Steven Cornell, first time visitor at Jesus Christ the Savior Baptist Church made a new best friend immediately upon arriving at 9:27 am for Sunday services.
Desslin, single and unemployed for six months except for a part time church internship, has been volunteering for the position of ‘greeter’ for several weeks now. Although his official duties merely entail opening the door, handing bulletins to worshippers and directing newcomers to the proper Sunday School room, passers-by noticed Desslin and Cornell immediately seemed to be hitting it off.
“I hadn’t met Steve before, but I guess Mick [Mickey] knew the guy, because he greeted him with a big bear hug like they were best friends,” reported one witness.
The bear hug reportedly consisted of Desslin throwing his arms around Cornell’s torso for several seconds, followed by a conversation in which the men maintained an unusually close proximity to one another’s faces. It was also reported that Desslin’s arm remained draped around Cornell’s shoulder as he guided him away from the sparsely populated sanctuary and towards the crowded Sunday School hall.
When asked for comment, Desslin explained, “I can always sense a new brother in the Lord. My intuition and training as church greeter allowed me to determine Steve’s immediate and long term spiritual needs. We got him squared away with all his new member materials, plugged in to three small groups that will help him flourish, and we were able to touch base with the pastor so he could meet our newest member. I’m really glad the Lord saw fit to bring Steve into our church and into my life.”
Desslin also added that as his personal policy, he doesn’t allow visitors to sit alone during worship services. He would be personally escorting Cornell to the sanctuary where he would take his place next to him as his new brother in Christ. During the service, Desslin planned to pass the offering plate to Cornell, hand him a tiny cup of grape juice during communion and hold his hand during the benediction, adding a little squeeze at the end to emphasize that he is now ‘one of the flock.’ Afterward, Desslin intended to gather several church members to accompany him and Cornell to lunch where they would discuss the pastor’s sermon.
When sought for comment in his new Sunday School class for middle-aged, divorced lawyers, Cornell could not be reached as he had casually slipped out of the room through a large heating duct.