A man in Topeka, Kan., decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco and started working his way back east from there.
Going to a very large church, he began taking pictures and making notes. He spotted a golden telephone on the vestibule wall and was intrigued with a sign which read, “calls $10,000 a minute.” Seeking out the preacher, he asked about the phone and the sign. The preacher answered that this golden phone is, in fact, a direct line to Heaven and if he pays the price he can talk directly to God.
The man thanked the preacher and continued on his way. As he continued to visit churches in Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee and many cities and towns all around the United States, he found more phones, with the same sign and the same answer from each preacher.
Finally, he arrived in North Carolina. Upon entering a church in the beautiful mountainous region of N.C., behold he saw the usual golden telephone. But this time, the sign read, “calls 35 cents.”
Fascinated, he asked the preacher, “Preacher, I have been in cities all across this country and in each church I have found this golden telephone and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven and I could talk to God, but in the other churches the cost was $10,000 a minute. Your sign reads only 35 cents a call. Why?!”
Now, I love this part.
The preacher, smiling broadly, replied, “Son, you’re in North Carolina now. You’re in God’s country. It’s a local call.”
I’m American by birth and North Carolinian by the Grace of God. And why do folks go barefoot in North Carolina: When you’re in North Carolina, you’re on Holy Ground.
Ya’ll have a good day, you hear?