First complete recording of ‘black hole’ sermon made!
Pastor Bob Jones of First Baptist church, Ohio is renowned for his long sermons. The congregation names them the “black hole” as they awake with no recollection of anything that was said during the two hours plus of preaching.
However, yesterday marked the first ever time that a recoding of one of these sermons was pieced together in its entirety.
The recording was formed from the Event Horizon Team (EHT), a network of eight hand-held recording devices, spanning locations from the front row to the lobby and operated by brave members of the congregation who each used various techniques, ranging from sitting on nails to intravenous caffeine drips, to stay awake for 30 consecutive minutes.
Jon Shepherd, EHT director said: “What happens during one of Bob’s ‘black hole’ sermons is one of the greatest mysteries in the universe. After two years of trying we finally managed to obtain a recording of what we thought was unrecordable.”
The name “Event Horizon” describes the area near the preacher where time loses meaning and the point beyond which people are sucked inexorably towards a comatose state. Measurements at First Baptist church indicate that people feel a heaviness after only the second verse of the hymn that precedes the sermon.
Jon continued, “No single person is powerful enough to stay awake during the full sermon (despite Phil 4:13) to record it nor are one of those video cassettes thingys we use long enough to record the whole sermon. So we had to co-ordinate the 30 minute periods of each of the eight members by atomic clocks. But even so, it took two years before we finally had a Sunday where everyone managed to endue their full 30 minutes.”
The sermon recorded was part 58 of the supermassive series on the skin diseases mentioned at the heart of Leviticus.
However, the news is not all good.
Despite using a computer algorithm to synchronise and patch together the complete recording still no-one is actually able to listen to it without succumbing to drowsiness.
“We had to put warnings on the CDs advising people not to play it whilst driving or operating heavy machinery to prevent being held liable for accidents. Fortunately, we’ve not had anyone die by falling out of a window, like Eutychus did when listening to Paul’s sermon in Acts 20:9-10, but that’s possibly because we placed mattresses there over five years ago.”
Jon and his team are now working on developing an AI that can listen to the full sermon without short-circuiting and then produce a summary of the key points.
Reporter: John Spencer aka Not the Bible