Alabama Megachurch Builds $26 Million Entertainment Center with Bowling Alley, Night Club

Bridge Credit Monolithic.orgBIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A megachurch in Alabama recently held an open house to celebrate the opening of its $26 million dollar, six-dome entertainment center, which some are stating is far from biblical Christianity and the example of the early Church.

Faith Chapel Christian Center in Wylam, near Birmingham, completed the project on it 137-acre campus last year, all of which was funded by the tithes and offerings of its more than 6,400 members. The facility is located in a depressed area where a number of residents are low-income.

“We believe we can really meet the needs of the community,” leader Michael Moore, author of the book Rich is Not a Bad Word, told “It will bridge people from the world to the Kingdom.”

According to reports, the facility features—among other amenities—a 12-lane bowling alley, a basketball court, a fitness center, a banquet hall and cafe, a teen dance club, and an adult alcohol and smoke-free night club.

“People may not want to come to a church, but they’ll come to a bowling alley,” Moore explained. “People have needs other than spiritual needs. There’s a need for safe, clean, uplifting, family-oriented entertainment.”

He said that the open house held in July served in part to announce the six-dome structure, called “The Bridge,” to the community, and to “inspire” other churches nationwide to build similar facilities.

“Now we want the world to know,” Moore explained. “Our church wants to be an inspiration.”

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“We want kids to walk in and have a wow moment and think, ‘A church can do that?'” added spokeswoman Antoinette Mays. “We want this to be an inspiration for little kids, for other pastors to say ‘Hey, we can do his too! ‘ It’s a place where people will come and be ministered to.”

But not everyone is supportive of the endeavor in the context of being presented as the purpose or function of the Church. David Whitney, pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Pasadena, Maryland, told Christian News Network that using entertainment to draw the lost is an unbiblical means of evangelism.

“I think it would be a misuse [of funds],” he commented. “Mainstream Christianity in America is already oriented at entertainment being its primary focus. … To take evangelism and to say, ‘Well, evangelism also has to be entertaining’—which it sounds like what they’re doing—that we’re not going to be able to evangelize unless we entertain them, [is a gross error].”

Pastor David Whitney

He said that the Church is not supposed to attempt to attract the world to come into its doors, but to go out into the world and preach the gospel—a message that is not very entertaining.

“That’s a mistake that’s been made for maybe a century now,” Whitney stated, noting that even Jesus and the Apostle Paul regularly took the gospel into the public square through preaching. “We are to go and tell, not to tell them to come in here and hear the message in the church [building]. The church is for the worship of God, for building up of the saints, for making disciples and training them so they can go into all the world and preach the gospel.”

“The gospel is an offense. The cross is called in Scripture an offense,” he said. “It’s not a message that’s going to entertain people, or a message that will be pleasant for them to hear. It’s going to convict them of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”

Whitney outlined that if the endeavor were of a local Christian businessman, rather than turning the church into an entertainment venue, he would be more supportive of the project.

“I think they’ve distorted the function of the Church and the ministry of the Church that Christ has given to us,” he opined. “[The] Church is not teaching its people in a biblical worldview what the ministry of the Church is versus the ministry of the disciples that the churches are sending out into the world.”

“Bricks, bodies and bucks seem to be the measure most churches use of their success,” Whitney explained. “In the Scriptures, I don’t find that at all. … Contrast that with the first Church, who owned no building and often met in the catacombs. … Jesus died without any trappings of glory, power or wealth at all, and most of his followers died in a similar manner, but they were the ones who turned the world upside down.”


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  • Jenny

    This is why the church in America is in the state it is, it has become an amusement park void of spiritual food that brings life. What we see is a godless America being prepared for a spiritual Pearl Harbor attack. Furthermore with the county who in many ways has turned its back on God should not be surprised when God turns His back on our apostate unrepentant church.

  • FollowTheLamb

    Archibald Brown, who was one of Charles Spurgeon’s students, has this to say in a sermon entitled “The Devil’s Mission of Amusement”:

    “Jesus pitied sinners, pleaded with them, sighed over them, warned them, and wept over them; but He never sought to amuse them! When the evening shadows of His consecrated life were deepening into the night of death, He reviewed His holy ministry, and found comfort and sweet solace in the thought, “I have given them Your Word.” As with the Master, so with His apostles- their teaching is the echo of His. In vain will the epistles be searched to discover any trace of a gospel of amusement. The same call for separation from the world rings in everyone, “But not conformed to this world, but be you transformed,” is the word of command in the Romans. “Come out from among them. and be you separate and touch not the unclean thing.” It is the trumpet call in the Corinthians. Ln other words it is come out – keep out – keep clean out – for “what communion has light with darkness, and what concord has Christ with Belial?”

    “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified unto me and J unto the world.” Here is the true relationship between the Church and the world according to the Epistle to the Galatians. “Do not be partakers with them. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them,” is the attitude enjoined in Ephesians. “That you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. Hold firmly the message of life,” is the word in Philippians. “Dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world,” says the Epistle to the Colossians, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” is the demand in Thessalonians.

    “If anyone purifies himself from these things, he will be a special instrument, set apart, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work,” is the word to Timothy. “Let us then go to Him outside the camp, bearing His disgrace,” is the heroic summons of the Hebrews. James, with holy severity, declares that “Friendship with the world is enmity with God; whoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Peter writes: “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance but, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written—Be holy, because I am holy.” John writes a whole epistle, the gist of which is, “Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.”

    Here are the teachings of the apostles concerning the relationship of the Church and the world. And yet, in the face of them, what do we see and hear? A friendly compromise between the two—and an insane effort to please and amuse the world. God help us, and dispel the strong delusion. How did the apostles carry on their mission work? Was it in harmony with their teaching? Let the Acts of the Apostles give the answer.

    Anything approaching the worldly amusements of today, is conspicuous by its absence. The early evangelists had boundless confidence in the power of the Gospel, and employed no other weapon. Pentecost followed plain preaching. When Peter and John had been locked up for the night for preaching—the early Church had a prayer meeting. Directly they returned, and the petition offered for the two was, “And now, Lord, grant unto Your servants, that with all boldness they may speak Your word.” They had no thought of praying, “Grant unto Your servants more wisdom, that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation, they may avoid the offence of the cross, and sweetly show the unsaved, how happy and merry a lot we are.”