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Gloria Stafford

story by Miriam Craft

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"I ain't never been hit like that," Jermaine Stafford shook his head and smiled, "I was out." When Gloria Stafford heard that her son Jermaine got a concussion during his high school football game in Hopkinsville, she rushed home from a Friday evening revival to make sure he was all right. Later that night they relaxed on the couch together, waiting for her husband to come home from work so they could tell him the story.

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Tired and wanting to relax, James Stafford sits in the kitchen and surrounds his thoughts with a gentle haze of smoke. His son had busted the headlight on Gloria's truck the night before and he and Gloria were discussing how they were going to fix it.

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When Gloria gets ready to go to church she plays the gospel music pretty loud. It rang through the house while she dressed for a Friday night revival.

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Drawn to the light at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, a pew-packing crowd arrives for a Friday night revival meeting. Planned to run for three days, the event was extended for an extra two after it became clear that special guest preacher Norris Mills was inspiring more enthusiastic revivalists than the church could accomodate. Gloria brought one of the children from daycare with her to share the experience.

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"Sometimes I don't realize how tired I am till I go to bed," Gloria said. Her day starts early, around 6:30 or 7 a.m., and ends sometimes as late as 1 a.m.