Judgment Delayed: Rapture fizzles, but believers remain

Judgment Day believer Lester McLendon, 58, of Newark, N.J., came to be with other believers of the eBible Fellowship at a Delaware County union hall. (Stephanie Farr / Staff)

At a union hall in Delaware County where, just one week ago, 150 Judgment Day believers gathered to celebrate their last Sunday on earth, there were signs yesterday that the believers may have indeed been raptured.

The building was locked and the parking lot desolate - except for a single crumpled blue hoodie and a toy frog that lay on its back, all bug-eyed and soulless.

The Dumpster on the lot was filled with the remnants of a decent last meal - pizza boxes and a case of Rolling Rock - and broken bottles of Jagermeister and beer littered the lot's perimeter.

But then up walked believer Lester McLendon, alive and well, sporting a faded, black cap that read "Judgement Day May 21, 2011" and a jacket with "FamilyRadio.com" printed on the breast.


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"We had a rough day yesterday," said McLendon, 58, who traveled to the hall in Linwood, Delaware County, from his home in Newark, N.J. "I was coming down here to find out how this thing got backfired."

He wanted to be with other disappointed members of the eBible Fellowship, which had been meeting weekly and promoting Family Radio's message that Judgment Day would occur on Saturday.

Problem was, no one else had the guts to show up. Like Family Radio's Harold Camping, the 89-year-old Christian media mogul from Oakland, Calif., who said he gleaned the day of Rapture from the Bible, local believers went into hiding.

But not McLendon.

Although disappointed that the Rapture didn't occur, he said that what Saturday was really about was the "end of salvation." From here on in, no one else can be saved, he said.

McLendon said the new-and-improved Judgment Day is Oct. 21.

"That is going to be the end of the world, definitely," he said. "May 21 was just an appetizer for the end of the world."

When he wasn't raptured on Saturday, McLendon said he called his Bible leader, who told him, "You have to be patient. God had to work this one out."

The voice mail of his "other" Bible leader, Chris McCann, 49, of Darby, who oversees the eBible Fellowship, was full, he said.

Indeed it was. McCann did not answer phone calls yesterday, and his voice mail box was not accepting messages.

McLendon said he will continue studying his Bible verses until the next Judgment Day comes.

"I'm ready to pack it in when the Rapture comes," he said. "And Oct. 21 is going to be the real granddaddy of Judgment Days."

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