Study Guide

Pastor Al B. Hall in Hope Was Here

By Joan Bauer

Pastor Al B. Hall

What more can we say about a pastor who orders his eggs with "Satan's Red-Hot Revenge" sauce on the side"? G.T.'s close friend Al B. Hall truly is a bit devilish, but it works in everyone's favor.

When the Election Board administrator tells the gang that there's no time to fix the problem names on G.T.'s petition, Pastor Hall turns on the charm big-time. He walks right up to the woman, smiles like a Cheshire cat and proclaims that what he likes most about the Lord is his willingness to give everyone "a second chance" (79). The Pastor with a passion for hot sauce points directly at her and says,

"Even if we imperfect beings mess up again and again and do things that we'll regret for years to come. The Lord is there understanding our weakness, reaching out his kind, forgiving hand and saying, 'Let me help you change your ways.'" (79)

The woman might not change her ways, but she does change her mind. She extends the deadline to 5:00 that night, just enough time for the group to get G.T.'s name on the official ballot.

Early in the novel G.T. explains his friendship with the Pastor like this:

"He doesn't walk out on me when I overcook a steak and I don't walk out on him when his sermons get too long." (71)

G.T. wouldn't have been surprised that his friend stood by him to the bitter end.

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