"Look at Sister Sherry wearing them shoes again."
"I know she don't think she look sanctified dressed like that." Mae muttered with disapproval while Sherry Collins, the newest member of Pure in Heart Ministries walked up the stairs to the church.
"I hear you honey." Lisa replied.
Sherry made most women envious of her without even saying a word. She was an attractive young lady with soft brown eyes and a winning smile. She dressed in the latest fashion and her hair was always neatly combed. She had a master's degree in social work and education. Sherry was also single, so she was seen as a threat to the women in the ministry. Most of the women over thirty, married or single were quite jealous and threatened by her.
"Good morning ladies." Sherry spoke politely as she entered into the vestibule. Her eyes looked them over intently as if she'd known that they were talking about her.
"Mornin," Mae and Lisa replied in unison. Their smiles were so fake they looked painted on. They watched her walk into the sanctuary taking note of the red dress she often wore on Sundays when it was hot out. The air conditioner had been out in the church all summer and there was no telling with Ohio weather what the day would bring. Sherry carried a fan and her bible to her seat. Being new to the ministry, she sat towards the back of the sanctuary. Feeling the unwelcome stares of some, Sherry did not want to make enemies by sitting in someone else's seat.
"I'm telling you girl, you better keep an eye on your man. She'll be in his face in no time just watch." Mae whispered
"You think so?" Lisa questioned trying to figure what Mae was saying.
"Why, have you seen her talking to Brian?"
"No...I just know."
"Oh, she must have been talking to Teddy then," Lisa said with a slight snicker.
"No and she'd better not!" Mae snapped, as her head rolled and nostrils flared.
"Calm down Mae, I'm just teasing. Besides," Lisa added with a small laugh, "No one wants Teddy but you."
"That's right and I plan to keep it that way." Rolling her eyes, she headed towards the sanctuary. Mae Banks was not a happy person. She didn't like the fact that Pastor Billingsly took over the church when her brother, Pastor Gordon, passed away two years ago. She felt that the church should have been given to her husband Teddy. Mae was also insecure about her looks. She was short, overweight and not real friendly. Lisa Hayes on the other hand was tall, self confident, friendly and outgoing. She joined the church six months ago after her husband Brian had been transferred to Columbus for an I. T. Specialist position with one of the large banks in the city. He had heard good things about Pastor Billingsly and decided to join Pure in Heart Ministries.
Pastor Billingsly was a caring and compassionate man of God. Always willing to help the less fortunate, he encouraged the body of Christ to do their best in serving God in the same manner as Pastor Gordon had preached. The problem with Pure in Heart Ministries was that they were well known for their 'church gossip'. Now the entire congregation was not willing participants but no one has been able to put a stop to it. In the two years since Pastor Billingsly was confirmed, things had really gotten out of hand. Whatever you could think of had been discussed and spread by one main person, Sister Mae Banks. Many people had left the ministry after Pastor Gordon passed, unsure of what the new leadership would bring. Others left because they were the main target of the gossip and they did not care for Mae. She caused the head usher to leave after telling everyone she had seen Sister Susan wash the Pastor's drinking glass in th