Monday, October 24, 2016

10.24.16 Bee-otch of the Day: New Hope Community Church

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Name: New Hope Community Church
Age: 26
Occupation: megachurch wannabe
Last Seen: near Yuba, MI
Bee-otched For: using a Chuck E. Cheese method to get butts in the seats

When I was a kid growing up in northern Michigan, I would get bummed watching Saturday morning cartoons.

They would air an advertisement that would start off with a young boy at a dreary, boring restaurant and all the sudden, Chuck E. Cheese would come out of nowhere and transport that bored kid to a land of arcade games and crappy pizza.

Problem was, the nearest Chuck E.'s was hundreds of miles from where I lived up in Torch Lake, MI. Hell, the nearest big town to me, Elk Rapids, didn't have much in the way of video games, especially when it came to newer games.

Sadly, I lived in an area where if you were a minor, nobody liked you. As a matter of fact, Elk Rapids seemed to create more laws to piss us 1990s kids off than to do anything to make us happy.

So when I heard that New Hope Community Church a few miles south of town reopened their "KidZone", I cringed.

Yes, KidZone, where a kid can be a kid, but with New Hope's version of Jesus involved!

According to the news story, courtesy of Traverse City NBC affiliate WPBN-TV 7&4, KidZone has arcade games, ping pong, a bounce house and so much more. According to the church, they now plan to add more classrooms and a 24-hour chapel.

From the looks of things, the KidZone is New Hope's old sanctuary building and gym, at least before their old pastor begged his people for a shit ton of money.

You see, back in the 1990s, I was a teen living with my Dad full-time. My Father was a bus driver, and one day, he dropped off some kids whose parents went to New Hope. Dad and I went, and in the beginning, we were amazed by the size of the church. Immediately, we became full-time parishioners.

During our time at New Hope, I was a regular at their youth ministry. Things were cool and groovy in the beginning, but as the church grew, things started falling apart. They decided to split the youth ministry to two, middle and high school. The middle schoolers got to smack each other with dodgeballs while us high schoolers were thrown into small groups. In these "small groups", our leader would ask us personal questions in front of fellow students. Some of the kids in the room were people I went to school with. It seemed that a lot of the time, they made us feel guilty about even THINKING about sex. The more I went there, the more I HATED youth group.

Of course, the final shoe fell when Rev. David Standfest spent several Sundays telling us all to donate $1.7 million to expand the church. Some people even sold their businesses to do so. Dad and I had a discussion about the church and its antics and we both decided to quit. Because of New Hope's plea for money, it taught me that sadly, churches were becoming more and more of a business instead of serving the people. This is the reason why I decided not to go to church for many years.

Thankfully, I found a church here in Grand Rapids that doesn't beg for money every week. We help the homeless and we're solar powered instead of getting our energy from coal. As for Standfest, he retired from New Hope TC and moved to Grand Rapids where he started another New Hope at the Celebration! Cinema North.

Look, churches need to honor God and not use graven images to get kids and their parents in. Maybe if Elk Rapids wasn't all about what's best for the old fogies that live there, kids there wouldn't want to wait to go to church just to have fun.

Because I shouldn't have to tell a youth ministry leader how much I masturbate to get into the bouncehouse.


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