Interview with Mr. Jack Halford from Distant Thunder by Jimmy Root Jr.
Jimmy Root Jr., author of Distant Thunder, Book One of the Lightning Chronicles, interviews Mr. Jack Halford of Plattsville, Missouri.
Jimmy: Good morning Mr. Halford. Thank you for joining me today. May I call you Jack?
Jack: I’d prefer it if you would call me Mr. Halford.
Jimmy: Okay, Mr. Halford. Would you please tell as a little about yourself, where you are from, your work, and your family?
Jack: I am the owner and CEO of Farmer’s Bank and Trust in Plattsville and have been for thirty years. In fact, I had the distinction of being the youngest owner in the history of Missouri. I purchased FBT when I was just twenty-five years old. Been there ever since.
Jimmy: And your family?
Jack: My family on both sides are long time Plattsville natives. In fact, my grandfather’s family started the town. He was the very first Mayor, and both my dad and I have served in that capacity over the years. I can certainly be said that without the Halfords, there would be no Plattsville.
Jimmy: I see. What about your more immediate family?
Jack: My wife died five years ago and I don’t want to talk about her. We had no kids.
Jimmy: I’m sorry to hear that.
Jack: Let’s just move on. My time is a bit short.
Jimmy: Sure thing, Mr. Halford. Let me ask you a few questions that are more directly related to the story I am putting together. What has been your position in Faith Community Church?
Jack: For as long as I have been an adult I have served Faith Community Church as a member of the Board of Deacons. For most of that time I was the chairman of the board. My Dad built this church. He poured his sweat and money into it. I think it was only fitting that I be placed in leadership so I could carry on his vision. This church has been a fixture in the community, being a real beacon of hope for everyone around. Up until recently, it was a wonderful place to meet people and become friends.
Jimmy: Kind of a club, you mean, in a good sense?
Jack: Exactly! Everything was going smoothly, at least until recently. Then everything started falling apart.
Jimmy: Are you specifically talking about your dispute with Pastor Tyler Dempsey? If so, why has it turned so sour for you, especially during this time of crises?
Jack: As I said, things were going smoothly until that young man began to preach things that most of us in this quiet little town found offensive. He pushed it on us, even though I, or should I say we, asked him to tone it down.
Jimmy: What type of things was Pastor Dempsey preaching?
Jack: End of the world nonsense, you know, prophecy and politics? You know, he had a bad time after losing his brother to the war in Iraq. I think he went a bit nuts, personally, but who am I to say. All I know is that the congregation caught the brunt of it.
Jimmy: What kind of prophecy was he teaching, Nostradamus, Eastern mysticism? What was it?
Jack: No, it was worse. He was twisting the Bible into saying whatever he wanted it to say. I specifically remember the first time he preached on the subject. He actually tried to tell us that the Bible warned us about the destruction of Damascus, Syria. Dempsey even said America was in for more terrorist attacks that would make 9-11 pale in comparison, and that Iran would launch a nuke against Israel.
Jimmy: And you’re saying you didn’t believe it, right? Can you tell us why?
Jack: Sure. I don’t believe the Bible was ever meant to be read literally. It is all figurative. Even some of the stories are more fable than truth. Yet, there the guy was, trying to make us believe it actually said something about our times.
Jimmy: What did you do about it?
Jack: I got the leaders together and we confronted him. I felt the congregation needed to be protected from that drivel. It is divisive and dangerous, as far as I’m concerned.
But then, Dempsey turned it all against me and I was expelled from the church.
Jimmy: My investigation says you were simply removed from the Board, not expelled from the church.
Jack: It’s the same thing. It was my church! He had no right to remove me. He is the one who should have been run out of town on a rail.
Jimmy: And it means nothing that Damascus was destroyed, or that Iran launched a missile against Haifa, Israel?
Jimmy: Are you saying that it was just coincidence that Kansas City was attacked by a nuclear bomb-wielding terrorist? Is it not possible that Ty Dempsey was right, that he’d actually been given a warning from God, and that the prophecies in the Bible are true?
Jack: This interview is over! Good day, Sir.