Pastor Starts 'Strip Church' in Las Vegas

Pastor Starts ‘Strip Church’ in Las Vegas

[01.07.09] In 2002, Craig Gross and his wife, Jeanette, rented a booth at the country’s largest porn convention in Las Vegas in an effort to launch XXXChurch.com and offer light in a dark place. Since then, the Grosses’ ministry has expanded to porn shows throughout the country, hundreds of speaking engagements at churches, books, documentaries and an assortment of other projects that reach people around the world, reports ABC News.

Yet as 2009 begins, XXXChurch.com is returning to where it all began: Sin City. “It makes perfect sense for who we’re trying to reach, the temptations that this city has to offer, and the call that we feel that God’s put in our lives to do this,” Craig Gross said to ABC of his plans to start a church on the infamous strip early this year. “Las Vegas is known as sin city and that’s where we need to be.”

Gross and his family, along with a handful of other staff members from Fireproof Ministries, have already relocated to Las Vegas to establish a church in the epicenter of North American sex trafficking and prostitution.

“I think the church does a poor job overall when it comes to evangelism,” Gross said according to ABC. “We get content with our members and then we spend time satisfying just our members and we lose that focus of Jesus [who] said, ‘I came for the sick, not the healthy.’” To that degree, Gross and his staff plan to set up a booth at every possible trade show—from auto industry to plumbing—in Las Vegas with the intent of veering attendees away from the city’s notorious temptations and instead toward a place of refuge located only steps away: The Strip Church.

“I know the world is watching,” Gross told ABC of those wondering what keeps him from becoming another “moral maverick” who falls prey to the very temptation he rails against. “I know that people at these shows—people at churches—are waiting for me to fall, waiting for our team now, even [after] moving here. If I go down, what did I do for the last seven years? Why build something and then watch that come crashing down because it will. I didn’t move here to be closer to prostitutes and strip clubs—I can’t go there. … We didn’t move here to be Las Vegas, but we came here to change Las Vegas. If that’s one family at a time, it’s worth it.”

via Pastor Starts ‘Strip Church’ in Las Vegas.

Post By Joel Watts (10,045 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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3 thoughts on Pastor Starts 'Strip Church' in Las Vegas

  1. bravo, i commend you on your journey and can only say ITS ABOUT TIME! ive lived in las vegas close to 20 years now and can honestly say it came close to eating me whole until recent years when my wife and I had rediscovered our savior. i still find daily temptations here that are so much greater than other areas ive lived, but the more I stay in the word the easier it gets. I wish you well in your calling and am very sure that your works will be a blessing.

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