I’ve been known to tell ministers and priests that they ought to update their musical repertoire to bring youngsters in. My point is that when Bach and Beethoven hit the churches 400 & 200 years ago respectively, they were the “current” musical scene.
Now they are as old as Grandma’s 1959 Edsel and just as rad. Then I read this article about Perdido Bay from The Blaze, I have to admit I was stunned though upon reflection it is much different than what happens during the summer months at Jersey seashore chapels where the congregants show up in beachware and trot off to the waves right after services. But what got me, was the “alcohol” in the aisles; I just wasn’t ready for that.
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. (Let us be thankful for that)
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 Jimmy Buffet’s Land Shark beer flags on a recent Sunday.“If you look closely, you might see a few of the churchgoers having a Bloody Mary or a Pensacola bushwhacker,” longtime bar employee Blitz Poston said. “It’s really a wonderful thing that brings together people from all walks of life.”