FLETCHER, N.C. — Authorities say a dispute over leadership at a church in western North Carolina turned from angry words to fistfights. About 30 police officers from five agencies were called to break up fights Sunday at Greater New Zion Baptist Church in Fletcher, about 94 miles west of Charlotte.
Henderson County Sheriff's Capt. Jerry Rice says the brawl is under investigation and no one appears to have been seriously hurt. Rice says there were about 75 people at the church when police arrived, but not all of them were scuffling. Church members are divided over the recent ouster of the Rev. LeVonia Ray as pastor of the church. The fighting apparently began over whether a vote should be held to reinstate him.
Two ways you can tell just how much more serious southerners are about religion than the rest of us.
1. The clergy broke into an all out royal rumble over who their Pastor should be. Now, its been a while since I've been to church, but for a while there my parents made sure I rode the pine for the God squad each and every Sunday, like a good Catholic, devout through Confirmation. And in this time, we probably had 4 or 5 different Priests, and I can't remember anyone even batting an eye lash at any of the shake ups. In fact I'm not sure the old folks in the front even woke up from their naps. Never mind drawing battle lines and breaking out in fisticuffs like the West Side Story. I think changes to the lead singer of the choir caused more of a ruckus than who was leading us in the Our Father. Not many different ways you can lead a prayer, but the ways you can suck at singing are infinite.
2. Even World Star Hip-Hop doesn't have video of this fight. And up until now I just assumed if anyone threw down anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line World Star had to sanction and sponsor the event, but I can't find video of this fight anywhere. If bringing a cell phone or flip cam to church is too taboo for even the biggest world-star fans/thugs than they definitely take church much more seriously than the rest of the country.