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Amazing Grace and Martian Noises

A Fresno pastor had the last word, or noise, when he left his church and argumentative board with a parting gift that could only be described as “special”.

Dave Chandler had hit a wall with the church board of Family Life Center, leaving him little choice but to walk away. Before doing so, he exercised a clause in the by-laws that allowed him to have sole responsibility of the hiring and firing of the church’s worship director.

“We couldn’t believe when this bozo showed up to lead worship,” board member Jeff Garrety recalled of the following Sunday.

To their horror, Chandler had hired street performer Bill MacNerny to fill the music director shoes. The ukulele-toting artist began the service with a rendition of “Amazing Grace” in which he encouraged the congregation to contribute ‘martian noises’.

Yes, martian noises.

He then shifted to ” This old man, he played one, he played knick-knack on my thumb”. Where he totally lost the congregation.

MacNerny specializes in “alien folk music” and “tunes for chickens and other intelligent beings.” He has several albums featured himself playing the ukulele and making barnyard noises. His worship music is quite the same.

Here’s the kicker, the board quickly became aware of an additional surprise $150,000 severance clause, written in by Chandler, that requires the music director to be employed for at least two years and lead worship at every service the church holds.


Enough members of the congregation have already started to look for a new church that the board is seriously considering parting with the $150K.

The real question is, was this the direction Pastor Dave originally wanted to go with things? I’m thinking he made the right call.

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