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On Video, President Clinton Caught Napping in Church

I can’t help myself. I tried to resist, but I just cannot help myself. You must see this.

Video taken in Harlem’s Convent Avenue Baptist Church. Link and picture from New York Post.

Check out this video, where you will see poor, exhausted Bill trying valiantly, albeit unsuccessfully, to stay awake during this speech in honor of Martin Luther King. I then invite you back for a little friendly talk which will include a personal confession where I will try to redeem myself from being so mean as to boost the showing around the world of this raw moment.

Post video discussion and confession:

1. I have sat on a platform, listening to a speaker, and fought as valiantly as did Bill against sleeping, and lost the fight as surely and sadly as he did. I have been so sleepy, and tried so hard to stay awake, that I felt absolutely cross-eyed.

2. I don’t believe I have ever been so videoed.

3. Campaigning for the Presidency of the United States must be one of the most exhausting jobs in the world.

4. A time or two as I have addressed an audience, I have observed someone with the same glazed, helpless eyes as had Bill. Didn’t do too much for my ego.
5. I don’t believe I ever heard snoring from any in my audience. To be honest, though, I can’t guarantee it hasn’t happened.

6. A story from Western Apostolic Bible College (now Christian Life College) in Stockton, CA. will end this nonsense. (I have seen no documentation of this story, but have heard it told many times, and believe it to be πŸ™‚ true.)

This took place many years ago in the middle of one of Pastor Haney’s sermons. Pastor Haney was also the college president, and sitting on the platform with other ministers and students was his son, Kenneth. At a quiet moment during the sermon’s delivery, Kenneth tapped on the shoulder a fellow-student who had succumbed to slumber as did Bill Clinton. Urgently, he whispered to the sleeper, “Dad wants you to stand and dismiss the service.”

Struggling and groggy, but faithful to the call, the student rose to his feet and in a loud and righteous voice, began a beautiful prayer of dismissal.

(If either President Clinton or Rev. Kenneth Haney chances by today…please forgive me. I told you in the beginning I just cannot help myself today.)


My devotional blog is here. (Afraid I really need it!)

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

13 replies on “On Video, President Clinton Caught Napping in Church”

I couldn’t help but think about how tired he must be keeping up with the pace of the campaigning – he was a young president but now? not so much. It is worth a chuckle of the empathetic kind.


Hi, Ellen. You’ve got it…all in fun.


Sis.Buxton, I remember someone who I respect and esteem very highly dozing the same way as Bill Clinton. I felt so sorry for him knowing what a busy person he is and the minimal sleep he gets. Right then, I just wanted to provide a cover for him because I knew people might laugh… and you know, later I did laugh. I laughed my head off. If dignity can be saved, I say save it. But with cameras everywhere that was impossible.”Bill what were you thinking?”
Sad but hilariously, we’ve all been there.

Von de Leigh, I wish we could see pan shots of the audience, and also the face of the camera operator. He was probably wanting to hoot aloud…but it was church…and shhh…you might wake someone.


Carol mentioned about monotone… and it reminded me of my darling hubby. He’s not NEARLY as monotone as he used to be, especially when preaching. He just has a gentleness about him.

Back when I worked a really high-stress job, I would ask him to read to me or tell me about his day, knowing that his voice would soothe me to sleep. So when he first began pastoring this church, I asked him to PLEASE have someone else read scripture, or else I would fall asleep in this, our new church.

Thankfully I’ve become more attentive, and he’s become more espressive and I haven’t ever fallen alseep in church. But then, in a little over a week, I will be another year older (35) and then all bets are off. I can be rounded up to 40 and I may as well sign up for AARP, right?

heee heee

I’m at least making myself laugh tonight. I have enjoyed the lively discussion here.

Jayleigh, your bright hair does not appear to have enough gray for you to be eligible for AARP…gonna have to wait a few years…so you can’t sleep in church, yet.

Your husband sounds so charming. I’m definitely hoping it will work out for us all to meet some time. okay, okay, you sound charming, too!


It’s funny to see people wander off to the land of Nod during church. I remember in one church service I was in, a man actually fell asleep and started tipping sideways. He just missed landing his head in a lady’s lap, and it would have been really bad, because she wasn’t his wife. I remember when I was attending ABI having a terrible time staying awake during our student Sunday School classes. While we had a good teacher, he also happened to be very monotone, which doesn’t help when you’re tired to begin with. I remember one particular Sunday morning catching myself nodding off a few times. I didn’t realize how tired I was until a moment came where I saw that my head was about an inch away from hitting the pew in front of me. I quickly jerked my body back so as not to hit the pew. That created enough of a disturbance that it was just as embarrassing as it would have been if I did indeed hit my head on that pew. Fortunately, I was wide awake for the remainder of the lesson. πŸ™‚

It’s strange that what is so miserable to the sleepy person appears funny to the rest of us. I’ve laughed for a couple of hours about this video. It has tickled my “funny bone.”


Yes, been THAT tired!!! One year, it was at ladies conference and my iron counts had been really low. It was absolutely miserable.

Here’s another funny one. Brian’s dad was a milkman and started work at 3 a.m. They had been in a 12 week revival (church EVERY night) and he was a young minister on I.H.Terry’s platform. One night, he fell asleep. Bro. Terry stopped the entire service, told Brian’s dad to go get a drink. He started toward the side of the platform and Bro. Terry said, “No. Walk right down the middle aisle.” He then proceeded to watch him walk out, waited for him to get a drink, return to the platform, and then allowed the service to continue. Brian’s dad has never fallen asleep in church again.

Oh, poor Brother Allard…but that sounds just like I. H. Terry.


That is funny! Been there, done that, thankfully never on videotape as far as I know. πŸ˜€

I’m telling you, Anna, these video cameras are going to get us, and record forever our ugly moments. I may get Jerry to start preaching against them!


Sometimes it is simply old age. Not for you but for my Bill. He can’t help himself either. Even when there is a loud, bousterous preacher, Sunday mornings he just can’t help falling asleep. Why? I don’t know but he really hates it when this happens. I just tell him that it comes with age. Try to keep him from feeling too bad about it.

I don’t know, Esther. How elderly is Bill–President Bill?


I saw this yesterday and LOL. It’s just too funny…especially since most of us church goers have been in that situation at least once.

I believe this strikes us so funny because we’ve been in the very spot. I love it when he has a long lapse, jerks upright and immediately begins nodding his affirmation to the speaker. I can almost feel that drugged sensation he is fighting. It’s terrible.


ooh that is almost evil…. hehehehe

I bet he didn’t fall asleep again in church!

Jayleigh, he probably knew there were cameras. I think sometimes our minds just take over and put us to sleep when we are exhausted. Promise you’ll never video me if you catch me falling asleep. πŸ™‚


LOL. There is a lesson here, and it isn’t for the tired listener. πŸ™‚

Helen, have you ever been that sleepy when you knew dozens or hundreds of eyes were looking at you? It’s terrible. And now with video cameras everywhere, it is torment when you’re that tired on a platform.


Why don’t you do the same on Bush and Company?

Hello, Lolo. You know I really tried to avoid this being thought political, especially by admitting to falling asleep in church myself, and by telling of a friend of mine doing a mean trick in church.

Do you have the link to a similar video of President Bush sleeping in church? I’d love to take a look at it, and if it’s as funny as this one, I promise I will laugh. No problem at all.

Edit: I do want to add, though, Lolo, that since this is a personal blog, I think it is okay for me to state my own political conclusions and beliefs. If I wanted to post a picture of a candidate I was backing, I don’t think I am obligated to post pictures of all the candidates.

Every Republican with a blog can do the same. Every Democrat can. Every Independent can do the same. Great, isn’t it that we can have opposing views and feel comfortable in voicing them. I do think we should be polite and kind, and I try to do that.


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