Hearts and Souls

For more than 100 years, Ebenezer United Methodist Church has survived as a spiritual beacon and social landmark

More water.

"and the Holy Spirit."

A third stewardess uses a white handkerchief to wipe off the drops winding down Treasure's puffy cheeks. The baby floats in a cloud of crinoline, staring straight ahead, her face expressing calm mixed with a mild dose of confusion.

Brown dips his hand in the chalice again. With a wet index finger he traces a cross on Treasure's forehead. He closes his eyes at the same time he opens his palm, which he rests on her head as if he were feeling for a fever. "May the Lord bless you," he whispers in her ear.

Treasure yawns. Brown opens his eyes and looks down at her gaping mouth, which makes him smile. She is a fourth-generation Miamian. She is the newest member of the Ebenezer family. As the congregation looks on, he draws Treasure close, cradling her in his arms tenderly, carefully, holding her as if she were the most important person in the church.

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