Welcome to the first installment of my weekly church review, where I'll visit houses of worship—Christian, Muslim, Baha'i, even Scientologist—and examine what folks of faith need to know: theology, environment, parking, and the all-important sermon. Suggestions for churches to review in the comments section appreciated!
At Your Service: Main Place Christian Fellowship Church Prayer Booth
Even Jesus needs a lunch break, apparently.
For the past six years, souls in need of a quick prayer have crept toward a converted photo booth in a Tustin parking lot near the wonderful Indian restaurant Dosa Place. Here stands a prayer booth operated by Main Place Christian Fellowship, which stands just across Red Hill Avenue. Its unique experiment in evangelizing—taking Robert Schuller's drive-in church to the next logical step, people park next to the booth while a pastor prays with you for a couple of minutes—has attracted worldwide attention.
But when I visited last Friday at noon, no one was there. I idled for 15 minutes—nothing. No sign indicating when someone would return, no paper slip where I could leave a prayer request, nada. It definitely wasn't abandoned: A half-full water bottle stood inside the booth, and flowers bloomed on the embankment at the church's front and back. And a phone number for a 24-hour prayer line was above each side of the booth. I called the number and left my prayer: that the Lord equip Main Place Christian Fellowship with sturdier bladders and stomachs.
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THEOLOGY: Non-denominational, evangelical, born-again. Main Place's website describes the Bible as "God's perfect guidebook for living." Places an emphasis on outreach, which is kinda obvious given their ingenious use of a former photo booth to spread the Word, no? But woe to the people who come buy for freebies: Although a sign advertises free coffee, water, Bibles and pastries, another sign warns the "wonderful kids" who walk by every day there is no such thing as free water: Those who thirst must first provide a Bible verse. Remember Balaam and his ass, brethren!