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Short Stories: Dreamy Lips

robert gerencser 1950's

I grew up in an Evangelical Christian home. While living in California in the early 1960s, my parents got saved at Scott Memorial Baptist Church (now Shadow Mountain Community Church) in El Cajon. Tim La Haye was the pastor of Scott Memorial, at the time. LaHaye is best known for co-authoring the Left Behind books and The Act of Marriage. After a couple of years in California looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Dad packed his family up and moved them back to Bryan, Ohio — his birthplace. I was eight years old.

We lived in a small brick home on Mulberry Street. Down the street was the Southern Baptist church we attended at the time, Eastland Baptist Chapel. Dad had an 8 mm movie camera. He was quite proud of his video masterpieces. One weekend night, Dad set up the movie screen so the Gerencser family could watch movies. We watched several movies about our move to and from California and various family events. As time crawled on, I became bored, so I started going through Dad’s titled movies, hoping to find something a bit more exciting than travel clips. I came upon a movie titled Dreamy Lips.

I pulled Dreamy Lips out of the box and asked Dad what it was about. Embarrassed, he quickly said “None of your business,” and quickly grabbed the movie from my hand. Movie night was officially over. It would be years later before I learned that Dreamy Lips was a stag film; that Dad had a collection of pornos.

While I find this story amusing today, it is a reminder that my parents lived a double life — as all Christians do. There was the church life, the oh, how I love Jesus life; and then there was the private life behind closed doors, one filled with contradictions and, at times, pain and heartache.

Most of Dad’s movies have been lost to time. I have one that was converted to a VCR tape. I hope to have it put on DVD so my grandchildren can “enjoy” one of Bob Gerencser’s famous movies.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar

    Your dad had movies. My Christian dad, who attended church every Sunday, played Peter in the Easter play, watched every Billy Graham crusade, and attended Spanish Evangelical meetings, had a huge stack of Playboy magazines in his closet. Really huge. And I’m not even going to mention the dysfunctional stuff 🤐

  2. Avatar

    I never learned the real story, but one of the pastor’s of our Southern Baptist church got fired, and the rumor among us kids was that Pastor Bob got busted for driving while intoxicated and had a trunk full of porn. The intoxication I believe – my friend’s mom said he called her drunk and told her she wasn’t being properly submissive to her husband because she brought the kids to church while the husband worked on Sundays. She was apparently supposed to stay home until he figured out he should be head of the family, get a new job, and cart them all to church.

  3. Avatar
    Yulya Sevelova

    Cute story,Bruce. I wish you could have put the movie where someone would find it, before your dad grabbed it. That would have been hilarious !

  4. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    I’ll repeat William Blake’s wonderful lines:

    Prisons are built from stones of law
    Brothels from bricks of religion.

    Where would the porn industry be without churches, synagogues, mosques and other institutions of worship?

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