Church Offers Services at Bar

Published 03/04 2013 05:49PM

Updated 03/05 2013 10:15PM

There are more than 100 churches in Abilene, so why open another one?

Well, this isn't your typical church.

"We're trying to be here in a way that communicates acceptance," said Van Conwell, a staff member at Southern Hills Church of Christ. 

There are no crosses or even pews, instead there are pool tables, stools and plenty of alcohol.

"People can bring their blankets, they can sit they can stand they can sit on the floor," said Ken Jones, a church member.

Members of the Southern Hills Church of Christ in Abilene are trading the conventional steeple building for one that's a little less obvious, a bar.

"Bars in particularly country western music are places where people come to be accepted just as they are," said Conwell.

Jones knows what it's like to be intimidated by a typical church building, so he figured a bar would be the best place for people to feel comfortable in.

"This is what its all about that they've been told they're going to he'll they've been told its all a lie but they haven't been told how much Jesus loves them," said Jones.

It was a bit of a shock for some of the church leaders.

"Both extremely excited and a little apprehensive," said Conwell.

But they quickly embraced the idea of bar church..

"We wanted to go and meet people where they were with Jesus," said Conwell.

While the bar will be open, alcohol wont be served until after service..

Which, isn't the traditional kind either.

"We're not going to spend a whole lot of time on long sermons," said Conwell.

It's a way of making church feel less like church and more like a time of fellowship.

"We felt like this was the sort of thing Jesus would be doing, he'd be going to the places where the people were who needed to hear about him,"' said Conwell.

So while it is another church in Abilene, it's anything but your typical church.

The first service begins March 24 at 11:30 a.m. at the Memories bar located at 541 China st.

Church staff tell us children will be allowed to attend, since alcohol won't be served until after the service at 12:15 p.m.

For more information, click to go to the Bar Church website.

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