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Columns

November 18, 2009

Dale Dunagan ‘roasted’ at Pastor Appreciation event

Dorothy Milligan

Byng correspondent

580-332-6217

October was Pastor Appreciation Month in the Southern Baptist Convention, but we at New Bethel Church were too involved and busy to give our pastor due treatment that month. (Or, maybe we’re slow. Jerald Harris, our moderator says, “It takes us an hour and a half to watch ‘Sixty Minutes’)

Whatever the reason, we decided mid-November was an excellent time to show our pastor, Dale Dunagan, how we feel about him — and, as Jodi Jackson said, “It’s been a long time since we did anything funny.”

So, last Sunday night when the benediction had been said after the evening worship service, Linda Cooper, music director, picked up a microphone and solemnly said “Everyone, please be seated.” She went on to explain. “Several people have approached me to ask that we do an investigation concerning our pastor,” The Rev. Dunagan looked startled, but the congregation was in on the secret, and they readily settled in for the inquiry.

Dale’s wife, Tonya, had also been in on the secret, and she had cooperated by supplying photos of various funny scenes from their life together. Outstanding was a Halloween picture of Dale wearing an overwhelming set of rubber dentures. This photo was also used to decorate his cake for the reception following the roast.

Several members offered testimonies on apparent character flaws in their pastor. For example, they declared that when the men had a work day to help with the house the Dunagans are renovating, Dale disappeared for several hours and, when he reappeared, he offered the explanation that he had been ‘trying to find his gloves.’

Finally, when the pastor was “roasted” sufficiently, the congregation adjourned to the Fellowship Hall for cake and coffee. There the pastor was presented a basket filled with congratulatory cards and money gifts which probably was more indicative of how Dale’s flock really feels about him. His only comment was “You surely are a sneaky bunch.”

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