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Laughter is the best medicine says performer

Throw in some down-home folksy humor with a little Gospel music and you have a recipe for what Statesville resident Renea Henderson calls “the best medicine” – laughter.
The humorist recently performed as Ima Klutz for a standing-room-only house at the monthly Wayne’s Second Friday Feast, held at Capt’n Pete’s Restaurant, N.C. 150, Denver.
Henderson performs other characters besides Ima Klutz; there’s Claudene, Claudia the Clown and Bertie the Bag Lady.
“My characters aren’t based on anyone I know in real life,” said Henderson. “They’re all loosely based on Vicki Lawrence’s character, Thelma Harper, in the TV show ‘Mama’s Family.’”
While Henderson said her favorite character is Bertie, she admitted Ima Klutz holds special meaning: the character reminds her of her husband, minister Johnny Henderson.
“A lot of things Ima says comes from stories Johhny’s told on me,” said Henderson.
Her appearance this past Friday marks her fifth program at Wayne’s Feast, a popular monthly gathering of senior citizens.
During her performance, Henderson’s stories consisted of the misadventures of her husband, Cletus.
“My husband eats so many TV dinners, every time he see tin foil, he gets hungry,” said Klutz. “He told me he wasn’t getting me anything for Christmas this year because I didn’t use what he got me last year. I told him he got us burial plots.”
Ima Klutz also told stories of her forgetful yet ready-to-gossip sister, Mozelle.
“Mozelle told the preacher she sinned because she gossiped and that she wanted to lay her tongue on the altar. He told her the altar was only 15 feet long,” said Klutz. “Mozelle was driving one day and stopped at a red light. When it turned green, I said ‘are we going’ and she said, ‘who’s driving?’”
Henderson concluded her program by singing two songs, the last of which presented the heart of the message of Renea Henderson and her ministry: Jesus loves everyone.
It’s a message she literally spreads all over the world.
“I’ve been doing this ministry for the past 24 years,” said Henderson. “I sang in India where my husband attended a missions conference.”
She added she’s traveling to Honduras in the near future and will perform there.
Henderson is a believer in the saying, “laughter is the best medicine,” and uses Proverbs 17:22 as a cornerstone for her ministry.
That verse reads, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
Earl Cloninger and his wife, Dot, were at Wayne’s Feast and enjoyed Henderson’s performance.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen her,” said Earl Cloninger. “It was a really good program.”
Denise Dean said it’s not the first time she’s seen Henderson and her characters.
“My family and I saw her at Riverview Baptist about 18 months ago,” said Dean. “She was funny as ‘Cloroxa.’ We came to Wayne’s Feast because we knew she was going to be here.”
Henderson estimates she performed 150 shows in 2005 and said she expects to do as many this year.
“This isn’t something that I started out to do,” said Henderson. “Doing this ministry wasn’t my intention. The Lord’s taken this and made it what He wanted.”

Henderson shares family entertainment and Christian ministry through a mixture of comedy, drama, music, children’s ministry, and motivational speaking at retreats, conferences and special events. For more information, call Renea Henderson at (336) 873-7995 or visit the Web site: www.youlaughalot.org.

by Jon Mayhew

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