DETROIT – Two families from the local Latter-day Saint congregation clashed Sunday, both claiming that the fourth row on the left side of the chapel was “their pew,” sources say.
The Edmondson family claims to have occupied the pew in question every Sunday since 1953. “It’s been passed down through generations in my family. It’s ours. Everybody in the ward knows it,” Paul Edmondson, 71, said.
The Harrison family disagrees, alleging that the Edmondson family has a history of Alzheimers and in fact usually sit in the fourth row on the right side of the chapel every week. “It’s an honest mistake, but one that our family cannot tolerate,” Steve Harrison, 67, said.
Members say the bishop, Carl Hughes, intervened when the situation began to escalate. Bishop Hughes approached the pulpit and asked the Executive Secretary to fetch a chainsaw and cut the pew in half, leaving one half with each family, sources say.
Just before the pew was to be cut, members report that Sister Sheila Harrison, 62, threw herself on the cushioned bench and begged Bishop Hughes to spare the pew and to let the Edmondson family sit there.
[Contributor credit: Rich Hunter]