LITTLE ROCK, AR—They said it couldn’t be done. They said it was impossible. But Pastor Joe DeCarlo of First United Methodist Church proved them all wrong, by pastoring for over twenty years without ever once preaching the gospel to his congregation.
Parishioners confirmed Wednesday that through hundreds of different sermon series throughout the years, they’d heard moral advice, inspirational axioms, and pithy sayings, but they couldn’t ever recall being told that they’re sinners in need of the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“The gospel? I’ve heard it from those wacky street preacher guys at the mall before,” long-standing church member Henrietta Marie said. “But no, I don’t suppose I ever heard it from DeCarlo.” Other church members agreed, claiming the shepherd of their souls had never mentioned the simple message of hope in Christ’s person and work.
“I’d like to thank my mentors and those inspiring heroes who made this all possible,” DeCarlo told his church in a ceremony celebrating twenty years of gospel-free preaching.
At publishing time, DeCarlo had announced his intentions to continue failing to mention the salvation God offers sinners in Christ for five to ten more years, at which point he plans on retiring with a perfect, gospel-less record.
Can he do it? Well, it’s never been safe to bet against him before!
What an inspiration!