HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A lot of people believe they have a look-a-like somewhere in the world. One WHNT News 19 viewer thinks one of our team members has a lot in common with her pastor.
Jeneen Gresham told us, “I love the way he explains the weather.” She’s a huge Ben Smith fan. “And I love the way he's jovial with the anchors, it's just a lot of fun,” she said. “And we enjoy it.”
She also thinks Ben favors her pastor. “I look at him at church and I'm like, 'That's Ben Smith preaching the sermon,” she said laughing. “And when I'm watching the news I'm like, 'There's my pastor giving the weather.” She added, “Their movements, their voice, everything about them is so similar so I just thought it would be a dream come true to kind of bring them together and let them meet.”
We had to see for ourselves. “Apparently, this guy, he looks like me, he sounds like me,” Morning meteorologist Ben Smith said. “I act like him, I sound like him. We’re going to find out.” We invited Pastor Michael Ross to the station. “He thinks he's going to be interviewed but he's going to be meeting Ben Smith for the first time,” Janeen said with a big smile.
Okay, we fibbed to a minister but we think God will forgive us. He was on a set in the corner of the studio having a conversation with WHNT News 19’s Steve Johnson when Ben Smith walked in and said, “Excuse us Steve Johnson.” He held out his hand to meet Pastor Ross who extended a hand of fellowship and said, “How're you doing, sir?” They both smiled. “Hey! Nice meeting you,” Pastor Ross responded.
Other than a difference in height, they do look a lot alike. “Well, if you look like me, and I look like you, that's a compliment,” the pastor said laughing. But it went beyond physical appearance. “We have the exact same glasses,” Ben said. “Look at that.”
Similarities aside, how would they do swapping jobs? Ben and the pastor moved to the big green wall in the studio where the graphics magically appear behind them during a live broadcast. Ben gave him a few tips on how to handle his first forecast. “When you're moving your arm, you want to move it up and down like this and there's a clicker,” Ben said.
After a few more helpful hints, Pastor Ross tried his hand at the weather wall. “And I also see that it's 82 in Decatur,” he said pointing to the temperature. “What a beautiful and sunny day that we have!” It was a summer forecast that feels more like heaven than hades. “And I see we have 85 in Muscle Shoals,” he continued. “I'm just looking for a beautiful day all over the state of Alabama.”
The pastor’s wife was impressed. “It’s wonderful. It's a big surprise,” Judy Ross said. “It was great! I think he missed his calling.” But put the shoe on the other foot. Ben pulled up a lectern and got some words of advice from the pastor. “One of the best things you can do to be a successful pastor is to get to know your people,” he said.
Ben asked him what his next sermon was called. He told him. Ben then addressed his congregation made up of several people in the studio and said, “Today's message is from James Chapter 1, verses 1 through 4. And I'm calling it Hot Diggidy Dog.” They laughed and applauded.
You can take the pastor out of the pulpit, but you can’t replace him with a meteorologist. Pastor Ross served the New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church on Pulaski pike for seven years. He's now moved to a church in Athens.