Growing up, a lot of people have fond memories of attending their church for services and other activities. For some, the church makes such a big impact on them, they decide to pursue a career within it. This applied to one Reddit user, "Dylan," whose devotion and love to his church made him want to enter a job within that field. However, when one nasty minister got in his way, Dylan knew he had to step up and handle it.
Growing up, Dylan spent a lot of his time at his local church.
"I played piano for [the] youth choir, preached at the Children's Church service," Dylan recalled of his fond memories. "[I] drove the church bus to pick up 'unchurched' children, etc & ad infinitum. I did all of this for free, not even getting reimbursed for expenses."
Sure he wasn't getting paid for this, but it didn't matter to Dylan since he loved every bit of it.
For years, Dylan was a happy member of his church and community. However, all good things must come to an end. In this instance, "the end" came in the form of a new Minister of Music, Education, And Youth, "Mr. Seckle." As soon as he met him, Dylan immediately got a bad vibe.
"This guy was as charming as an ice cream sundae with razor blades in it," Dylan described Mr. Seckle.
First impressions as vital to forming a good relationship, but Mr. Seckle didn't get that memo. As soon as he met the church youth group, he made it known he wasn't there to be friends with them, but to "[straighten them out]."
Yet, the adults did not seem to see what Dylan and the other members of the youth group did. All of the adults loved him, while the children despised him. Within weeks, attendance had drastically dropped as a result of high school and college students no longer attending the church. In a normal instance, Mr. Seckle would have gotten into a lot of trouble over losing so many members.
Yet, in front of the entire congregation during a Sunday morning service, Mr. Seckle shared his take on the situation.
Not seeing the loss of a huge part of the church as an issue, Mr. Seckle proudly claimed he had "eliminated all of the thorny ground from the Youth Group." To Dylan's utter disbelief, the pastors and deacons didn't see an issue with this. In fact, they praised him for it!
Unfortunately, Mr. Seckle's reign of terror was far from over. He set his sights on a new target; the pastor's job. The current pastor, "Pastor Jim," was around 60 years old. Despite his old age, he was able to perform his job perfectly fine.
But, the rumor mill soon turned its ugly head. Hearsay of Pastor Jim's health and memory issues began to make its way around the church. However, Dylan knew there was no truth to these; Pastor Jim was an active runner and cyclist, and "he frequently quoted long Bible passages from the pulpit, entirely from memory without misstating a single word, sometimes in Greek or Hebrew."
Even the people who knew Pastor Jim for years succumbed to these lies, and within days, Pastor Jim was demoted. Dylan couldn't believe how quickly and easily Mr. Seckle had overtaken him, and to his surprise, soon found himself in Mr. Seckle's crosshairs.
One day, a few months after getting a full-time job with the church, Dylan was informed by Mr. Seckle his "services were no longer needed." Much to Dylan's horror, he learned all of the jobs he had been doing for free were now given to members of Mr. Seckle's family, except they were going to be paid for them.
Rightfully hurt by his, Dylan paid Pastor Jim a visit to try to shed some light on the situation. All he would say was "[people were] saying things," and it was in Dylan's best interest to drop the situation if he wanted Pastor Jim to write him a letter of recommendation for their denomination's Minister's School.
Not about to take this lying down, Dylan immediately began questioning his friends about what was being said about him. According to them, Dylan had "gotten [his] girlfriend pregnant, and forced her to have an abortion, and [he'd] been arrested for possession of [illegal substances], and [his] dad had had to pay a bunch of money to hush it up."
Dylan could not believe what he was hearing; he had not had a girlfriend for a few years, and he had never laid eyes on an illegal substance.
Although it hurt him to do so, Dylan knew he had to keep his distance from the place he considered a second home. He also knew he had to do this if he wanted to get a letter of recommendation from Pastor Jim.
During his time away, Dylan couldn't help but think of Mr. Seckle. Prior to coming to his church and ruining his life, Mr. Seckle worked at a church twice the size of Dylan's about 50 miles away. So, what caused him to leave that opportunity for that of a smaller parish? Surely, it wasn't just to torture and make people's lives miserable. There was something fishy going on, and Dylan knew just the person to help him.
One of Dylan's uncles and his family lived in the same town as Mr. Seckle's former church. After explaining the situation to his cousin, "Hannah," she and Dylan set off to try to uncover the reason why Mr. Seckle moved.
Every single one of Hannah's friends they talked to said he was a disgusting man. Mr. Seckle was always flirting with the young, underage girls, and enjoyed inappropriately touching them whenever their parents were not around. Despite all of this horrific behavior, the adults didn't sense any issues with him because he "kept the youth in line."
For the next weeks, Dylan and Hannah returned to Mr. Seckle's church for the Sunday service to gather more evidence. They actually made a nice little routine out of this; they would go to church to learn more about Mr. Seckle's horrific actions, and then enjoy a nice lunch at Hannah's house.
During all of this, Dylan made sure to keep it as low-key as he could. He did not want Pastor Jim to learn about what he was doing since he could ruin Dylan's ministerial career before it even began.
After about a month, the dynamic duo had more than enough proof of what type of person Mr. Seckle truly was. Although, nothing topped what happened when Hannah introduced Dylan to "Fred."
Leading Hannah and Dylan into a room, Fred revealed Mr. Seckle had been hooking up with his wife. Fred spent months gathering evidence in the form of texts, voice mails, emails, and even photos and videos. Fred then took his wife to court, demanding "a divorce, full custody of the children, their house, his retirement money, his business, her engagement [and] wedding rings, everything, even the dog."
Fred then turned his rage to Mr. Seckle, whom he truly believed did this because he wanted to ruin Fred's marriage. Taking matters into his own hands, Fred and a few of his friends decided to pay Mr. Seckle a little visit.
Armed with the videos of Mr. Seckle sleeping with his wife, Fred told him, "I'm going to stand here and watch you pack up your stuff, then you're going to walk out of this building and never show your [face] in this town again. Or we'll be back," in the voice of a man seething with rage.
Staring into the eyes of an enraged six-feet man weighing at least 300 pounds of pure muscle, Mr. Seckle did exactly was he was told and moved to Dylan's hometown. Only, Fred still harbored rage at the man.
Wanting to give Fred an outlet for his emotions, Dylan returned to his church the following Monday with a gift.
It was a directory of his old church.
"It had home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for pretty much every member of the church," Dylan said. "I showed him the pages that listed all of the Deacons and other church leaders. And I marked some of the church's major financial donors."
Knowing the storm that was about to rain down upon Mr. Seckle, Dylan excitedly returned to his church for the first time in what seemed like forever. One of the first things he noticed was how Pastor Jim seemed to be sweating buckets during the sermon, and how his face went as white as a ghost when he noticed Dylan.
Little did he know how quickly and hard Fred worked. Using the directory Dylan gave him, Fred mailed "'anonymous' emails with photos and videos of [Mr. Seckle] and Fred's wife in various compromising positions and states of undress" to the church. To sweetener the pot, "Deacons and major donors got emails plus Express Mail packages just for good measure. [Mr. Seckle- and [Pastor Jim] had been left out - they didn't know anything until the phone calls started pouring in."
Things only got worse from there, as Pastor Jim and Mr. Seckle almost lost their jobs due to lying about why Mr. Seckle left his former job. The two managed to remain working in the pulpits by the skin of their teeth, but nothing was able to prevent a considerable number of members from leaving the church.
Fred almost found himself in some hot water for sending unsolicited inappropriate pictures, but nothing ever came of it. Neither Mr. Seckle's former nor current churches wanted this to go to court since Mr. Seckle's escapades with Fred's wife and numerous unbecoming interactions with the underage girls would result in a public record.
It didn't take much for Pastor Jim to figure out Dylan was behind all of this, meaning Dylan has lost his chance of a preaching career. Not that it bothered Dylan very much, since he had lost all interest after seeing Pastor Jim and Mr. Seckle's true colors. Luckily, Dylan discovered Archaeology was his true passion and began pursuing a career within that field.
Even though Dylan was enjoying this life, something happened a few years later that made everything so much sweeter.
All was good in Dylan's life; he had "been teaching at a large, public university in the Midwest of the USA, with summer gigs on archaeological digs in Europe," and was loving every minute of it.
To make things even better, one of his friends decided to come to visit him. As he was waiting for his friend at the bus stop, Dylan stopped by a newsstand to grab some snacks.
If Dylan had to rank the top 10 best moments in his life, this would be number #1 as he recognized none other than Mr. Seckle restocking candy and adult magazines at the newsstand. Turning as red as a beet, he quickly turned away from Dylan, burying his head in his work.
Dylan could only stare at the man who once brought only terror and pain to his life, as well as many others. Dylan relaxed took a bite of his candy bar, noting the only thing sweeter than his delicious chocolate was Mr. Seckle's rightfully deserved karama.