The Union Recorder

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
Poll
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot