Shelbyville Daily Union

Community News Network

June 22, 2014

Church lures worshippers with AR-15 giveaway

JOPLIN, Mo. — Some churches raffle quilts to get people through the doors. For Ignite Church, a nondenominational congregation, the lure is a couple of AR-15 rifles.



A week ago Sunday, the church gave area fathers an opportunity to put their names in a free drawing to win one of two AR-15 rifles. Fathers could get tickets for each child they brought to church, and for bringing his own dad to church.

Ignite's lead pastor, Heath Mooneyham, said the Father's Day giveaway targeted a specific demographic - males age 18 to 35. His church also lures younger congregants with loud rock music, outings to gun ranges and a black-and-green color scheme reminiscent of a video game.

Also, the pastor has tattoos and a mohawk.



“We’re not trying to put on a show for anybody,” Mooneyham said. “We’re just dudes.”

The AR-15 giveaway found controversy - in comments on the church's Facebook page and in other pulpits.

Steve Urie, pastor of the Joplin Diversity Fellowship, a non-denominational congregation open to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender worshippers, said giving away weapons leads to violence.

"I don’t think it’s just nontraditional," said Urie. "I think it’s careless and reckless.”



But Dan McCain, who plays lead guitar for the Ignite band and was one of the two AR-15 winners, said firearm ownership doesn't equate to violence.

"I’ve never won anything in my life, so it was exciting,” he said.

Though not a fully automatic weapon, the AR-15 discharges rounds as quickly as its operator can pull the trigger. It was one of several guns used in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman killed 12 people in a movie theater, and similar to the style of rifle used in the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

In a YouTube video shared on Ignite's Facebook page, Mooneyham called one of the rifles in the giveaway, made by Black Rain Ordnance in Neosho, Mo., the “Lamborghini of guns.”

Text Only
Community News Network
Featured Ads
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Poll

Should the minimum wage for workers be raised in Illinois?

Yes
No
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium