A local pastor holds a coveted spot in White Castle’s Cravers Hall of Fame, thanks to a creative sermon involving the fast-food chain’s Bacon Jam Slider.
Methodist Pastor Bruce Perry of Rossford was formally inducted on Feb. 7, in a special ceremony in Indianapolis that the easygoing pastor and slider fan described as “a hoot.” He is one of nine “cravers” to be recognized in the chain’s 2017 class.
Pastor Bruce Perry has been inducted into the Whitle Castle Hall of Fame.
The sermon that caught the chain’s attention came in April, when Pastor Perry was encouraging the rural congregants of the four churches where he preaches — in Liberty Center, Colton, Swanton, and Winameg — to venture out of their comfort zones as volunteers for a summer literacy program in Toledo.
It grew out of Pastor Perry’s observation that White Castle tends to be a, well, divisive chain.
“I’ve found that people are either into it or they’re not,” said the pastor, who counts himself among the former, “and the ones that aren’t into it are kind of intractable.”
He theorized that the detractors often just haven’t given White Castle a shot: Maybe they hadn’t been to a restaurant, or, if they have, they didn’t understand the style of steamed sliders that the chain proffers. Steamy, he suggested, could be mistaken for greasy.
As he was pondering his sermon, perhaps on an empty stomach, he began to see parallels between a hesitancy to try a slider and a hesitancy to volunteer with children, an endeavor that can be intimidating if you’re not used to driving into the “big city” or working with little ones.
But if you don’t try it, how do you know? he reasoned, posing the question to his congregants that weekend in relation to both Freedom School at Monroe Street Neighborhood Center and to the Bacon Jam Slider.
The sermon was a good-natured success, as was the literacy program, as he wrote to White Castle in September, describing the sermon in a submission to the Cravers Hall of Fame; he’d stumbled onto the submission form through an email in his inbox, he said, and figured he had nothing to lose by giving it a shot.
“Who doesn’t want to win something?” he said with a laugh.
He didn’t win a lifetime supply of White Castle, he said, but he and his wife, Amy, did enjoy their trip to Indianapolis and came home with plenty of licensed swag. He plans to tell his congregants about the experience on Sunday, as well as share a new sermon drawn from the slogan with which White Castle branded its ceremony: Own it.
“That’s the story of Christianity,” he said, ready to embrace White Castle for inspiration one more time. “You have to own it, you have to live it, it has to become a part of you.”
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