Clowning around may be a lot of fun, but underneath the make-up, round red noses and polka dot pants, Christians are doing serious work for Christ.
For Jo Patterson of Kempner, she got the call from God to slip on a wig, tie on big shoes, and begin a clown ministry to do Christian outreach in a non-threatening way.
“I was 62 years old when God called me to take over the clown ministry. I asked, ‘God, surely you don’t mean this. It’s not for me.’ I was self-conscious,” she said.
“So I prayed and prayed about it. God showed me through books that he did want me to take this on. Someone gave me the book How to Do a Clown Ministry and I knew it was confirmation from God.”
To date, Patterson has clowned around for Christ for more than two decades. The unusual ministry has become a family affair.
Jo Patterson and Karen Patterson make up the duo “Bubbles-n-Suds” where Jo Patterson is Bubbles and Karen Patterson plays the role of Suds. Their sister in Copperas Cove is also part of the ministry playing the role of “Son-Shine.”
“Riley has been clowning around since he was born. We had him in a carrier in a clown outfit before he could walk,” April Carrahar, Jo Patterson’s daughter, said of her son, who entertained the crowd at the Kempner Fall Festival as part of the clown ministry.
The ladies excel at making balloon animals, playing with silly string, and entertaining crowds with their antics, which include the use of bubbles. They perform in nursing homes in Copperas Cove, Lampasas and Killeen as well as hospitals in the area including Metroplex Hospital and Darnall Army Hospital and the Baptist Children’s Home.
But God is always in the forefront of all of the entertainment. Balloon animals represent Bible story characters, such as animals from Noah’s Ark, and the ladies sing Christian songs built within religious skits that they perform.
“We especially love performing at the nursing homes and hospitals and seeing the reaction of our audiences. They just brighten up. We put smiles on their faces,” Patterson said. “But that’s what God’s love is really all about and this clown ministry is to show the love of Jesus Christ.”
To invite the clown ministry to perform, call Clear Creek Baptist Church at 254-547-2006.