWRiGEn "Yea motf fain a attitude fre sanctuary isn't half empty, it's half FULL1" j 3rd Ave. Soyih A. DANJEl GOlDSMHH MiNJSTCft 10-.00-FAMILY SUNDAY SCHOOL HOOPER SERVICE EDWARDS ;