When I was a kid, our Meeting only had a handful of people. It was 3 or 4 families with kids around my age, two sets of grandparents and a few single folks. It sounds weird now that I think back on it, but it was totally normal at the time!
We would hold public lectures from time to time in hopes of recruiting new members. It was extremely rare for anyone from the public to actually join us, but we did recruit John from Cutco.
I only really remember two things about him. The first thing I recall is that he was the first person I witnessed being baptized.
Our Meeting was held in a historic house from the 1700’s (The Richardson House in Langhorne PA, if you want to know the deets). The large main room was where we held memorial services and lectures, and the back room was a large kitchen, complete with an enormous fireplace. (This has no relevance to the story, but I always thought the building was really cool).
A large trough was acquired, set up in the kitchen and filled with water. We came into the room and stood around in a semi-circle to watch the baptism. John sat in the water in a white robe. Two of the men from our meeting kneeled beside him and said a few words and then *splish splash* he got dunked. My friend and I were disappointed that it was so quick. I had expected them to hold him under a bit longer to make sure to wash off all the sins, or that he would come out of the water in a more dramatic fashion.
The second thing I remember about John was that he sold Cutco knives. We had weekly bible study gatherings at each other’s houses, and he would bring along his cutlery displays. Being a child, I wasn’t particularly interested in it but it wasn’t long before everyone I knew had a Cutco knife set displayed in their kitchen.
John from Cutco wasn’t a part of our meeting for very long. I don’t know if he went through the baptism stuff before or after he sold everyone the knives. It seemed like a lot of effort to go through just to make a few sales, but perhaps he enjoyed infiltrating obscure religious sects and indoctrinating them on the the merits of good quality cutlery.