- Associated Press - Sunday, August 30, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - A minister whose sermon about the princess and the frog brought him more than 400 froggy figurines, toys and trinkets has given nearly all of them away as retirement mementos.

The Rev. Lee Weems is moving to San Antonio, Texas, and just won’t have room to pack all those frogs,

He said he’s taking some, but most were taken by church members and other friends during a reception Sunday at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Weems told The Town Talk (https://townta.lk/1JuoXtS) that his collection started with a frog that he bought after preaching about the fairytale frog who was turned back to a prince when a princess kissed him. He says the church’s role is to “kiss us when we are feeling froggy, to bring us back to God.”

People noticed the desktop amphibian and began bringing him frogs from all over the world, he said.

The largest frog was about 18 inches tall and had red scuba tanks on its back, Weems told The Associated Press in a phone interview after the reception. “I’m a scuba diver. So somebody gave me that frog,” he said.

He said the 270 to 300 people at the reception included three rabbis - his old friend, Rabbi Arnie Task, retired from Congregation Gemiluth Chassodin; that synagogue’s current rabbi, Harley Karz-Wagman, and Judy Ginsburgh, an itinerant rabbi.

Task took a potato-chip bag clip decorated with a frog, he said.

Those he kept included one that “helped me survive” after two operations in 2000 to remove his appendix, he told the newspaper.

“I’d press a button, and he’d sing, ‘Shall We Dance?’ I’d be down and out and press that button and laugh as I’d sing and dance with this frog while walking down the hall,” he said.


Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, https://www.thetowntalk.com

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