The sign outside the building reads: “Every Saint Has a Past, Every Hellion a Future.” This must be the place. I park next to a stack of motorcycles and pickup trucks, alongside a bus with “The First Heavy Metal Church” written in the same font that Iron Maiden uses. I’m surrounded by a sea of tattooed bikers. We’re all here to put the Jesus pedal to the heavy metal at the First Heavy Metal Church of Christ in Dayton, Ohio.
FHMCC was founded three and a half years ago by Pastor Brian Smith, a heavy metal musician who became disillusioned with the Christianity of his youth. So he left that church and, armed with a cheap PA and a stack of discount Bibles, started his weekly FHMCC services in the back room of a venue where he played with his secular metal band, across the street from a strip club.
Prostitutes, drug addicts, bikers, gang members, metalheads, felons. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, or where you come from. Here at the FHMCC, everyone is welcome with open arms.
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