A Church for Madonna
Stop by a typical church on a weekday night and you might find an Alcoholics Anonymous group or Boy Scout troop meeting there. At Faithful Central Bible Church, you just might find Madonna.
That’s because Faithful Central is among a small but growing number of megachurches using sports and entertainment facilities as their houses of worship.
This spring, the pop star spent six weeks rehearsing for her “Re-Invention Tour” at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, Calif., the former home of the Los Angeles Lakers, now owned by Faithful Central. Madonna also used the church/arena to kick off her tour with a May 24 concert.
For most of the time, “Madonna‘s set was on one end of the Forum and ours was on the other,” said Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, pastor of Faithful Central, which bought the Forum in 2000. The church had been planning to build a new building when it became available.
The Forum isn’t completely converted to a church space. It still hosts concerts and sporting events when not being used for worship. Ulmer said that the building is a “tool for ministry” – offering the public positive forms of entertainment while employing “500 to 600 people at each event.”
Besides, he said, what else do you do with a building that seats 18,000 people on the other six days a week?
From an article by Bob Smietana, Staten Island Advance