JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tailgating and football go hand in hand. One church hopes to deliver the word of God to fans who may have skipped the Sunday sermon in favor of tailgating and football.
First Baptist Church of Orange Park has permission from the Jaguars to hold services in a stadium parking lot. Lead pastor David Tarkington calls it the gameday church.
"This really is an experiment to see if we can pull it off. Next year with home games our intent is to do it prior to every home game," Tarkington said.
The church will hold another service next Sunday before the Jaguars host the Atlanta Falcons. Gameday church meets in the lot near the old St. Andrews Church.
People who were walking by stopped for the service.
"We can incorporate spending time worshiping first and then come out and watch our Jaguars and cheer them on," Chris Hartley said.
"As they come to the stadium together and walk by our tent and our location it's easy for the whole family to stop by. It's safe, it's family friendly. We have some giveaways that we're doing and it's fun. We're seeing different generations, multiracial, multiethnic, so really the foundation is that we are a church. We are unapologetic about who we are as Christians, but we're also football fans," Tarkington said.