At Your Service: Main Place Christian Fellowship Church Prayer Booth

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.

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!

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