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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church

"Post-11 a.m. stragglers were common at Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist on a recent Sunday, though those who arrived in time for the opening hymn sang along with gusto, sans hymnals. The congregation was relaxed, laughing along with the pastor at times, at other times rising with him, clapping, and hollering. Visitors received a warmhearted welcome; this reporter and another first-timer were asked to address the congregation."

"[Senior Pastor Kendrick] Curry's sermon was merciful in both subject matter and duration. His apocalyptic theme connected recent events—Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, avian flu, earthquakes—with the Gospel of Matthew's 'wars and rumors of wars.' The time of the second coming of Christ is near, Curry told the congregation, amply footnoting his words with Biblical references.

"He took a brief swipe at gays and lesbians, but praised the compassion of Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, who offered hurricane victims doctors and cheap oil, respectively. Curry held up the U.S. government’s refusal as evidence of 'pridefulness and arrogance.'" ...

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