The White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, La., is making headlines these days as the home congregation of the Robertson family of “Duck Dynasty” fame.
For me, mention of the White’s Ferry Road church brings back fond memories totally unrelated to duck hunting or reality television. That’s because — for two years during my early childhood — the Ouachita River community of West Monroe was my hometown and the White’s Ferry Road church my home congregation, as I shared in a 2012 column.
In light of the controversy over “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson’s comments on homosexuality, The Associated Press sent a reporter to cover Sunday services at the Louisiana church this past weekend.
The top of the story:
WEST MONROE, La. (AP) – “Faith. Family. Ducks.” It’s the unofficial motto for the family featured in the TV reality show Duck Dynasty and that homespun philosophy permeates nearly everything in this small north Louisiana town.
It’s perhaps most on display at the White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe, where the Robertson family prays and preaches most Sunday mornings.
The family — including patriarch Phil Robertson, who ignited a controversy last week when he told a magazine reporter that gays are sinners and African-Americans were happy under Jim Crow laws — were in a front pew this past Sunday. And standing by beliefs they say are deeply rooted in their reading of the Bible.
The rest of the flock, decked out in Duck Dynasty hats and bandannas, stood by the family and the sentiments Phil Robertson expressed.
Alan, Robertson’s eldest son, helped deliver a Christmas-themed sermon. He started off by referring to last week’s controversy.
“Hope your week went well,” he dead-panned. “Ours was kinda’ slow.” He was referring, of course, to Phil’s forced hiatus: TV network A&E suspended Phil last week after remarks about blacks and gays caused a public uproar.
So far, so good.
But then came this spit-out-out-your-Diet-Coke transition, if you happen to be a part of this particular branch of the Christian faith: