It is a Sunday morning at Holy Kiss Baptist Church. The lights in the sanctuary dim as smoke fills the room. Suddenly in the darkness spotlights begin to move around. Cheers and screams arise from the congregation. Then the mysterious sound of the lone beat of a kick drum begins pounding out a 4/4 rhythm, accenting the first beat every time. The tension and excitement heighten when an electric guitar lets out a growling "thrash" on a single chord that seems to ring forever. And finally, when it seems that the building momentum can go no further in runs Pastor David Remington, face painted, hair-waving. He falls to his knees sliding to the center of the stage and air-guitars to an improvised solo by the church's praise band guitarist.
"Are you ready to solid rock?" Screams Remington to the cheering crowd that responds with a resounding "Amen!" Repeating himself, he screams again, "I said are you ready to solid rock all you saints?" "Amen!" the shouts come again. The praise band begins playing the music to Poison's Don't Need Nothing But a Good Time, but the words are that of Rock of Ages Cleft for Me.
Thus goes a typical Sunday at Holy Kiss Baptist Church, a church that, until about 5 years ago, resembled most average mainstream Baptist churches in America. But when the church determined to focus their outreach to "Old Rockers" they decided to contextualize their worship in order to make people feel more comfortable.
"We now have more than 1000 people attending now." Said Remington. "All of the songs that we sing are new words set to old Rock tunes."
Examples of the church's music include Prepare Me for Heaven set to Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven, and Save Me Up set to the Rolling Stones' Start Me Up.
"One song that always gets the crowd going is when we do Sinful Ways set to Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze." Said Remington as he broke into an impromptu rendition,
All in my life,
So much pain and strife.
It ain't funny,
And I tell you why,
'scuse me while I pray and cry."
"And, of course," Said Remington, "some songs like The Doobie Brothers' Jesus is Just Alright With Me, need no adjustment whatsoever."
"It's been the coolest thing I've ever been to." Said church member Henry Woodriff. "Brother Dave just tears the place apart week after week."
Remington usually ends the time of praise and worship which he calls the "Solid Rock Concert" by either smashing or burning a guitar on stage. This is followed by his sermon which he calls the "backstage pass." During this time, Remington sits on a couch on the stage, kicks up his feet and just talks to his "fans" about something from the Bible.
"Attendance is growing and growing." Said Remington. "If things continue I think we'll start bringing in some opening acts."