Mall Church Booming as Recession Wanes

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President Obama claimed Friday during a last minute news conference that government should get much of the credit for slowing down the recession.

Others argue it has much more to do with efforts by businesses and other americans across the nation.

Obama basically said "you're welcome" for the better than expected news about the economy. He gave the credit to action his administration and Congress took.

"As many economists will tell you, that part of the progress is directly attributable to the Recovery Act," Obama said. "This and other difficult but important steps that we've taken over the last six months have helped us put the brakes on the recession."

Though after that, he did seem to acknowledge the central role of business as being the producer of all those millions of new jobs that will make the economy healthy and robust again.

"Eventually businesses will start growing and start hiring again, and that's when it will truly feel like a recovery to the American people," Obama said. 

Mall Church Boosts Business

Most people realize that it takes much more than efforts from the top to make a thriving economy. One North Carolina pastor and his congregants have found a way even they can help.

They've decided to hold church in a Wilmington mall that's suffering from lost business and shuttered shops.

"What we're going to do is bring hundreds and hundreds of people coming through these doors, flooding this mall with people, and what mall doesn't want a bunch of people to show up at their facility," Blevins said.

Church members have had varied reactions.

"Initially, I kind of thought that's weird," Lindsey Holmes, Life Community Church member, said.

"When I heard about the mall, I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that's where we were supposed to be," Greg Bradshaw, also a member at Life Community, said.

History experts say its not that weird to worship outside church walls.

"As far back as 1739, there was an an Anglican Evangelist by the name of George Whitfield," Walter Conser, professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Carolina said. "When he preached here, he preached in the courthouse, he was known for preaching in fields, and barns, wherever he could find an audience."

Bringing Church to the People
The ailing mall jumped at the idea.

"We called the mall and they just opened the door wide open for us to come be here," Blevins said.

The move may bring many more people to the church.

"Now, instead of being in a location where people have to go find us, we're going to where the people meet," Bradshaw said.

"All of a sudden, we've found ourselves in the mall, which is right in the middle of the community," Holmes said.

Its a win-win, for both the sacred and the secular.


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