You gotta admit, this is just plain funny, in a sad, demented sort of way.
" 'Perfect' Pastor Found to Be Dead"
"BOZEMAN, Mont. — An associate pastor and church sound man pulled a Weekend-At-Bernie's-style scheme, keeping their church's senior pastor in the pulpit six weeks after his unexpected death.
"I thought he was going through a personal renewal which mellowed him," says one member after learning that pastor Lenny Dillon had been dead since July.
Dillon, 57, died of a stroke while vacationing with his wife in Canada. She went along with the scheme because she couldn't bear to let her husband go. It "comforted me to see him preaching, even though I knew he was dead," she says.
To the trio's amazement, the church flourished. Rancorous disagreements stopped. People felt ministered to and cared for.
"He seemed so happy all of a sudden," says one woman. "That peace spread through the congregation."
Barry and Linda Cox attended several counseling sessions with the dead pastor and said it vastly improved their marriage.
"He was such a good listener," she says.
Embalmed and dressed in a three-piece suit, Dillon was propped against the pulpit every Sunday. The associate stitched sermons together from past sermon tapes. The sound man turned down the lights. After service the associate and sound man helped Dillon shake hands in the foyer. They put sunglasses on Dillon and made up a story about botched laser eye surgery.
Though the ruse has ended, some people in the church want the corpse back.
"Best two months this church has ever had," said one man. •"