Church or Fitness Center???

May 19, 2010

Picture taken by Reba Boyd Wooden.

According to the website of Community Church of Greenwood , the main purpose or mission of the church is:

Loving God.
Loving each other.
Loving the Lost.

However, from the signage out front one would think that it is a Sports and Fitness center.  A very large lighted sign which changes screens to promote various activities dwarfs the small sign that says Community Church of Greenwood.  The sign is so large and bright that I have been temporarily blinded when coming toward it at night just as one would be if another car shined its bright lights into one's eyes.

The website has this description of The Gathering Place :

The Gathering Place is an 82,000 square foot, state-of-the-art sports and recreation facility operated by Community Church of Greenwood, open to the general public.  The facility includes an indoor soccer field, three full-size basketball courts, a racquetball court, full cardio, weight training and aerobics faciities and meeting space.  Family and individual memberships are available; a variety of sports leagues are available for all ages; meeting space available for parties and events from 40 people to 4,000!

So, are they using this sports and fitness facility to draw people into the church so they can be indoctrinated with fundamentalist dogma?  A sample of the philosophy of this church can be gained from looking at the page which gives the wedding information and guidelines.  Premarital counseling is required and no alcohol, tobacco products, or dancing are allowed at the reception.  Restrictions on which couples can hold their weddings here are:

Professing Christians will not be joined in marriage with non-Christians, according to biblical principles; nor will a man and woman who are living together prior to their wedding ceremony. If either the bride or groom has been divorced, a personal conference between the pastor and the divorced party may be required prior to the pastor’s agreement to perform the ceremony.

Or, as the size of the two signs seem to indicate, is the emphasis really on sports and fitness?  That would be healthier than stuffing people full of religious dogma.