This story is set in St. Louis in the 1970s. The 100th year anniversary celebration of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church is approaching and the pastor has died. How will the church pull itself back together and find a new pastor in time to prepare for the church centennial, let alone survive one more day? It seems as though everyone in the church has an idea about who the new pastor needs to be and what direction he should be going. In the tradition of Gloria Naylor's Women of Brewster Place, Bowen weaves the hilarious stories of several church members as they plan, plot, and connive to have their choice installed as the next pastor before the anniversary celebration. Second Sunday refers to one of the main worship Sundays in small traditional Baptist churches. In the book, it is the day of the scheduled centennial celebration.
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