Pastor presents Bible in 15 minutes

Published 5:25 pm Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Not often does a congregation get to hear a sermon that encompasses the entire Bible in 15 minutes or less.

But then, the congregation’s not often the Brundidge Rotary Club and the preacher’s not Pastor Pugh Hopper.

If it’s true that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine, then the Brundidge Rotarians got a big dose medicine that should keep them merry until after the next revival meeting.

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The Rev. Ed Shirley, pastor of Brundidge United Methodist Church, entertained the Rotarians as the fire and brimstone preacher, Pastor Pugh Hopper, at the Club’s Wednesday meeting.

“Pastor Pugh Hopper kept us laughing all the time,” said Rotarian Dixie Shehane. “Pastor Pugh Hopper’s not your typical pulpit preacher. He took us right through the Bible but in no particular order.”

Shirley’s portrayal of the “save ’em or send ’em” old-time preacher was not his first at the Brundidge Rotary Club. At an earlier meeting, he played the role of Boudreaux the Cajun comedian.

The Rotarians enjoyed him so much they wanted him back again – back for another does of Rev. Ed’s medicine that has only one adverse side effect — people have been known to split their sides in laughter.

“I like to sing, play guitar, mandolin and I’m learning to play the hammered dulcimer,” Shirley said.

“I love to entertain people with comedy, impersonations and dramatic monologues.

“I adorn a costume and speak in first person as a hymn writer, biblical person or historical character.”

Shirley recently performed as Boudreaux for the Troy Rotary Club and as Francis Scott Key for the Troy Exchange Club.

His list of characters includes such notables as the Apostle Peter, Roman Governor Pontius Pilate and, at the other end of spectrum, country music star, Ray Price, and the one and only Elvis.

Shirley also has an interest in history and theater.

While at Camden United Methodist Church, he served as the president of the Wilcox Historical Society and was the overseer of several major projects including the restoration of the 1889 jail and the establishment of a walking tour of the historic Camden Cemetery.

Shirley also introduced the idea of forming a community theater in Gees Bend to present the “Gees Bend Play,” which has now completed two performance seasons.