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Church Offers $10 to First-Time Visitors

April 11, 1994

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) _ Most churches collect money during services. The Frederick Christian Fellowship church gave it away.

The first 125 adults to attend the evangelical Christian church Sunday were given $10 bills. All they had to do was sit through the 75-minute service, which included a short skit and singing backed by a light-rock band.

″We’re not trying to steal members of other churches. We’re trying to reach out to those who are not going to church,″ said Kim Kesecker, assistant director of ministries.

″Many people complain they don’t go to church because churches always want money. We thought, ’Why not be bold and give them money?‴

The church spent a few thousand dollars to advertise Sunday’s giveaway, and the promotion appeared to pay off. About 300 people attended - 125 more than usual.

Most people took the money, but many said later they gave it back when the collection plate was passed. Thirty-two people kept the $10.

The Rev. Randy Goldenberg, the 43-year-old pastor who preaches in jeans and a denim shirt, said the event was worth the investment if any of the first- time visitors decided to return.

″I think the money brought some people who in all likelihood are not going to church,″ he said. ″We want them to know that church can be culturally relevant. Some today will find significance with Christ and will tell their friends about it.″

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