No, this isn't a joke. You'll find a wonderful pome about a police chase to start us off and then you'll find three newspaper articles covering naked Pentecostals -- who aren't just naked, they're naked for Jesus!

Twenty Naked Pentacostals in a Pontiac
Author: Chris Stuart, 1994
Album: Lonesome Town
Artist: Cornerstone
1995 Folk Era Productions

I was thumbin' my way down to Baton Rouge, Standin' on the side of the road, When a car pulled over and a voice cried out, "We'll take you where you want to go." I jumped inside, but to my surprise, They were naked as a poor man's toes. It was a tight situation when the whole congregation Said the devil was in my clothes.

Twenty naked Pentacostals in a Pontiac, Brothers and sisters shoutin' in the back, Elders in the front, choir in the trunk, Twenty naked Pentacostals in a Pontiac.

The sermon that morning was on Adam and Eve And the ways of the dreadful snake, Everybody was clappin' when the preacher pointed at me, My body began to shake. I threw off my shirt, and my shoes and my socks, My jeans and my BVDs. We were all in the nude, shoutin' "halleloo!" And singing "Sombody Touched Me."


We had the cruise control set to fifty-five, When a Smokey got on our tail, He pulled up beside, his eyes got wide, And the siren began to wail. We ran off the road toward the tree of life, Lord, the future was looking bleak, We hung on and prayed, everybody was saved, 'Cause we all knew how to turn the other cheek.


Cops Chase Car, Find 20 Nude People
Associated Press -- 20/Aug/93

Police in Vinton, La, were surprised when a driver wearing only a towel got out of a car they stopped, then got back in and sped off. They were dumbfounded when the car hit a tree and disgorged 20 people wearing nothing at all.

"The Lord told them to get rid of all their belongings and go to Louisiana. So they got rid of all their clothes and pocketbooks and wallets and identification and the license plate off their car and came to our gorgeous state," Vinton Police Chief Dennis Drouillard said.

All 20 were from Floydada, Texas, in the Texas Panhandle, about 550 miles from the southwest Louisiana town of Vinton. Drouillard said he believed they all were related.

Driver Sammy Rodriguez and his brother, Danny, both said they were Pentecostal preachers, Drouillard said.

Floydada Police Chief James Hale said he had been looking for the Rodriguez family since Tuesday night, when relatives reported them missing. "They made statements like the devil was after them and Floydada was going to be destroyed if they stayed here," Hale said.

The family left in 5 or 6 cars, abandoning 1 in Lubbock and a second in San Angelo. Police found a thrid in Galveston, along with the family's clothes, pocketbooks, wallets and other belongings.

The chase in Vinton began after a campground owner called police. A Calcasieu Parish deputy stopped their car, and a man wearing only a towel got out.

"When the officer went to ask what was going on, he jumped back in and took off," Drouillard said. They sped down Vinton's main street until the car hit a tree at the baseball park at the end of town.

Fifteen adults, as old as age 63, and 5 children, piled out of the 1990 Pontiac Grand Am.

"And they were completely nude. All 20 of them. Didn't have a stitch of clothes on. I mean, no socks, no underwear, no nothin'. Five of them [the children] were in the trunk," Drouillard said.

The car was totaled, but the injuries all were minor, Drouillard said.

Rodriguez was booked with reckless driving, flight from an officer, property damage and several minor traffic violations.

Associated Press, VINTON, LA

The preacher who crashed a carload of naked Pentecostals into a tree pleaded guilty Wednesday and was allowed to leave town.

Sammy Rodriguez said the family started out in five cars Aug. 17, with whatever they could toss in to take with them. After four of the cars broke down or ran out of gas, the children went into the trunk, which was braced open with a hangar to let in air.

As the group neared San Antonio, Rodriguez's brother said the Lord had told him that their clothes had been cursed by the devil.

"The word that we had received said that everything that we needed would be provided for us as soon as we reached Louisiana," he said.

When they saw the Vinton KOA Kampground, they drove in thinking the Lord wouldprovide a recreational vehicle filled with all the money, food and clothes they needed to get to Florida. "We pulled up next to an RV thinking it was unoccupied and waiting for us, but people were in it," he said.

That isn't how the RV's owner described the incident to campground owner and Vinton City Councilman Don Dupre, who first reported the group to police.

Dupre said a 14-year-old boy wearing a towel went into a neighbor's recreational vehicle and told the owner, who was in the shower, to leave because God had given the RV to his family. About eight people then started rocking the motor home, Dupre said. She leaned on her horn; her neighbor looked out her window and called Dupre.

Naked Preacher Pleads Guilty

VINTON, La., August 25 (AP) -- The preacher who crashed a carload of naked Pentecostals into a tree pleaded guilty to misdemeanor traffic charges Wednesday and was allowed to leave town.

"I would like to apologize to the people of Vinton and Floydada for everything ... and I ask for their forgiveness," Sammy Rodriguez, 29, of Floydada, Texas, said afterward.

Magistrate Kent Savoie asked why Rodriguez and 19 relatives left their clothes in a pilgrimage from Texas that ended Aug. 19 with a 90 mph chase through Vinton.

"I don't know what possessed you to do what you did, but I'm relying on the statement you were told to do so by some higher being," Savoie said.

"It wasn't God, sir," Rodriguez answered, his voice nearly inaudible.

Rodriguez, pastor of the Templo Getsemani Assembly of God Church, told police after his arrest that God had told the family to leave Texas and, later, to leave behind their clothes.

After Wednesday's hearing, he told The Vinton News he had a vision from God on Aug. 17 telling him Judgment Day was at hand and his family had to go to Florida and become evangelists.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to reckless driving and to flight from police, who arrested him after his 1990 Pontiac Grand Am ran through the fence around Vinton's baseball field and into a tree.

If Rodriguez pays $975 to fix the fence and a telephone pole, city prosecutors said they will dismiss a charge of criminal damage to property.

Although Rodriguez and all 19 passengers were naked, police did not bring charges of indecent exposure.

"The statute states that for indecent exposure, you have to be exposing yourself in order to arouse someone," Court Clerk Mary Vice said. "That wasn't their intent."

Savoie gave Rodriguez 90 days to pay for the fence and 30 to pay a $650 fine. Rodriguez was ordered to spend 17 days in jail, but the magistrate gave him credit for six days served and suspended the rest.

Rodriguez said he planned to leave immediately for Floydada, a Texas Panhandle town about 550 miles northwest of Vinton.

"When I return to Floydada I am pretty certain that I will no longer be the pastor of my church, unless the people there can forgive me," he said. "I plan to look for a job as soon as I get back."

Rodriguez' wife's family sent her a plane ticket and she returned Friday, and a relative drove the other 18 people to Wauchula, Fla., relatives said.


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