Redeemed: A Macon County Supper Club Story

Finding refuge in religion

Andy Spears
6 min readJun 7, 2022


Photo by Joshua Eckstein on Unsplash

Thanks to the recent church elections, the Macon County Supper Club would now include two deacons. Yes, there was head Deacon Dean, a spiritual rock leaned on by so many-especially Pastor Gregg. But now, Ronald was a newly elected Deacon.

Ronald wasn’t technically a new Deacon. He’d served in that role before. Some thirty years ago, a young husband and father with a beautiful family. In fact, he had been in line to be head Deacon. He’d even led the search committee that found the dynamic young music minister from Georgia.

His re-election to the role of Deacon was a powerful redemption story. One the whole church-the entire community-had witnessed firsthand. Of course, he’d been serving as an usher the past five years. He’d made clear he was working with a servant’s heart.

Many in the church still remembered the day Ronald had come forward to atone for his sins. He was not yet 40 then. He was a teacher and football coach. His wife sang in the church choir and was also a favorite soloist. She’d grown up in the town where they lived. By the time of his great error, they were attending the big church “in town.” Ronald had made Deacon as soon as he was eligible. People already knew and loved Betty, his wife. Now, their children played on Ronald’s football teams or took his classes at the local school.

The Wednesday before Ronald’s speech of contrition before the body of the Lord, he’d been arrested on his way home from school. When he was pulled over, he thought it was just another speeding ticket. He was a frequent flier in traffic court. Instead, the officers (there were two), notified him he was under arrest immediately.

When they took him to county jail, he found out exactly why. They’d been watching him. His management of athletic accounts. His access to funds from school vending machines. Nearly $8000 had gone missing. In the only video they had, Ronald could be seen simply opening a machine and removing the cash and change. When he saw this tape, he confessed to all of it. Yes, he’d doctored accounts, moved money, taken about $8000 in just over a year. The amount made his crime a felony. Ronald was in big trouble.



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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .