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On China, Churches, and Chick-fil-A


[ Editor’s Note: Here’s a post- Thanksgiving blast from the past from the B. C.

Era ( Before Chick- fil- A), otherwise known as December 2018) when the Marion Mom tried to blow the lid off of Crittenden County’s worst kept secret.


Christian author and speaker, David Platt, founded what he calls “Secret Church” after spending time in underground churches in China, where believers must gather in secret, often unpleasant places for extended periods of time to pray, worship, study the Bible at the risk of arrest.

Platt arranged the same type of intensive study at his own church in Birmingham, without, of course, the inherent risk of torture and death if caught in attendance.

They’d be a lot closer to the underground church if they’d have met in our church building at the old mall next to Dollar Tree.

I mean, no one is going to arrest us for worshipping Jesus or singing Christmas carols, but it’s not the safest place in the world.

The roof leaks like the Titanic. When it’s raining, you choose your seat by looking up and avoiding the bulging ceiling tiles.

But you can’t just look up or you’ll trip over the plastic baby swimming pools they have set up to catch the leaks. The walls are held together with termite saliva. You better bring your winter coat, too, because you won’t be warm enough without it.

Last week, I bemoaned the fact that I had forgotten my blanket. Unless it’s summer, and then you might have a heat stroke.

The absolute worst part is that there are two toilets in the entire facility.

With the blessing of a growing babe pressing on my bladder last year, I spent more time in line for the porcelain throne than I did in the service! At a church, y’all! Right here in West Memphis!

No need to run to China to find miserable conditions.

However, I am excited, thrilled, giddy with anticipation, to announce that Victory Church will be hosting our very first service in a brand spankingnew building off College Blvd. on December 23 at 10 am, followed by a Christmas Eve candlelight service on the 24th at 5:30 pm. No more puddle- jumping. No more crumbling walls. No more shivering, and — I’ve seen MARION MOM (cont.)

the new toilets myself — no more lip-biting, legcrossing Holy-Spirit jigs outside the locked bathroom

The Lord is surely in this place, bless the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

The only secret about this church is what’s happening in the old location.

Seriously, Guaranty Loan has already torn up the parking lot in front of the building, between Walgreen’s and Applebee’s. At first, I assumed it was in preparation for the complete tear-down and rebuild of a strip mall I’ve heard rumored.

However, my kids’ friends kept exclaiming with delight, “Did you hear we’re getting a Chick-fil-A?!”

I always rolled my eyes.

“No we’re not.”

If all you want for Christmas is someone to ask you how your day has been, smile, fix delicious meals for you, and make you feel like the center of the universe, you don’t need a man — you just need a Chick-fil-A cashier.

Chick-fil-A could have 40 cars in line at the drive-thru — wait time two minutes and five seconds.

Other resturants — and you know who you are — have three cars in line, wait time like it’s the final quarter of the Superbowl. You think it would have been faster to go in, but you would be oh, so very wrong.

Chick-fil-A takes an order for a family of eight like a champ. {The Others} be like, “Oh, you ordered six ice cream cones? Here are four, can you please pull up and wait for the rest?”

(True story, actually happened to me.)

Chick-fil-A treats you like their favorite cousin on Christmas. {The Others} treat you like the stepdad they blame for the parents’ divorce.

Chick-fil-A greets you with abundant blessings from the Almighty and reminds you how cherished you are before adding, “How may I serve you today?” {The Others} say, “Go ‘head,” and only if you’re lucky.

So yeah, I want a Chickfil-A. I would love to report that West Memphis will be replacing old, broken-down Victory Church with beloved chicken tenders and overly polite servers.

But as a responsible journalist, which I occasionally am, I tried to verify the story first. I actually called Chick-fil- A corporate first.

The customer service representative told me I would have to send an email, and “someone” would be happy to respond.

So I did. Because I trust people too much.

Then I called West Memphis Planning and Development.

I was told I would need to send an email to Paul Luker for confirmation of this rumor, and he would certainly respond by the end of the day.

So I did. Because she said so. Well I never. If that wasn’t the textbook definition of a runaround! I should have known, if you call someone and they say, “Oh no, email me instead,” that they’re just trying to avoid the issue.

I sent one email each day until my deadline, receiving no response from either entity. Not even a courtesy, “No comment.”

So, admittedly a rotten investigative journalist, the best I can do for you, dear readers, and for my kids, and my friends’ kids is this (and please insert “Rumor has it” in front of all the following statements): Building plans have been submitted.

Guaranty Loan chopped up the aforementioned parking lot for the restaurant, but they have not yet signed anything.

Some city official visited kids at West Memphis Christian School, and responded to the question of an upcoming Chick-fil-A with, “Well, they don’t want me to say anything about it yet, but…” My most recent cashier at Walmart was sure the restaurant was going in and wanted to know where they were going to find such pleasant workers in a town like West Memphis.

Finally, one friend said Chick-fil-A backed out of the deal after doing more thorough study on the area and deciding they could not, in fact, find courteous, competent, and conscientious


I don’t understand why a company would want to keep it secret. Like our church, for example. We’re Go-Telling it on a Mountain and Rejoice-Rejoicing that our new building is complete, and all the toilets are working properly.

Now, all we want for Christmas is a Chick-fil-A.

Dorothy Wilson lives in Marion with her husband Chris as they enjoy all the adventures life with their seven children brings… and just to clarify, we did get a Chick- fil- A and Victory did open their new church. It’s still pretty bad in China, though…

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