Tulsa Church Delivers Its Message At Glenpool Tavern

Sunday, April 29th 2012, 4:51 pm

It does seem to be a bit of a contradiction -- holding a church service in a bar.

But these folks don't see it that way.

They say it's just an alternative approach to the age-old idea of sharing the gospel with others.

It's not your typical church setting. There's no sanctuary to speak of, not a Bible in sight.

"Drunk Monkey, I want to hear you scream," the pastor yells.

But the most unconventional part of all, is a church service streaming live into a little Glenpool bar called The Drunk Monkey Tavern.

The pastor, Eastman Curtis, who is a little unconventional himself, admits even he was hesitant in at first.

"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, in a bar? I mean really, have church in a bar?'" Curtis said.

Bar owner Joe Beene said, 'Why not?'

"This would be more of a California sort of thing to do, but that doesn't mean we can't do it in the Bible belt," Beene said.

Beene's plan to bring the pulpit to his patrons is clearly working.

The bar is full of folks who otherwise might never set foot in a church.

"Some people don't have their Sunday best, they just have what they have, and they can come here, not get judged and get a chance to worship the Lord," Beene said.

Keep in mind, the bartender is not here mixing drinks and serving beer - but instead it's breakfast and coffee and a message that worship is welcome anywhere.

"It's not like we're all in here knocking back shots or whatever, we came for a certain purpose to watch church and that's what we're gonna do," Glenpool resident Veronica Luzania said.

As with anything, this unorthodox idea is catching flack from critics who say that a so-called sinful place is no place for a sermon.

But the "congregation" here, says the bar is just as good a place as any.

"I can understand if people are a little skeptical at the thought of a place called the Drunk Monkey being a place where you would find the gospel and yet, God is just as alive here as he is anywhere," Glenpool resident Lowell Peterson said.

Curtis says he doesn't know of any other church or bar in the state that is teaming to share the word.

The hope now is that other bars in the area will follow suit and hold similar services.

As for the Drunk Monkey, the doors will be open every Sunday morning for church.

You just have to be 21 to attend.