Two brothers in Spokane, WA were collectors of old arcade cabinets (y’know, the big ass machines that ate all your quarters and made arcades popular back in the 90s). They soon encountered a problem: they didn’t have enough space for all their games;
The Arnold brothers purchased the arcade games from a vendor who could no longer store them. As one brother explained: “Well, we filled my basement. We filled my brother’s basement. We filled my friend’s garage. And then we started filling my brother’s shop and then we started filling his yard. We got a city violation from the city of Shadle for that one.”
As many of you know, church attendance is in decline and so some churches are going out of business. The Arnold brothers found such a church and decided to buy it to store all their phat loot:
In search of a permanent location for the arcade games, the brothers set out to purchase some real estate. To do so they sold one of their most prized possessions — a signed Johnny Ramone Mosrite guitar for $71,785. Using the proceeds from the guitar sale, they purchased a former Free Methodist church building located at 2024 E. Boone Ave.”
Sadly, the city said that in order to purchase the building they had to be a church. The brothers obliged by creating the Church of the Jedi Alliance:
The city said if you want to use that building for anything other than a house, it has to be a church, and we went ‘Yeah, we can make that work.’” So, they registered as a church and have been using the property ever since.
The Church gets its name from the storied Star Wars franchise. According to the brothers, Tim and Tyler Arnold, “[t]he Jedi belief structure is that Jediism will have you be a better person. Whatever your belief structure is can go hand in hand with what we’re doing.”
As local news coverage put it, “where a pastor used to administer communion, a Jedi minister now guides his congregation in a game of Donkey Kong.” Jedi Alliance’s Facebook page is available here. Local coverage, including a news video and slideshow of Jedi Alliance, is available here.
What can the city possibly say? “Jedi? Why, that’s just ridiculous!” — all the while there are churches everywhere believing a guy rose from the dead and walked on water. But The Force? That’s just preposterous!