Back to This ' N That

Show Spieler Once A Divine

Prominent Pulpit Orator Now With A Circus

After Twenty Years Comes To Old Home, Married To Snake Charmer, And Is Recognized In Town Where He Was A Pastor—His Fall From Grace Narrated 

Monroe City, MO

Sept 4 1907 

When Rev. Dr. John Andrews, one of the best known pulpit orators in the State, and the ministerial Beau Brummel of Northeast Missouri; pastor of the wealthy congregation of the First Baptist Church of Monroe City, resigned his charge, twenty years ago, and departed, he did not know that he would return to Missouri after two decades, divorced from his wife and separated from his family, the husband of a snake charmer, spieler and ticket seller for the side show of a circus, that exhibited here this week; nor did he know until a few days before his return that the circus of which he was attached was booked to exhibit, in the self same city where he once graced a pulpit.

But the former minister did not “jump” the show. He was under contract, and he came disguised. It was several hours before he was recognized by any members of his former congregation who include bankers, wealthy stock-raisers and many other of the best known citizens of Monroe, Marion,
Ralls, and Shelby counties, at the corners of which Monroe City is situated. The once tall slender handsome minister weighed about twenty-five pounds more than when he was pastor here. His black mustache was gone, and twenty years had put wrinkles in his face. He no longer wore the broadcloth fashioned into the extra long Prince Albert that characterized his dress in the days of his ministry. So it was not easy to be recognized, but one member of the congregation; who once knew him intimately, knew that it was the erstwhile minister.

Andrews admitted his identity and the news spread rapidly through the town.

Before the show departed, many members of his old congregation, including two or three women, had called at the big tent. He told one that he had dealt faro bank in Butte for several months after he quit the ministry.

Andrews went to the Montana metropolis as the pastor of a large church there. After leaving Butte he traveled throughout the United States, Europe and Africa. He has been following the circus for several years.

“Why don’t you go back the ministry?” Andrews was asked. The former pastor replied with all his old time dignity: “ Well, I still have hopes of heaven.”