Sunday, October 15, 2006

Church #21: Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church


1. Who attended? Bradley and Erica.

2. CHURCH HOP RANKINGS:
How was the experience?
1: I was so uncomfortable and/or offended that I did not stay to the end of services.
10: This church was welcoming and thought-provoking. I would recommend that others experience this church.

ERICA: 1, I guess.
BRADLEY: 1, for the lack of everything.

3. Picture(s) of the church
4. Name/location of the church:
Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church

5. Was it recommended to Church Hop?
No, it's right off of 32 so we stopped by.

6. Time/duration of services:
Really? Not sure. The sign says 10, 11 and 6pm.

7. What type of religion did the church cater to?
Baptist.

8. Who did you meet?
HA!

9. If applicable, scans of handouts, tracts, etc
Not applicable.

10. Church Hopper’s personal experience with the church, additional details:

ERICA: So, the sign seems pretty clear, right? WELCOME, worship services, Sunday 10, 11 and 6. Right? Well Bradley and I get there and we go inside, and there are about seven guys on the stage setting up music equipment, and there are two women sitting in the front pews. I make eye contact with one of them and smile, and she doesn't so much as acknowledge me but keeps talking to her friend.

The guys give us no acknowledgement either, so Bradley and I make our way to a pew in the middle of the church. Everyone keeps doing what they're doing. Everyone has clearly seen us, and we're just sitting there on our own.

15ish minutes pass.

No one has said a single word to us. No one has smiled in our direction. They talk amongst themselves cheerily. It's quarter past ten now, so Bradley and I assume service is... cancelled? Postponed? We have no way of knowing... no one has told us, there are no pamphlets anywhere about a special service, and the sign outside is pretty clearly marked for 10am.

This is not okay by me. Do you know what a difficult thing it is to do, to walk into a new church? If you don't want newcomers, take down your freaking sign that invites us in. If you have a special service, that's FINE, but let me know when I walk into your church and don't make me sit there like an idiot.

When we left, I told Bradley that I didn't want to waste our church time... we had woken up, gotten dressed and set that time aside. So now, without further ado, today's real Hop.

Bradley: This was crazy. Erica and I tried to get back in the grove of things with a Church Hop, and what happens when we get there?

Nothing.

Erica and I cruised around the parking lots of some local 'hoods until it was time to go into the church. We stopped in the parking lot like we usually do, waiting for someone else, because of the few cars. We slowley waited until the time was right, when we walked into the church's main room. When we got in, there were five or six people on stage, all holding guitars. We wern't greeted by anyone, and nobody said anything. Erica and I were all alone, sitting in the pew, waiting for someone to say something about the lack of service.

This was very upsetting, and it was very annoying. This was not a good church hop.


1. Who attended? Bradley & Erica.

2. CHURCH HOP RANKINGS:
How was the experience?
1: I was so uncomfortable and/or offended that I did not stay to the end of services.
10: This church was welcoming and thought-provoking. I would recommend that others experience this church.

ERICA: 6. I wouldn't call it thought-provoking.
BRADLEY:

3. Picture(s) of the church

4. Name/location of the church:
Busken Bakery
7756 Beechmont Avenue

5. Was it recommended to Church Hop?
Busken needs no recommendation.

6. Time/duration of services:
10:30ish to 10:45ish.

7. What type of religion did the church cater to?
The snackish kind.

8. Who did you meet?
I think Jolene rang us up.

9. If applicable, scans of handouts, tracts, etc
Not applicable.

10. Church Hopper’s personal experience with the church, additional details:

ERICA: Much better. Busken was warm and inviting. We spent the money that would have gone to today's offering on iced pumpkin cookies and milk. The music was lacking and the congregation was small, but I felt very "at home" in this intimate little place.

Bradley: Nothing beats a good pumpkin cookie and a bottle of milk on a sunday morning. The woman who served us was kind and prompt, and kept things going. There was also a small amount of people there, who didn't seem to mind us. It was great, regardless of the lack of people.

11 comments:

Erica said...

Wow, that's pretty crappy that they just let you sit there and didn't say a word. But at least you got to enjoy cookies and milk. Yum!

Eebs said...

I'm sure they didn't intend to be mean or anything... it's just a terrible position to be in, as a newcomer.

Bill said...

Perhaps there should be a bakery / church collaborative. The spirituality of church, the customer service of the bakery.

I'll have an eclair of redemption, please.

Anonymous said...

YIKES! Hey friend, I actually DID a chuch hop this weekend in Washington, DC visiting family ... I'll send you my review!

Eebs said...

That's awesome! I can either post it here or link to it somewhere else, whichever you'd prefer. That's awesome! :)

sandy said...

loved and hated reading about this latest hop experience. i hope this is the exception rather than the rule. will be interesting if, after a period of time, you compile some rough stats as to what the hops in this area have been like.

Anonymous said...

wow, i wish they would change their sign! sorry you had to go through that. yesterday at my church we attended a "Focus Group" where we talked about different aspects of the church that would make us feel comfortable bringing friends, or UNcomfortable bringing friends. It was nice to think about it that way. I'm so excited that our church's leaders are thinking like this.

Sam said...

I know this is a very late comment, but I just discovered your blog and wanted to say that I would almost bet that 10 referred to the time of Sunday School and then 11 is when the actual worship service began. I grew up in a Baptist church (agnostic now), but I know that is how all the Baptist churches in our area were scheduled. Just trying to play devil's advocate (as ironic as that is. )

Someone still should have informed you though, I can't image how awkward that must have been.

Eebs said...

@Sam-- Yeah, it was really uncomfortable... couldn't someone have just told us that, instead of letting us sit there like idiots? Anyway, I really appreciate your insight on the matter... it's just a reminder that churches ought to consider that maybe not everyone knows the codes.

Drew said...

This is VERY late, even 2 years late, haha :) However I was googling this church's address when this page came up and I felt strongly inclined to comment.

As having visited this church before, I can assure you that what happened was a totally isolated incident. There is a strong chance that the folks setting up music were visitors as well. As one who is in the music ministry, I've found that sometimes there's just one member there who will let the group in to set up, and be elsewhere until church starts. My group is very familiar with the people at that church, so it could have been a similar thing. Of course, with two groups of visitors, there could have been confusion. Maybe THEY thought YOU were members? Wouldn't that be awkward? :)

Anyway, I strongly suggest you give this church another try. The folks are incredibly friendly, and the truth is preached; of course if you are going to church, I would hope you are seeking the truth of Christ.
God blss!
Drew

Eebs said...

Drew: Thank you for commenting. At this time, Bradley and I are no longer doing Church Hop because we found a church we're in love with! But if we ever revisit the project we'll try to give Mount Carmel another chance.