Churches offering a new look and a new way to worship - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Churches offering a new look and a new way to worship

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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

This is your father's church with a big building and a steeple. Center Pointe Church is not. It's in a former mass mail printing facility. It's also non-denominational.

Ted Pagel is the pastor.

"I think it just creates an opportunity for people to come and experience God where they are, and I've always believed that tearing down the walls and let people view the cross from their point of view," Pagel explained.

Church members, like Lynette Caraway, agree.

"I've been to lots of churches on the Coast, and this is a church that I found and I absolutely love it. I've been coming for three years and I think it's the best," Caraway said.

These churches also cater to a new generation of believers, with amenities geared toward children. Mosaic Church is located in a skating rink. Bibles are just as plentiful as the skates. So is the Christian rock music.

For Pastor Dustin Boles, non-denominational is the way to go.

"We know a lot of people that grew up in denominations and had experiences that they thought were negative experiences. So, for us being non-denominational, it's again to just keep one little roadblock out of people's way, make it easier for them to come," Boles said.

Boles' flock likes the laid back style. That includes John Hathorn.

"It's come as you are here. It's not about how you dress or how much money you have, it's again about Jesus. So everybody can really fit in," Hathorn said.

While the non conventional churches certainly seem to be growing in popularity for a variety of reasons, they're more relaxed, the music is un-traditional, there's also another reason why these churches are growing, and it has to do with economics.

That's the case at Life Church, which is leasing a space in a shopping center. Carl King is the Pastor.

"Many churches, first of all, that are using facilities today are turning to renting facilities rather than purchasing them because of the great cost, enormous cost involved in the purchase price," King explained.

You can't put a price on faith or friendship. Just ask church member Mary Washington.

"I like it because it's so inviting, and the people here are just so warm and they make you feel welcome. Since I've joined this church, my entire life has changed for the better," said Washington.

That's always a good thing. The popularity of these churches can be seen in their growing congregations. Mosaic Church has about 2,500 members, Center Pointe has 400 and the Life Church has grown to more than 80 members in the past year.

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