Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Worship at the Water offers church in a bar in Florida

Unfortunately, the following news report offers little information on the content of the sermons, but given the United Methodist Church's liberalism, I have my suspicions. As reported by Melissa Nelson-Gabriel of Associated Press, August 25, 2012:

Perdido Key, Fla.

On a balmy Sunday morning at the Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar, barkeeps set up their stations as churchgoers filtered in under a Jack Daniels banner.

The bar, which sits on the Florida and Alabama state line, is famous for its annual mullet-tossing contest — patrons gather on the beach and throw dead fish from Alabama into Florida.

Bikini contests, bar brawls and drink specials are the day-to-day business of the beach bar that calls itself "America's last roadhouse."

But for one hour every Sunday, the Flora-Bama is home to about 450 regular congregants of Worship at the Water, an outreach service of the Perdido Bay United Methodist Church. More than 1,100 filled the place on Easter Sunday.

Bible study is in the upstairs bar.

If Jesus returned to Earth, he'd probably kick back at the Flora-Bama, said Jack de Jarnette, a founding pastor of the church.

"It's the sort of place he often went and hung out with people," he said. "When you cannot get people to come to church, the alternative is to bring the church to them."

A band in tie-dyed T-shirts played Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready," as parishioners gathered underneath an awning adorned with rows of Land Shark beer flags on a recent Sunday. Most wore flip-flops and shorts, but some wore swimsuits.

"If you look closely, you might see a few of the churchgoers having a Bloody Mary or a bushwhacker," longtime bar employee Blitz Poston said. "It's really a wonderful thing that brings together people from all walks of life."

Offerings are collected in neon tackle boxes placed throughout the bar.

Pastor Jeremy Mount wears Mardi Gras beads, shorts, sandals and T-shirt that is fringed around the sleeves.

"There are seven places to drink and no place to worship God on this key," he said. "We feel like God has called us here to be a ministry. Where would there ever be a better place than the world-renowned Flora-Bama?"

His sermon is one of redemption and hope, followed by a communion with bread and grape juice instead of wine.

Many members of his flock were regular churchgoers before they started attending the Flora-Bama service. Others have become regulars because they like the unique setting, Mount said.

"Some had never been to church, ever, but they felt so comfortable here in the Flora-Bama," he said.

Church member Paul Holland is a longtime fan of the Flora-Bama, which he says is a five-star honky-tonk filled with top-shelf rednecks. He has become an even bigger fan of the church service.

"I don't want to be judged because I don't have a three-piece-suit and I don't drive a brand-new car and this is that kind of church — they don't judge you. I feel like I'm more welcome in this church than any I've ever attended in my life," he said.

The service is just a year old, starting on July 4, 2011.

Church volunteer Joye Fletcher was baptized behind the Flora-Bama in the Gulf of Mexico during Worship at the Water's first anniversary. "It's just an awesome spirit-led service," she said.

The service is often a surprise for the tourists who flock to the strip of snow-white sand and turquoise water during the summer months, said Bruce Barrios, the bar's Sunday manager.

"We have so many people in from out of town. We have people come in and when they see we are having church they pick up a Bloody Mary, a bushwhacker or a soft drink, sit down and listen to the sermon. It's really cool, you know, it's unique."

1 comment:

  1. Why are there no mentions of the women getting attacked and brutally beaten by the male employees of this bar? Is that what this bar calls worshipping God, what God would that be? The beer drinking brutally beating women patrons while other employees watch and laugh and the owner says sorry she must be an alcoholic it’s ok God? This is what type of God they are worshipping, God in a bottle, God in a bar? Well, I warn WOMEN everywhere if you don't want to be attacked, punched, BY MALE EMPLOYEES, then told it's ok they beat on you you're a drunk, after two or three drinks, coming from people having church at a bar, then DON'T GO TO THE FLORABAMA. My God never would and never has agreed that men can drink, women can't, nor has My God implied that Male Employees of the FloraBama can beat on women, laugh in their face, call it a day and say Praise The Lord. All the while knowing their young owner will lie on their behalf so they can get away with beating up women patrons: Falsify reports, lie about the cameras being off, then screw a random female and go home and hug their wives and kiss their babies. You know what else has been witnessed? NONE of these men EVER beat up or attack men patrons, men patrons stumbling drunk, but not alcoholics they only had 7 or 8 drinks, never get attacked by these men, these men are PU**IES, they only attack women. So there you have it, CHURCH AT THE BAMA PRAISE GOD AMEN GIVE THAT MAN A DRINK, GIVE THAT WOMAN A WATER - THEN KICK HER ASS AND GET THIS SERMON STARTED. Sorry Bama, that God doesn’t exist, guess that’s why you had to start your own church, do you include in your service how you hate women, believe their second rate citizens, and are good to punch on cause’ you aren’t man enough to take on other men? Ooh no, I’m sure you don’t that would be truthful, couldn’t have that could you? The real God, the one you are mocking, he still sees you, and he knows you are not coming to his heaven, you’re going to his hell!! Where the women are the stronger sex, stronger than the men, and you’re going to have your ass kicked, daily, and feel how it is to be helpless against someone that was built and born stronger than you, and there will be nothing you can do about it, this is how you God mocking, womanizing, women beaters will spend the rest of your eternity. And all with NO WATER not ever, much less a beer. Who’s laughing now Bama? We the women, that’s who. It took weeks for our bruises, concussion’s, contusions to heal, but that’s nothing to eternity in HELL.