DORA - A new Wednesday night church has recently been started in Dora that is designed to encourage discussion and questions about spiritual matters and faith. Todd Hunter, 49, of Nauvoo, who …
DORA - A new Wednesday night church has recently been started in Dora that is designed to encourage discussion and questions about spiritual matters and faith.
Todd Hunter, 49, of Nauvoo, who was formerly with The Rock in downtown Jasper, and Kip Nails, 40, of Gardendale, have come together to form Truth Seekers, a name that was picked from two dozen names last week.
"They are looking for the truth. Obviously the truth will liberate you and it will set you free," said Hunter on Tuesday. "Maybe the group that is meeting that is not satisfied with the surface of things. They want to go deeper," learning "the whys and the why nots."
Hunter said he has known Nails for about 20 years.
"Kip and I, when I was in Gardendale, we were on staff together (at the Church at Peachtree). I was the pastor and he was like the youth/music. I was there about a year and a half," before moving to Jasper. After Nails lived in Pennsylvania for a number of years, he returned to Gardendale, where he now deals with real estate.
The two friends reunited and decided to try a church that was halfway between where they lived.
"Dora is a 30-minute drive for him and a 30-minute drive for me," he said. "We're meeting at the Dora Civic Center" on Sharon Boulevard, across from First Baptist Church of Dora. Meeting at the civic center only costs them only $100 for each meeting, with neither man taking a salary. Any funds given goes to the rental of the facility.
Hunter, who has worked at Southeast Hospice for 12 years, noted the members are coming from different ares as well, including most of the cities in Walker County.
The church meets every Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., he said, with no weekend meetings. "
He works full-time and I work full-time," Hunter said. "A lot of people work full-time. I like my weekends. ... Weekends are a time for families to chill and relax, and spend time with each other." He noted there are also fewer events on Wednesday night.
He also noted that the people coming are "may still be going to their churches on Sunday and Sunday nights," which was another reason to meet on Wednesday. This would allow "a more in-depth study group that is available to them." They have been careful not to put church in the name, but it will be organized as a church.
"We started meeting a couple of weeks ago," he said. "There are no pastors. Kip and I facilitate. We're working together," taking turns sharing or inviting others to come in and share.
Aside from some praise and worship music in the service, "basically it is more of a discussion format," he said "We have about 20 coming now. We put our tables in a U-shape. It is more discussion-centered. It's not just someone lecturing for 30 minutes and we go home."
Many people have a number of questions, which allows people to go more in-depth on issues than perhaps in a traditional format.
"They come from all kinds of backgrounds. There are Baptists, pentecostals, charismatic, Primitive Baptist, Church of Christ, Methodists, Nazarite," Hunter said. "There are all sorts of backgrounds. It's very nondenominational independent. We don't major on beliefs. Obviously everyone has their different belief system. We allow people to share their beliefs as long as people don't condemn or judge another person, or try to talk someone into their belief. We try to keep the topics more general."
"We have an atmosphere of acceptance, no matter where somebody is. Even if we don't have the same familiar belief system, allow that person to share without them having to fear someone will judge or condemn them. We have some people who don't believe there is a heaven and a hell. We have some people who don't believe you have to be baptized or you need to be this or need to be that. It is OK. It is just where they are."
The general conviction that holds the members together is Jesus Christ. "That ties it all together. We're not New Agey. Christ is the basis; he is the middle," Hunter said.
Anyone wanting more information may call Hunter at 205-471-4952.