Religion Unplugged

What’s the difference between a ‘pool pit’ and a pulpit? Twitter has the answers

By Bobby Ross Jr. 
| Religion Unplugged

Editor’s note: Every Friday, “Weekend Plug-in” features analysis, fact checking and top headlines from the world of faith. Subscribe now to get this newsletter delivered straight to your inbox. Got feedback or ideas? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at

I read the preacher’s words once — and then again — and tried to make sense of them.

In a Florida TV station’s report on a church promoting the COVID-19 vaccines, minister Charlie McClendon was quoted as saying, “Each week I emphasize it from the pool pit just before I preach.”

The pool pit?

I’ve covered religion for two-plus decades, but I hadn’t come across that term. Strange.

Later, my eyes popped wide open in the middle of the night.

Suddenly, it hit me.


I burst into laughter, much to the chagrin of my sleeping wife.

After I posted on Twitter about the mistake, reporter Gretchen Kernbach offered a gracious mea culpa and corrected the wording.

Even before her tweet, I made clear — amid humorous responses and more serious calls for better religious literacy in journalism — that I wasn’t casting stones. In 30 years of news reporting, I’ve made plenty of doozy mistakes myself.

I just thought this particular one was funny. If you don’t believe me, feel free to ask my wife.

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

%d bloggers like this: