My son bought a couch off eBay a few years back.
Instead of paying freight or delivery from the seller's location, we decided to drive over to Gainesville and pick it up ourselves.
The couch had been purchased from a Christian company, but to our surprise, the directions led to an actual church instead of a business establishment. Located in the middle of nowhere, the place appeared deserted, but having scheduled the pick up in advance, we knocked on the door to the sanctuary.
No response. After tugging on the locked door, we spotted a church thrift shop located in a nearby outer building. We walked over, introduced ourselves to the cashier and inquired after the couch. She made a call and indicated someone would help us in a moment. After returning to our truck, a middle-aged gentleman soon greeted us. He inspected our receipt, headed back toward the sanctuary, presumably to get the couch. We followed him, hoping to see what other items might be for sale.
As the door opened, he asked us to wait. For the briefest second, I observed what appeared to be mattresses laid out on the floor. The door was quickly shut.
Within a few minutes, about ten to fifteen kids--mostly teens-- spilled out of the church on to the front lawn, running around and playing, as if at recess. Fair, blond and similarly dressed, all spoke German.
It was a weird vibe, very David Koresh. My son turned to me and said, "Let's just get the couch and get out of here."
I thought maybe the kids were involved in some sort of summer mission work and perhaps, were sleeping on the floor of the church during the stay.
A couple of young men helped my son toss on the tarp and tie off the couch. The older man thanked us for our purchase and before bidding us good-bye, mentioned because we lived in such close proximity, he would have been happy to deliver the couch for a small fee.
My son sent me an email this past weekend. "Interesting tidbit - guess where the ol' Koran burnin' church is? Same place my couch came from! TS & Company must have fallen on hard times."
The middle-aged gentleman? No other than Terry Jones himself.
And after reading the following from the Gainesville Sun, the kids on the lawn were likely on a break.
A reporter from the Gainesville Sun visited the church and found that the sanctuary was partially filled with furniture. Jones says that all employees of TS and Company are church members who volunteer their time.
Former members of Jones’ Cologne church – Christliche Gemeinde Koln – described the situation there differently.
“It’s all about how much did you work, how much profit did you bring in,” said Emma Jones, the 29-year-old daughter of Terry Jones and his deceased first wife, Lisa Jones. “He made 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds work 12-hour days.”
One certainty. Mr. Jones had quite the eye for retro furniture.
I'm just wondering how much the couch would sell for on eBay today?
Labels: Dove World Outreach, eBay, Gainesville, Koran, Kroehler, Terry Jones