The LaCucaracha Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a disturbance at the 5th Baptist Church of LaCucaracha yesterday. A brawl erupted in the fellowship hall during the editorial meeting of the 2009 Pictorial Church Directory.
Pastor Mark denied the incident three times, but the Texas Cockroach staff dug deeper, interviewing committee members to uncover the complete story.
Since 1952, the church has published a pictorial directory, featuring a photo of each family, taken by Olan Mills Photography. There is no charge to the church, but many members choose to purchase the family portrait package, which includes an 8x10, 5x7 and 5 wallet sized prints.
Martha Swartz has overseen the project for the past 27 years, performing an excellent job of matching the photos and names of members. This year, the directory committee voted to expand the publication to include candid images from the church picnic, youth rallies, covered dish suppers and the annual service project.
According to anonymous sources, Betsy Michaels joined the committee this year, and challenged Swartz on many key placement decisions and photo selections. “She just marched in here and tried to take over,” said Swartz. “It was a complete flashback to the high school yearbook meeting of 1948, when Betsy stole our precious memories. She joined the committee back in high school, and put all of her nerdy friends on just about every page. When I look back at my yearbook, it looks like a tribute to her loser boyfriend Jake. No one even knew he existed until Betsy plastered his face on all the best pages. The only justice was he dumped her a week before it was distributed.”
Anonymous committee members confirmed Swartz’s account of high school, and explained how Betsy started bringing in photos of her grandchildren for the church directory. “Everyone knows Betsy’s kids and grandkids aren’t believers. They won’t step foot in this church building unless it’s Christmas or Easter, and she wants to put them in the directory? How dare she!” said a committee member who requested she be identified only as “Pearl.” “Betsy tried to replace a group photo of the Parking Lot Committee with her own family reunion photo – that’s when all hell broke loose.”
Eyewitnesses claim that when challenged, Betsy calmly asked Swartz, "How about we step outside and I shine my shoes on your face?" Swartz responded by using her walker as a springboard, jumping and tackling Betsy to the floor. The brawl continued until Deputy Rodriguez showed up and threatened to jail both women.
Pastor Mark continued to deny the incident occurred in his church, but did state that the pictorial directory would return to its original format. “I had doubts about making such radical alterations to the directory, but I let peer pressure influence me. Change is a dangerous thing,” he said.