Ebenezer Goodman took the Hebrew meaning of his name, “stone of help,” quite literally and felt called to the ministry early in life. After completing a series of increasingly rigorous theological degrees on scholarship, he became the lead preacher at the Ebenezer Church–a coincidence that he found compelling and suggestive of divine intervention. However, many assumed that he had named the church after himself in a fit of pique, a notion that persisted even after he paid for a large stone to sit out in front of the building with the name of the church and the Hebrew meaning of Ebenezer engraved thereupon.

Despite his intense faith and impeccable credentials, Rev. Goodman is not a popular figure, as he is seen as being fussy, intolerant, and irritable even by his own parishioners. He routinely picks fights with people that he believes are enemies of the church, from Flora Canton’s adjoining–and overgrown–estate to local bars that feature live music and video poker. The people appreciate his passion, and he garnered 42% of the vote in a failed bid for local office, but that doesn’t mean they like him personally.

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