Pennsylvania church offers Christian alternative to clubbing

A church in Pennsylvania is offering a faith-based alternative to secular clubbing by holding bi-monthly events at its basement, which has been converted into a Christian club with live entertainment, food, coffee, and a "wholesome" social interaction.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Dough4872)Northbound Main Street at the intersection with State Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. 10 October 2017.

Twice a month, the Doylestown Mennonite Church holds events at Karen's Place, a Christian club found in the church's basement. The music cafe was opened in honor of a teenager named Karen Curtis who inspired the ministry with music and art and died in a car crash while on her way to a Bible group in 1996, The Associated Press detailed.

Karen's Place was opened in 1998 and currently draws 50 to 100 people of all ages, including those who are not members of the church. The music café offers free shows held by different Christian bands, and the money earned from the coffee and food being sold are used to fund local food pantries and charities that aid human trafficking victims.

"People here feel safe, and they come feeling blessed and encouraged; yes, you hear the gospel, but it's through music and not in your face," said Doylestown Mennonite Church founder Don Heckler. "You'd be surprised to see how many people in their 70s like rock."

In addition, Heckler explained that they share the Gospel through music played at Karen's Place since he believes it is an effective tool in bringing their message across. 

John Accunzo, who drives to Karen's Place once a month from Northeast Philadelphia, said he "felt right at home" during the first time he entered the converted basement. He also mentioned that the Christian club was a good place to bring friends in need of hope.

There are also other churches who use contemporary methods to share their faith with other people. In Bernie's Tap Room in Milwaukee, Collective MKE church pastor Brandon Brown started the Jesus + Beer initiative to accommodate people who still want to know about Jesus even though they have stopped going to church, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Fordham University's chair of theology, J. Patrick Hornbeck, explained that pubs give people the kind of freedom that is not always found in churches. He said places like Jesus + Beer allow them to say more, and at the same time, these also give Christians the opportunity to talk about their faith.