LOS ANGELES, CA—Green Hills Community Church confirmed to local news teams Thursday that it had recently added a heavy metal service to its traditional and contemporary selections, causing its attendance to skyrocket.
Metalheads from around the region and across the country pack the church’s sanctuary each week, ready to worship God and “mosh for Jesus.”
Immediately after the 5:30 a.m. traditional service and the 9:00 a.m. contemporary service, church ushers clear the pews and rope off a moshpit section just in front of the main stage. The worship band then swaps out their skinny jeans and scoop-neck t-shirts for well-worn Iron Maiden shirts, denim vests and pre-shreded denim pants and “turns the volume up to 11.”
“We have to reach people where they are at, and if where they’re at is headbanging to ‘Tornado of Souls,’ we’ll be right there alongside them,” Pastor Buzz told reporters. “We’ve got a great setlist next week—we’re gonna kick things off with ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ and ‘Neon Knights,’ and later on we’ll be slowing it down for the altar call with ‘A Tout Le Monde.'”
“Make sure to stay for the encore performance of ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’—our worship band absolutely slays the dueling guitar solos,” he added, before flashing the sign of the horns.
Worship songs at the new heavy metal service integrate nearly all genres of metal, including doom metal, black metal, speed metal, and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, though nu metal is, of course, excluded. Sermons are reportedly carried over from the church’s other services, but include more illustrations drawn from Metallica and Black Sabbath albums, as well as relevant, trendy music videos like Dio’s “Holy Diver” and Pantera’s “Cowboys from Hell.”