MOBILE, AL — The Second Baptist community was in shock last Sunday after setting a record for the shortest Black church service in history. The service, which lasted just four hours and fifty-two minutes, was led by the church's new pastor, Rev. Ralph Washington Jenkins.
According to Rev. Jenkins, the shortened service was not intentional. "We had a few technical difficulties and had to skip a few things," Jenkins said. "Also, I had some caffeine that morning and spoke faster than usual. I apologize for any confusion or frustration this unusually brief service may have caused."
The change was met with mixed reactions. Long-time member Mary Johnson said, "I've been going to church for sixty years and I've never experienced a service this short. It was strange. I thought there was something wrong with my watch."
"I've been coming to this church for 30 years and I've never felt the need for a shorter service," said welder Patrick Owens. "I don't think it's necessary to change something that's been working for so long."
Some worshippers liked the change, however. "Seven hours is a bit long," said churchgoer Patricia Davidson. "Four hours and fifty-two minutes is probably too short, but maybe there's a happy medium."
The prior record, six hours and seventeen minutes, was held by First Baptist in Jackson, Mississippi.
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