Wednesday, November 17, 2010

True Church Stories - #11

At the first church where we were senior pastors in a little town in Ohio, there was a woman who was a middle aged divorcee named Tory.  Yep, I'm just gonna come out and tell you her real name and all, because in this case I don't care.

Tory had been a problem in the church and community for a long time.  She went after  married men all the time, trying to seduce them.  Several previous pastors had actually asked her to leave because she had propositioned them, and even worse.  In the case of one former pastor, she went into his office during Sunday School and while his wife was in the adjacent office making some copies she walked over to the pastor's desk, plopped down on his lap and planted a kiss right on his lips!  None of this was wanted by him.  He was a true man of God and  was furious.  He screamed for his wife, told her what happened, and that day asked Tory to leave the church.   Her pattern was to do something outlandish like this to each pastor, the pastor would ask her to leave and a few years later when a new pastor would come, she would return to the church assuming that she could start all over again since the new pastor didn't know her.  She tended to do these things to men in leadership and had made a move on every pastor and most of the deacons.  

Tory would do crazy things.  She often called the previous pastor at late hours and would ask him to come over to the house to minister to an "emergency need."  She would start crying and say she was sick and needed prayer.   He would say that his wife would join him and be right over and she would actually say, "no, please don't bring your wife."  This woman had serious issues!!!

We were warned when we assumed the pastorate of this church and shortly after we got there her obsession with my husband started.  One of the deacons quipped, "I'm glad the new pastor is here because now Tory's leaving ME alone!"  My husband didn't find that funny.  She would call our house at 11:00 pm and say, "Is the pastor there?"  I would say, "who's calling?"  And she'd say, "a friend."  I would say, "does the friend have a name?"  And she'd say, "no."  I told her, "he doesn't talk to friends without names" and hang up.

She would call the church to talk to Larry and when he got on the phone she'd whisper in breathy tones, "are you alone where we can talk?" and he'd say, "Tory, I don't need to be alone to talk to you."  She would get upset and hang up when  he would keep the conversation  professional.


Several times she called the church and asked for him and he wasn't there and when the secretary said, "he's not here but his wife is, would you like to speak with her?" she would quickly say no and hang up and take the chance that he was home without me and ride over to the house and knock on the door.  He never let her inside,  just went to the door, and asked her to leave.

Finally one Sunday came when he getting ready to walk in his office during Sunday School (he studied while I taught a women's class) and as he was walking in his office, Tory walked up behind him, followed him into his office and tried to shut off the light and shut the door.  He stopped her and ordered her out.  Then as soon as I was done with  my class he told me what she tried to do.  I was livid.  I said, "Enough is enough.  I'll take care of it."  I'm a very compassionate person, if you know anything about me you know that my heart is big as all outdoors but the fact of the matter is if you mess with my husband or children I will draw a line in the sand.

Tory had crossed my boundaries that morning and gone to the point of no return.  I walked out in the sanctuary that morning.  The musicians were on stage playing and the people sat waiting for church to start.  Tory was sitting in the sanctuary on the right hand side about five pews back.  This was after Larry kicked her out of his office.  How could she just sit there with her bible on her lap waiting for church to start?  The nerve of that woman.  I went right over to the fifth pew where she sat and said, "Tory, if you need anything here at the church in the future, come to me or one of the other ladies.  Don't go near the pastor again or I'll break both your legs.  Do you understand me?"    


She looked at me with her eyes as big as saucers, trying to take in what I was saying, just stunned.  Then I smiled and said, "Good.  Enjoy the rest of the service," spun around and walked away.  I went back to the office and told Larry that I took care of it.

He asked me how I handled it and I told him.  He had an absolute cow about it when he found out and and started pacing back and forth in his office saying, "Honey, we can't keep pastoring if you tell people you're going to break their legs...it's just not appropriate!" I said, "Sorry Larry, but you're just going to have to deal with it. She crossed a line with me that you do not cross, and before you're anyone's pastor you're my husband."

Today when he tells that story he says, "you know that situation with Tory was back at the beginning of our ministry and my wife was younger and not as mature..." and to that I say, "Shoot! I'd do the same thing now!" So call me immature. If somebody is going to openly make a pass at my husband, they need to make sure they have a good plastic surgeon who specializes in reconstruction  not to mention good insurance.

6 comments:

Melissa said...

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN AND AMEN!!! I feel the very same way about my husband. If someone is gonna try to take advantage of my man it is gonna be me and no body else :)

Ryan said...

I love this so so so much.

Melissa Sutton said...

AMEN PD, I second that, some people are so bold but just because we're saved and leaders in Ministry doesnt mean we're wimps (lol).

Oh wow!

Ruth said...

AMEN!! You go girl!!!

everything.beautiful said...

I've heard you tell this story before, and it's still one of my favorites. I think it's great you dealt with it the way you did. Just because your a Pastor's wife does not mean you should have to sit back while someone else makes moves on your husband. I think you handled it very well :-)

DaNella Auten said...

I LOVE this story!!! LOVE it. I've threatened to do the same thing. lol Too funny, this is one of my favorites...