What's this? Romance and religion?
Ladies and gentlemen, let us take a second to announce our favorite pastor of the year, Maurice Johnson, of the Winners Church in Queens, N.Y. We especially love the name and ideas behind his church.
Its history is incredible and inspiring. Johnson began meeting with others who believe as he does in his basement apartment in Hollis, and there they prayed and worshipped until the congregation became too large to fit inside. From there, they moved to a local store front. Now they're 75 members strong, with a staff of ten and a ministry we think even some non-believers could benefit from.
The sermon that's put Johnson in the media all across the nation is about God's opinion on marital relationships and includes a kissing contest. Well, no. Kissing contest is putting it mildly.
Johnson picks a few of his members from the congregation and asks them to come to the pulpit and show their spouses how they feel about them by making out with them in front of everyone. We're talking deep tongue kissing, and even a little hip grinding. Fully clothed, of course. It is church, after all.
The congregation votes on the couple who got it on the best, and that couple wins $50 toward a date night! Yeah, that's pretty much awesome.
“Your bedroom and your love life are fires that must be nurtured and fought for,” Johnson preaches to the crowd gathered in the PS 38 gym that has become his church in Rosedale, Queens. “Use the power of touch to ignite passion in your marriage. You should be visually stimulated for your husband or your wife. It is your biblical responsibility to look good for your spouse.”
You read that right. We laughed out loud with glee when we read the story. Some of us can count on one hand the number of times we caught our parents in an embrace where anyone could see, a sentiment expressed by some of Pastor Johnson's congregants.
“My father and my mother never showed affection in public,” said Ayani, 33, who had to talk his wife, Ayanna, into doing as the pastor asked. “I told myself, ‘I’m going to be more affectionate to my wife.’ ”
Johnson believes wholeheartedly that God wants us to be passionate with our spouses, even in public. He says, “God created a desire for love and romance.”
We couldn't agree more.