ASHEVILLE- Street preacher George Fontoya gets to yell at Asheville sinners once a year during Bele Chere and the prospect of not getting that opportunity would make Fontoya’s life a living hell.
“Look 51 weeks a year I have to sit and listen to people’s mediocre problems,” said Fontoya.
“Oh what’s that? Your husband doesn’t love you anymore? Boo hoo! There are people in North Korea right now that would eat your husband, because they are starving. My congregations is always ‘father this, father that.’ Yelling at sinners in Asheville at Bele Chere is the one time a year I get a release.”
The City of Asheville made an informal decision last week to stop funding Bele Chere and unless private entities decide to step up to continue the festival, this year will be the last Bele Chere.
“I just pray God will make the right decision and let Bele Chere continue,” said Fontoya.
“If the Lord doesn’t allow the festival to continue, I may have to question my own faith. It is just so fun to yell at people. It feels good to release 51 weeks of agitation about the dumb people in my congregation on unsuspecting sinners. If God denies me that opportunity, I may just have to smite him.”
Fontoya also hopes Bele Chere will continue that way he can catch up with his old seminary friends.
“Bele Chere is like a high school reunion for us folks in the God field,” said Fontoya.
“I always go on a diet a couple months before Bele Chere, because I don’t want to be the fat guy at the reunion. It is also interesting to see what people are up to. Last year we found out Father Tom slept with a member of his congregation and now he is working for the sanitation department in Savannah. I guess you could say God took a dump on him and now hew works in a dump.”
Fontoya has organized a ministry petition asking the City of Asheville to restore funding to Bele Chere. The City has yet to respond to Fontoya’s petition.
A phone call placed Tuesday evening requesting comment from God was not immediately returned. Heaven has had some spotty cell phone service the last couple weeks.