An Oklahoma pastor has defended his decision to host the very first “Beer and Hymns” night at his local church, following a successful turnout last weekend.
Pastor Evan Taylor, of East Side Christian Church in Tulsa, said his controversial decision to serve ice cold beers at church attracted a large crowd and succeeded in getting people talking. The event, which featured Portland-based religious author Christian Piatt, was part of an outreach weekend program providing the community with a forum to discuss the future of the local church. Approximately 100 people attended, and although there were a few protesters, the event was a huge success.
“It went really good, we had between 80 to 100 people turn out. Half were members of our church and half were just visitors, or people wanting to see what it was about, or people from other churches,” Pastor Taylor told The Christian Post exclusively.
Congregants, who were given a two drink limit, sipped on fresh beer and sang church hymns at what Taylor described as “a church camp for grown ups.”
Kids were also encouraged to take part by singing along, drinking root beer and doing arts and crafts at the family-friendly event.
“We sang a bunch of old classic hymns that people love and there was a two beer limit. We checked IDs and we had all the legal stuff in place,” he said. “It was just a great time. No one got drunk.”
East Side Christian Church is one of four (as well as a local seminary) that took part in hosting events for Piatt. Others included First Christian Church of Downtown Tulsa, Harvard Avenue Christian Church, Phillips Theological Seminary, and Oklahoma Disciples Foundation.
“We all partnered up to bring [Piatt] to town and there were different events each day throughout the weekend,” said Taylor. “He’s written a book called Post Christian which talks about the future of the church. Can we save it? Is it worth saving? It’s a real progressive book.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post