The service is a series of sermons and speeches, interspersed with numbers out of the Honky Tonk Hymnal placed on each chair (the back cover reminding everyone “Thou shalt not steal”). The church has a sense of humor, a relaxed vibe. Churches struggling to attract younger people could learn from the atmosphere here.
“What’s happening here at Flora-Bama is special, no doubt,” says Stone. “But it’s not the only thing God is up to. God uses all kinds of ministries. We aren’t better, or worse.
“A bar church is not required to reach people," he continues. "That's just the place we meet. Wherever you meet, God is up to something special, too.”
The church concludes with an upbeat rendition of “I’ll Fly Away,” as people who might otherwise never cross paths introduce themselves and help put away chairs. A motley crew of churchgoers who may have nothing in common other than going to church in a bar are polite, civil, friendly, and welcoming to all, even those of different faiths.