A Church with Bibles (Literally) in the Walls Opens in Chattanooga

There’s a new $8,500,000 church opening in Chattanooga this week. But it’s better than other churches, you see. It’s a mega-church that strives to be a meta-church, transcending denominations and welcoming all Christian traditions under its roof.

Oh. And it’s made partly out of Bibles. Actual, physical Bibles. Because that’s how architecture works:

What I imagine were the blueprints for the International Conference and World Church Center

Builders of the headquarters of the International Congress of Churches and Ministers and its International Conference and World Church Center on Lee Highway implanted about 900 Bibles in the metal wall studs and ceilings and 100 more in its concrete sidewalks.

“When you come in here, you’re surrounded by the word of God,” said Michael Chitwood, founder and chief executive of ICCM.

Okay, that aside, is this whole thing just a waste of space and money like the recent Triple Crosses (in the same city), or is there some “higher purpose” to it all?

“It seems that in Baptist churches, Baptists want to hang together. In Churches of God, Church of God people hang together. In Methodist churches, Methodists hang together,” [Chitwood] said. “It seems like there was no neutral venue where all brothers and sisters in Christ can come together.”

Right… No neutral venue where Christians can gather.

Except for country music concerts, Congress, and all of Alabama.

(By the way, if you like loud, blaring music and animated fire, check out the website for ICCM. It seems they can afford a multi-million-dollar church but not a website designer…)

But here’s the best part: There will be classes offered at the center that are sure to be a hit:

One of the ICCM meetings this week will be the free millionaire wealth seminar to help people financially and teach them how to handle debt, Chitwood said. People who want to have their own business may be interested, he said.

“Wealth is not how much you make, but how much you keep,” Chitwood said. “We teach a strong program of financial breakthrough.”

Makes sense, I guess. The program is free, but if you are lucky enough to get out of debt and make some real money, the church will undoubtedly pressure you into giving them a chunk of it.

On the positive side, Chitwood says the church is also committed to feeding the local poor through its kitchen. That’s a nice touch. More of that, please. As it stands, there’s just too much to

(Image via Shutterstock — Thanks to Alex for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.