- (wbir.com video screen grab)
The owner of a night club in Knoxville, Tennessee, has partnered with a local pastor to open the venue's doors for worship services once a month in an effort to give attendees the opportunity to hear the Gospel in a casual environment.
Studio X Nightclub and the congregation from Word of Life Ministries recently launched the church services after nearly a year of thoughtful planning, organizers said.
"My mother had the idea of doing a Sunday service in a club atmosphere and I thought it was kind of wild at first and then I pretty much came up with the conclusion that you can have church practically anywhere," said Boo Jackson, the owner of Studio X, reports NBC affiliate wbir.com.
There is no dress code and everybody is welcome, according to Jackson. In addition, the club's staff stores away liquor bottles during the services and provides non-alcoholic beverages instead.
"It's a relaxed atmosphere. Everybody can be themselves but we're keeping Christ in the center of it all," said Cindy Fletcher, of Word of Life Ministries.
Pastor Kevin Perry calls the worship services a "vision that God had given me." The worship service attracted about 80 people at the first gathering last month.
Now, instead of callers to the club asking only about party-night happenings, people also call to ask when the next worship meeting will be.
Although a church using a night club as a venue for a church service is still rare, other congregations have launched meetings in similar locales including risqué venues like strip clubs. A Christian couple in Guelph, Canada began to embrace the concept last month at a strip club with the intent to bring religion to those who don't feel comfortable seeking it out.
Similar to pastor Perry's "vision," Jack Ninaber and his wife Sharon hope the services will reach the lost. However, the Ninaber's say the meetings are less about church and more like a Christian fellowship gathering, according to CTV News.
In February, another church in New York was hoping to buy a strip club for church services as well however, they failed to raise enough money.
Word of Life Ministries will hold their next service at Studio X Nightclub on Sunday, July 6.