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Chick-fil-A in Virginia Opens Doors on Sunday to Serve as Worship Center for Displaced Church Congregation

( [email protected] ) Sep 12, 2017 09:29 AM EDT
September 12, 2017: A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Virginia has agreed to open its doors on Sundays, serving as a temporary church for a displaced congregation.
In 2012, Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy made headlines after he affirmed the company's stance in support of traditional marriage. Chick-fil-A

A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Virginia has agreed to open its doors on Sundays, serving as a temporary church for a displaced congregation.

The fast food restaurant, located in in Sandston, Va, is allowing White Oak Community Church to conduct its meetings inside the building until the congregation can find a more permanent solution, reports WTVR.

"Upon arriving to our current worship location we found that the building has condemned signs on the door," reads a Sept. 3 post on the church's Facebook page. "The only legal use of any of the spaces are for the Econolodge to conduct business. We obviously do not have church this morning."

Church members, however, expressed hope it's only a "minor setback."

"Often God sandblasted us out of places in order for us to see the next great thing that he has for His church," a church leader wrote. "A little frustrated this morning, but excited for what God has for our future!"

Later that evening during an emergency meeting, one of the church members called her boss at Chick-fil-A, who agreed to let White Oak temporarily use its space. The restaurant chain is known for being closed on Sunday to allow operators to attend church and spend time with their families.

"They are NOT open for business," the church clarified in a subsequent Facebook post. "They have simply agreed to let us use their space for worship this week."

Lead pastor Dave Wilde also shared his appreciation for Chick-fil-A and its manager, sending a "huge thank you to Greg Williams and Chick-fil-A for graciously agreeing to host us next Sunday."

While there will be no food served food served during the meeting, "[But] if you're a current or future attender, and you always wanted to worship in a restaurant setting, this is your lucky day," Wilde wrote.

White Oak later explained on Facebook that Econo Lodge had "fixed the building issues," but would not be returning to the space for a "number of reasons."

"We are excited to see what God is going to do next," church leaders wrote.

The Chick-fil-A franchise is known for adhering to Christian principles and has endured opposition and calls for boycotts due to their values.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy made headlines after he affirmed the company's stance in support of traditional marriage.

"We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles," he said, according to Forbes.

He later added, "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

At the time, the company was sharply criticized by the LGBT community, who called for a boycott of the fast-food chain. Civic leaders in Chicago and Boston also criticized the company, saying they would not welcome Chick-fil-A to their cities.

However, in response to the controversy, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee initiated a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day movement during which the company said it had "record-setting" sales.  A consulting firm estimated that the average Chick-fil-A restaurant had 29.9 percent more sales and 367 more customers than on a typical day.

Tags : White Oak Community Church, Chick-Fil-A, Chick-fil-A Sunday, Dan Cathy