CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio - Last Saturday evening, 24-year old Noah Swayne decided to impress his girlfriend so he attended a healing service with her at Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, presided over by the Rev. Ernest Angley, the stocky, toupee-wearing televangelist from rural North Carolina who sounds like a cross between Lawrence Welk and Gomer Pyle.

The first part of the service consisted of Angley conducting a 40-minute collection. "Everyone say, 'Lord, tell me what to give in this offering tonight,'" Angley implored the crowd. "Wouldn't you rather give your money to God," he bellowed, "than to doctors and drugstores?" Swayne wondered to himself, if all the money goes to God, where does God do his banking, and how large must those accounts be?

Swayne's girlfriend insisted he participate in the healing ceremony to cure a back injury suffered doing construction. This is always the highlight of Angley's services where he lays hands on the afflicted to cast out their various illnesses. Swayne reluctantly took his place in line amidst a cavalcade of neck braces, slings and crutches. When it was his turn, the preacher seized Swayne by the shoulders and with a shrieking "Heeeaaalllll!" smacked him in the forehead with a force at least equivalent to the blow that felled Saint Paul at Damascus. With knees locked, Swayne fell backward in what appeared to be a holy swoon, directly into the arms of one of Angley's burly bouncers. Angley chortled: "He felt that, all right."

In fact, the blow rendered Swayne unconscious. After several minutes of Swayne lying on the floor, even Angley thought he was overacting. "Move him out of here," the preacher said to a bouncer, sotto voce. Swayne was carried to the back of the church where a crowd of believers gathered around him, realizing something was wrong. A wheelchair-bound man jumped up and dashed over to help. "I was an Army medic," he said. "Someone should call an ambulance."

That suggestion was met with icy glares. The rest of the believers knew instantly there was only one cure possible. They placed Swayne on a gurney, and back in line they carried him to be healed. Several of the "afflicted" allowed Swayne's entourage to cut ahead, and when they approached Angley, the preacher gave no indication he recognized Swayne. The great man leaned over to Swayne's left ear and slowly shouted, "Can you say 'bay-bay?'" Rarely had northeast Ohio ever heard the word "baby" pronounced in this manner. Angley repeated even louder, "Can you say, 'bay-bay?'" Swayne was motionless. Then Angley seized him by the head and spoke in a language no one from these parts, or likely any other parts, had ever heard. Then came the shrieking "Heeeaaalllll!" and yet another blow to the forehead. Angley slumped into a chair as if all the energy had been zapped from his body.

Suddenly, Swayne's eyes opened, and he rose from the gurney. His back felt better, too.

"Praise the Lord," exclaimed Angley to the applause of the congregation. "Another believer healed."

Swayne's girlfriend clutched his arm and guided him toward the exit. "Aren't you glad I made you go up?" she gushed. Swayne spun his head around on his way out of church, fixating on Angley's toupee, and wondering what to make of the evening.