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(KTVI) –     Ten simple words scrawled on a local Applebee`s credit card receipt by a St. Louis minister have internet users from all over the world going crazy.

The minister, unhappy with being forced to pay an automatic gratuity of 18 percent because she was dining with a party of ten, left her two cents behind in ink.  

“I give God ten percent, why do you get 18” St. Louis Pastor Alois Bell, 37, wrote on the receipt Friday night at the Applebee`s on South Kingshighway.

By Tuesday, a picture of her jeremiad had been posted on the internet site Reddit, setting off a web debate of biblical proportions.

“It was just dumb,” Bell said. “It was dumb of me and I can say that because I take responsibilities for all my actions.”

Bell says despite her snarky comment, she did pay her share of the automatic tip for dining with a large party.

“What they didn’t show is the money that I left and that we all left on the table,”  said Bell.  She says she left $6.29 on the table and her credit card was also charged the tip amount. Everyone else at the table also left tips in cash.

As it turns out, the receipt was not posted by the waitress who served the minister`s table. It was placed on Reddit by user gateflan, by Chelsea Welch, another waitress at Applebee`s who saw the receipt and was angered.

“I took a picture of the note because I thought it was comically immature,” Welch said. “I thought it was humorously silly, the fact that someone would not only refuse to tip, not only make themselves out to kind of be a jerk but also play the religion card as an excuse.”

When Bell alerted Applebee`s to the internet posting, Welch was fired.

Bell’s congregation is a downtown storefront church called, ‘Truth In The Word Deliverance Ministries.’ She says Sunday’s sermon will be about forgiveness and redemption.

Welch says she has been getting offers of financial support, and there is now even an online petition to get her re-hired by Applebee`s. People who sign it pledge to eat at Applebees if they rehire her.

The petition says, “We don’t fault them for erring on the side of an angry customer, but a closer look at the matter reveals that this particular angry customer was in the wrong. Applebee’s should correct the error and show that it stands up for its employees who are doing their jobs.”

Fox 2 News reached out to Applebee`s, but received no response.

See the full petition here:  Applebee’s: Rehire Chelsea & We’ll Eat At Your Restaurant At Least Once In 2013

Watch our full interview with Pastor Alois Bell here:


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