- (Screenshot: WWBT)
Members of a church in Virginia located inside a nudist colony say that attending worship services nude helps shed inhibitions in a non-judgemental environment.
White Tail Chapel, located in White Tail Resort, a family nudist community in Ivor focuses on eliminating material concerns, which the pastor says allows people to feel free.
"There's not a feeling that you have to be better than one another, physically," said pastor Allen Parker, reports ABC 12. "We're humans, we have scars, we have what we have…it's learning to love and accept that."
Parker says the nondenominational congregation is not meant to be sexual in nature. The pastor said he's striving to create a non-judgemental atmosphere for people of all faiths who simply seek to attain inner peace.
Church members, Robert and Katie Church, have been a part of the nudist community for years and they both agree the chapel is a welcoming environment where all attendees shed their inhibitions at the door.
"Once we were married, and we were here, this whole place became our family," said Katie. "I feel like I can turn to anyone in this church, or even in this park, and they will be there to help me."
Robert added, "People are more open as far as hearing the word of God, and listening to the preacher speak the word of God...there are people here who have great means, great wealth and there are some who don't and you wouldn't know. Everyone treats each other equally."
During a 2010 interview with ABC News, Parker said their policy to worship nude takes after Jesus who practiced the same when he was on earth.
"When he was born he was naked, when he was crucified he was naked and when he arose he left his clothes in the tomb and he was naked. If God made us that way, how can that be wrong," said Parker.
He also said he considers his position as a pastor to be a privilege and stated that the church is family-oriented and involved with community outreach.
The White Tail Resort, which was established in 1984, hosts an average of 10,000 guests every year, according to their website. In addition to church services, the resort offers camp gounds, accommodations, and recreational activities.