I received this image from Christov10 who has a page for his own Strip Mall Church. It’s definitely one of the nicer looking ones that I’ve seen. He tells me:
Our group formed from a First Baptist Church in a county-seat community in rural Southern Middle Tennessee. We first met in a converted barn (Barnchurch), then in Bluegrass cafe (Cafe-Church), and now we are meeting in a strip mall storefront. Means we are, indeed, spending as little on facilities as possible.
One of the benefits of spending less on facilities is that it frees up more money to go back into the community. It also presumably allows them to do unique things like running their own radio show. Definitely a sign of changing times in the church going world.
We came upon the Liberty Christian Center at sunset. The parking lot was empty and the birds were watching us from the top of the building. It was the last church we found for the day and there was this surreal quality about being there. My mom said it was an old Albertsons back in the day. It wasn’t far from the K-mart, but had its own strip mall benefits: donuts and chicken.
Another unassuming strip mall church in another shopping plaza in Fairfield, CA. When I was growing up, my mom would take me shopping at the K-mart next door. I don’t remember what else was nearby back then, but now you can find the classic strip mall favorites of: Burger King, Dollar Tree and Radio Shack. Also judging by the name, it is another strip mall church of the spanish speaking variety. Muy interesante!
Back in December, I was contacted by Ana Campoy with the Wall Steet Journal. She was interested in my take on the movement of churches into strip malls. She didn’t end up using my interview, but it is another example of the growing interest in this cultural phenomenon. Her article is linked below:
Club, Church Clash in Texas
This place will change your reality No wait. I’m serious. I’m not just saying it because of the name. Think about it. You can go to church and then volunteer next door at the American Red Cross and then fill up your SUV while eating powdered donuts bought in the mini-mart and finally eat some sushi from across the street. God bless America.
If I were to choose a strip mall church to go to, the Iglesia Cristiana Rios De Agua Viva would be at the top of the list. Set across from half a dozen eucalyptus trees and in a building that looks straight out of the wild west; it is proof that strip mall churches can be a thing of beauty. At the same time it provides some similar benefits as other strip mall churches including a neighboring dog wash and Salvadorean restaurant. Time for me to start brushing up on my spanish.