Sunday morning, Ecclesia Church pastor Chris Seay announced to his congregation that the staff had successfully wrested a warehouse out of the hands of strippers for the future location of its church services.
Rapidly expanding Ecclesia had already moved once from Montrose to the First Ward in search of more space to accommodate its growing flock. Then, it set eyes on The Meridian night club in EaDo when it first went on the market in 2009. The stars didn't align at the time, but recently when the 50,000 square feet property at 1503 Chartres St. became available again, Ecclesia pounced and signed a contract to purchase the place.
"We're not going to buy a place just to keep the strip club out but it's not a bad bonus, right?" Seay said in his sermon this past Sunday. He described as the purchase as a fleeting window of opportunity, and called on his congregation to give generously in support of Ecclesia's $3.75 million buy.
"We had to move quickly, which is a little hard for churches to do, because we would tend to be like, 'Let's pray about it for a year,'" he said. "And there would already be stripper poles all around the place at that point. We could take them out, or find some creative way to use them in worship, but I don't know what that is."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.