Wilmington congregation uses barroom for its church

Employee pours beer at Waterline Brewing Company on Saturday, July 1, 2017. (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Since April, a North Carolina bar known for craft beer has been holding church services.

The Wilmington StarNews reports that a small congregation meets three Sundays each month at The Sour Barn in Ogden. The bar is affiliated with Broomtail Craft Brewery.

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The services include two hours of prayer, music, Bible study and discussion. Pastor Matthew Ray says people often stick around afterward to keep the discussion going over a beer.

Ray says that instead of a traditional sermon he opens a discussion and the group then talks about real-world problems and applies Bible teachings to them. The gatherings typically draw 15 to 30 people.

Barry Owings frequently attends what’s known as Church at the Sour Barn with his wife. He describes it as an alternative to conventional church.