Dan Lovette became an usher at the Baptist church on Easter Sunday, March 26th, 1961. He stood at the door shaking hands, passing out bulletins.
Nobody knew Dan.
Weeks earlier, Pastor Lovette had introduced Dan as his older brother.
Dan was a tall man with a soft voice, and rough skin. He wore a brown suit that was too small. He hardly spoke.
He sat on the front row during sermons. After service, he smoked cigarettes behind the church. People asked the pastor questions about Dan, but he was quiet when it came to his older brother.
Over the years, folks saw a lot of Dan Lovette. He could be seen pushing a mower, changing the church sign, painting clapboards, passing out bulletins on Sundays, or cleaning the sanctuary on Mondays.
Dan lived in a back room of the church. His earthly belongings were: a cot, a hot plate, a coffee pot, a transistor radio, a shaving kit, and one brown suit.
can forget the Sunday that the pastor announced he would be baptising Dan after service.
This surprised people. Most thought it was strange that the pastor’s own brother had never been baptized.
Even so, sixty-four church members stood near the creek, watching the tall man wade into shallow water behind his younger brother.
It was a simple ordeal. Down Dan went; up he came. Applause. Bring on the banana pudding.
But life was not all pudding and baptisms. In 1974, tragedy hit the church. The pastor was in a car accident on his way home from Montgomery, doctors thought he’d had a stroke while driving.
Dan sat beside his brother’s hospital bed without sleep or food. He lived in a hospital room.
The next Sunday, Dan Lovette took the pulpit with tired eyes. It was a hushed room. It was the first time any members of…