This week’s featured worship space comes from Calvary: SoBe
TCC: Thanks for taking the time share about your ministry! How did this tattoo parlor campus get started?
Amor: Through a series of events my Friend and I purchase the tattoo shop in May. the next day I met a couple at an anti-human trafficking event, their names are Tim and Sandi Savage. They visited the shop that weekend and asked me if I wouldn’t mind having a time of fellowship and service at the shop. They had actually been on South Beach for a year and had left Kentucky to come and plant a church. They told me that they had been specifically praying over the street and the actual tattoo shop for the year. I also found out that other people in ministry had been praying. We are on Washington Ave which is known for it’s life of sin: clubs, drunks, drugs, prostitution, you name it. We started that following Sunday.
We would go out into the street and invite people walking by. A month afterwards Tim, who did the teachings, had to go to Naples with his wife and we decided to stream in the live service from the church I attend: Calvary Chapel Kendall. We sent out invites via posts on Instagram and had about 30+ people attend. A guy came in off the street and got saved. His story was amazing. he had been out all night on a molly drug high and ended up getting mugged, having his truck stolen, and literally found himself waking up on the sidewalk of south beach. he strolled into the shop and heard the message and gave his life to the Lord. I sent a picture to our pastor, Pastor Pedro Garcia, and he was in awe. After this we agreed that every service would be a stream of the Calvary:Kendall 8am service.
Our group started growing to 40+ and then Pastor Pedro starting acknowledging us during the live stream and it got everyone happy to be able to interact with the Pastor. So it was more than just watching a stream. Then one day during the live stream the Pastor told us that he would be preaching live the following week from the shop. We were blown away. That following weekend, 8/8 Pastor Pedro came and we had live worship as well. and we had about 83 people attend. Then after that the pastor sort of officially made us an extension service of our church. Since then we have live preaching and live worship each Sunday and we are officially Calvary:SoBe our main church is Calvary:Kendall www.calvaryconnect.com
What needs were there? well initially we just rearranged the furniture, sofas, etc and made room for everyone to watch the tv mounted on the wall. as we began to grow we needed to bring in folding chairs, sound equipment, rugs, etc.
Amor: It’s always cool. We have seen homeless people come in and we are seeing God working through in them. It’s a slow process for some but I see God’s hand on their lives. We have had several people accept Christ that just happened to walk in or were invited by one of us as we walked up and down Washington Ave at 6:30am. Most people are coming out of a club or coming down from a high at this time. We pray about God opening up the doors for us to invite people at Starbucks and on the street. A few weeks ago, after the service was over, a man stopped at the front door. I started talking to him and I could tell he was still super high. I saw he had a wrist band on and asked him where he was headed. He said he was on his way to Club Space (this is the local after hours club that opens at 5am) I asked him if he wanted some coffee and donuts so he could get some energy and be on his way. I told him we had just finished having church. Everyone is always surprised because it’s a tattoo shop. He came in and I brought him to a group of the guys and a pastor. they talked to him for a while and about 25 minutes after he accepted the Lord. it’s been so cool… We also have a lady that is homeless. we met her one sunday morning on Washington Ave and invited her. She has terminal cancer. when she first came in she wanted an immediate fix to this. But she has continued to come back and I can see her slowly softening. the last service she was actually singing the songs and was tearing up. normally she is very hardened and just looks straight ahead. I know God is going to reach her and she will accept Jesus as her Savior before she passes on to be with Him.
TCC: What do you do to prepare the tattoo parlor for a church service?
Amor: We arrive at 6am and start rearranging the furniture, moving all the biohazard receptacles, etc out of the way. We take down picture frames off the wall and then lay down rugs and run the cords for the A/V stuff. Then we make sure we have propresenter ready with the slides, videos, lyrics, etc all ready to go. the Worship team will have a sound check and then we will have a production meeting and open the doors up just after. Then we roll!
TCC: What does your worship team and ministry look like?
Amor: We have a worship leader, a back up vocalist or two and a drummer on a djembe. We have had a full band as well but the current worship leader prefers the setting to be more intimate and more unplugged. The worship is awesome. Since it’s such a tight space the place really gets lifted up as everyone is singing.
TCC: How can people who read this post be praying for your ministry?
Amor: To continue for God to open doors for the business to flourish so that we can continue to hold the services at the shop. and for the doors to be open for more people coming out of the clubs to have a place to come and worship freely and have an opportunity to encounter God.
TCC: Thanks for taking the time to share about your worship space!