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Aside from the obvious differences--First Purchase Church was "paint-peeled" outside, "unpainted within," and its congregation were Negroes--Scout found the church service similar to her own Methodist church in town. Reverend Sykes'
... sermon was a forthright denunciation of sin... Jem and I had heard the same sermon Sunday after Sunday...
The congregation was well-dressed, hymns were sung, and an offering was collected. But there were both subtle glaring differences. The church had no hymnals, since most of the congregation could not read; instead they "lined" the words, a method that mystified Jem and Scout. There was no organ, piano or bulletins--the church could not afford them--and kerosene lamps were used instead of electric lights. "Pine benches served as pews," and a coffee can replaced the collection plate. Reverend Sykes named individuals who had "lapses from grace." It was a great learning experience for the children, and Scout "was bursting with questions" and wanted "to stay and explore," but Calpurnia headed them toward the exit, where they talked with Reverend Sykes.
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