Assemblies of God congregation thrives in Washington movie theater

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The feature presentation at one Washington movie theater plays every Sunday morning.

National Community Church worships in a theater at the Union Station railroad complex near Capitol Hill, and says a third of the congregation was attracted through ads the church has run at each film showing for the last two years.

The slogan appearing on all nine screens at the complex: ''Now meeting at a theater near you.''

The congregation, affiliated with the Assemblies of God, started with 19 members in 1996. Current attendance averages 400.

''With advertising, you try to saturate a market and let people know that you exist,'' the Rev. Mark Batterson, 32, told the denomination's news service.

He said the unusual location allows easy train, subway and bus access. The congregation has a lease on the theater until 2007.


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