MANDEVILLE, La.-- There's a church in Mandeville that's doing things differently. They are raising people's spirits by holding church services in a place that serves spirits.
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It sure sounds like church, but it doesn't look like church. There are menus and beer signs. The Legacy Church is giving new meaning to "happy hour" by holding their hour-long Sunday church service at Coscino's Italian Grill.
"We're known as the 'bar church' or the 'pizza church,'"Pastor Wayne Rogers says.
Rogers has been a pastor for 33 years, and six years ago he was looking for a place to hold church services. He's friends with Mike Coscino, who owns Coscino's. One day Pastor Wayne and Mike were talking and Mike told him that he could hold church at his restaurant and bar.
"It wasn't a planned thing. It was more of a God thing. God kind of opened up the doors for all of this to happen," Rogers says.
Having church services in this bar and restaurant is a much more laid back approach to "traditional" church services.
"I think it is a relaxed atmosphere and people can come as they are. Most of our church members already come to Coscino's to eat or drink, so they feel comfortable here. I understand that this might not be for everyone, but we're aiming at people who aren't necessarily connected to a church lifestyle, who have little or no experience in church," he said.
For Pastor Wayne, it really is about keeping it real.
"We are real people, with real lives, serving a real God," he said.
Rogers said that so far they have about 100 church members and every week it varies how many folks show up to the services.
Rene Poche is a member of Legacy Church, and he said he joined because he saw a sign on the side of the road, and felt a calling to Legacy.
"It is not your traditional church by any means, and I think that is what the appeal is," Poche said.
Joi Sanders has been attending church services at Legacy Church for the past three years. She joined because her son played music in the band.
"Pastor Wayne is such a delight. He's down to earth and makes us all feel comfortable. It makes me feel very comfortable. I don't have to be fancy. I can just be myself. I think God appreciates us coming to him just as we are, and here we don't have to be anything else, just human beings," Sanders said.
Just so you know the bar actually doesn't open up on Sunday until noon, but if you want to BYOB Pastor Wayne doesn't have a problem with it.
Legacy Church holds services every Sunday at 10 a.m. at Coscino's Italian Grill. Coscino's Italian Grill is located at 1809 N. Causeway in Mandeville.
Legacy Church even streams their services on Facebook.
For more information about Legacy Church, click HERE.