A Mississippi pastor took his sermon to new heights Sunday when, to the surprise of his congregants, he glided into the pulpit with the help of a zip line.
Video of the Rev. Bartholomew Orr’s heavenly entrance has thrust him into social media stardom and even earned him the nickname the “Flying Preacher,” local station WMC Action News 5 reported. Orr’s impressive stunt was apparently meant to illustrate the unexpected nature of Jesus Christ’s second coming.
“Are you ready for his return?,” he asked the roomful of parishioners at Brown Missionary Baptist Church as he sailed in from the sanctuary’s mezzanine. The dramatic feat drew raucous laughter and applause from the shocked churchgoers down below.
“Jesus Christ comes again, and every eye will see him when he come again,” Orr continues as he’s lowered onto the stage.
It wasn’t long before clips of the stunt, taken from several angles, flooded social media. Orr, who’s been head pastor at the church since 1989, received some blowback for his creativity, however, from critics who claimed his entrance was too over the top. Others argued the use of the lift was a complete waste of time and money.
“So, is this what y’all pastor doing with the offerings?” one Twitter user asked.
“Pastors be doing the most. Next week he’ll set himself on fire and give a sermon on “how hot hell is,'” wrote another.
One user argued that the church as a whole is “really one of the biggest schemes in the world,” adding, “sadly our people are some of the easiest targets in the country. This isn’t to speak against Christianity just how untrustworthy so many “leaders” in the community are a crock of shit.”
Orr responded to the criticism in a YouTube video explaining that no church funds were used to pull off his grand entrance. In fact, he said the lift has been used for years as part of the church’s annual Christmas productions.
In the end, the pastor said he hoped his stunt helped spread the Christian gospel.
“There is a bigger picture, and that is Christ is returning soon,” Orr said. “And just as Christ’s return is going to be unexpected, my flying in this morning was unexpected. But we must be ready.”
Watch more in the video below.