A Virginia church is encouraging members to worship in the nude. Members of White Tail Chapel in Ivor, Virginia, believe the word of God is far more important than what they do or do not wear. Pastor Allen Parker, who often preaches in the nude, said the policy allows people to worship more freely.
Parker explains that Jesus was nude during “the biggest moments” in his life:
“When he was born he was naked, when he was crucified he was naked and when he arose he left his clothes in the tomb and he was naked. If God made us that way, how can that be wrong?”
Pastor Parker said the nudity is not meant to be sexual. He said he simply wants to provide a non-judgemental atmosphere, where people are free to express themselves in the most natural way possible. According to Parker, his congregation is simply seeking “inner peace.”
White Tail Chapel certainly has an unusual dress code. However, the non-denominational church operates like many others. They welcome members of all faiths to participate in their services. Pastor Parker said his church focuses on the family and actively participates in community service.
Member Robert Church said he and his wife began attending the Virginia church’s nude services shortly after they got married. He said the congregation welcomed them with open arms and has accepted them as family. Church said the clothing optional policy helps people get closer to God:
“People are more open as far as hearing the word of God, and speaking the word of God.”
Although some people may be hesitant to remove their clothing, Parker said nudity reminds his congregation to accept their flaws and think beyond physical appearance:
“There’s not a feeling that you have to be better than one another, physically… We’re humans, we have scars, we have what we have… it’s learning to love and accept that.”
NBC 12 reports The White Tail Chapel is part of a popular nudist resort. The White Tail Resort, which was established in 1984, is a family friendly nudist community. In addition to the chapel, the resort offers camp grounds, accommodations, and recreational activities.
As reported by WVEC News, the resort hosts an average of 10,000 guests every year. Office manager Michael Dougherty said the community offers guests an environment which is free from stress and societal judgments.
Pastor Parker wants to offer the same environment to his congregation. The Virginia church’s nude services are held every Sunday morning.
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