It’s not normal to be greeted at church with a fist-bump, but at the First Heavy Metal Church of America, that’s exactly the way things are done. Full of bikers, worshipers dressed in black and spikes, and tattoos, this church is where metal-loving Christians come to congregate.

The Church, located in Ohio, was founded by Pastor Brian Smith who had grown disillusioned with the teaching that listening to heavy metal or wearing black would send you straight to hell. He left his church with a stack of bibles and started preaching at the back of a bar where he played in an amateur metal band, behind a strip club. He believes that God asked all of his followers to baptize and convert whoever they could, and what better place to do that than a bar?

His services have become so popular that there’s now standing room only, and everyone is welcome, including drug addicts, bikers, metalheads and prostitutes. It’s a church for those who might not sweat a little in a traditional church setting.

Pastor Brian says that God welcomes everyone, and Jesus would have preached exactly this way. His services are filled with Christ-themed heavy metal, acceptance and a huge range of people.

Natalie