This weekend, religious protesters arrived on Main Street in Old Town Spring to express their dissatisfaction with the Greater Church of Lucifer, which opened on Halloween.
Church leaders are adamant that they do not, as a whole, worship Satan. The church's philosophy is more in line with the New Age spiritual movements of the 1960s and is focused on self-improvement. They picked the name "Lucifer" using the Latin translation, which is "light bringer," as a symbolic representation of the congregation's search for knowledge and self-empowerment.
"We saw that as an empowering archetype," said Michael Ford, co-president and Archon of the Greater Church of Lucifer. "Lucifer is a symbol of self-liberated thinking, being different from the herd."
But that didn't stop protesters from arriving at the church's doorstep on Main, armed with wooden crosses, holy water, rosary beads and bullhorns. Altogether there were about 40 protesters on Friday evening, lining both sides of Main. There was a heavy police presence, and the protests were largely peaceful, except for a few moments before dark when members from two groups of protesters — one Catholic organization from Pennsylvania, and the other consisting of some sort of doomsday-preachers from Las Vegas — began arguing with each other over whose sect of Christianity was correctly following Jesus.
"We're not against Christianity," HopeMarie Ford, co-president of the church, said in an interview. "We're just about letting people find truth for themselves."
Inside the church, members gathered and ate cookies and donuts during the dedication ceremony while one church member, who works in private security, stood guard outside. The church plans to hold meetings every two weeks — the next is scheduled for November 13.