Religion: Circle 6-6483

The world's sermonizing record is held by the Rev. James Jefferson Davis Hall, 79, a lively, white-goateed, Alabama-born Episcopalian.

Long retired from parish work, he sits all day in his cramped flat off Manhattan's Times Square. In the last 20 months, 140,000 people, simply by dialing his phone number (Circle 6-6483), have heard Mr. Hall preach a sermon.

Pastor Hall began his telephone ministry when someone dialed him by mistake. It has been spread by: 1) word-of-mouth recommendation; 2) practical jokers who leave messages for their friends to call his number. Even the latter sometimes get so interested that when the operator asks...

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