Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Devotion is laudable but not to a liar and blasphemer. As I related in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity, Brother Herald's death hit me hard. Here's an excerpt from my upcoming memoir that shows just how I felt when I heard the news of his passing.


As I lay on the couch after supper the next evening, listening to a New Testament cassette, the phone rang. I fought a stab of abdominal pain as I staggered to the phone in the kitchen.

"I have some bad news to tell you," Sister Eileen said without preamble. "Brother Herald passed away today."

I felt like somebody trapped in a plummeting elevator. "What are we going to do now that he's gone?"

"I don't know." She sounded as bewildered as I felt. "We'll carry on somehow."

"I feel kind of lost, you know?"

"I do too. I've known Brother Herald all my life and now he's gone."

"Who'll teach us now?"

"We still have all his teachings which Mother transcribed. God might also give one of us a prophetic ministry."

"I hope so."

Following a prolonged silence, I remembered to ask, "When's the funeral?"

"I'll let you know. I don't know at the moment."

During the service in the chapel of the funeral home three days later, Sister Roberta sang a hymn as she stood in front of the assembled mourners. During one verse, her voice shook with emotion.

I likewise struggled to keep my own tears back while she sang. The fact that our special teacher would no longer pass on revelations to us struck home.

Following the service, we gathered at the cemetery. As per Brother Herald's instructions, the funeral home covered his coffin with a regulation-sized Union Jack. Once we assembled, the chaplain said a final prayer. Then the attendants lowered our leader's remains into the hole as we filed out of the cemetery.

At Brother Herald's home, a considerable crowd of mourners gathered for a mid-afternoon backyard lunch. All of the church members attended, as did our deceased minister's two sons. Even Emmo and Bessie, who hadn't come to Thee Church for several years, made an appearance. I engaged some of the folks in small talk, but my mind remained occupied with the loss of our remarkable teacher.

During subsequent mid week meetings, Sister Roberta allowed no one to sit in Brother Herald's chair. "In case his spirit comes to the meetings, we must keep it ready for him," she warned us. Throughout my remaining years at Thee Church, this peculiar custom continued.


God willing, I should have How I Was Razed in print in print and e-book form by the end of this year. As for my previous paperbacks, please click on the Bruce Atchison's books link for information about them


  1. Hi Bruce, I'm relieved you got to go to the funeral. I was afraid Sister Roberta might have contrived to keep you away since she didn't seem to like you. I'm glad that wasn't the case. Again, I'm sorry for the loss.

    Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of
    We Shall Overcome
    How to Build a Better Mousetrap:
    Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

  2. I understand what you feel in your article. Sorry for that.


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