A megachurch in Wylam, Alabama, will unveil for the first time on Saturday its 12-lane bowling alley and six giant, interconnected domes, which house a banquet hall, basketball court, fitness center and more, to people beyond the church membership.
"We believe we can really meet the needs of the community," Michael D. Moore, founding pastor of Faith Chapel Christian Center, told AL.com.
The bowling alley, called Tuscany Lanes, and a recreation complex of six interconnected domes, called The Bridge, opened last year for the church's more than 6,400 members, but the megachurch is now opening them to the broader community.
"Now we want the world to know," the pastor said, and explains why it took the church a year to open the facility to the community. "We didn't have the staffing in place. We were trying to get to the point we can handle everyone who wants to come."
Moore described the facility, which cost tens of millions of dollars over the years, as something that will "bridge people from the world to the kingdom."
"People may not want to come to a church, but they'll come to a bowling alley," he said. "People have needs other than spiritual needs. There's a need for safe, clean, uplifting, family-oriented entertainment."
Moore founded the church in his home with four people – Moore, his wife, his mother, and a friend – in 1981. Later it grew to become one of the state's largest churches. He says the objective behind the gigantic facility is to inspire people.
"When people walk in that building, they'll be inspired, they'll be motivated," he said. "I want kids to walk in this facility and dream."
The megachurch, which has a largely African American congregation, constructed its first dome, known as the Word Dome and housing a 3,000-seat sanctuary, about one and a half decades ago.
The church describes itself as "a non-denominational church with an aim to be 'The most loving church in all the world.'" It says it teaches "the uncompromising Word of God … with a mission to help hurting people achieve wholeness – spirit, soul and body."