• U.S.

Religion: God Between Innings

1 minute read

As the summer heat melted bis congregation, the Rev. Richard L. Key of Yuma, Ariz, took a bold step. To publicize his nondenominational First Christian Church, he signed a contract with radio station KOLD to sponsor local night baseball games. Sports-loving Pastor Key, 37, a pitcher in Yuma’s adult softball league and a sometime newscaster, did not bear down too heavily on salvation between the innings. His talks—mostly about perseverance, hope, kindness—had plenty of light moments. When the microphone caught a ballplayer cursing, Pastor Key pointed up an alternative to swearing with the story of the Quaker lady motorist who squelched a blaspheming truck driver with “When thee gets back to thy kennel, I hope thy mother bites thee.”

Pastor Key’s commercials paid off. Looking back over the season this week, Key found attendance at First Christian UP 75% over last summer.

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