WLIW Arts Beat


Church by the Glades

Church by the Glades is a church located in suburban South Florida that caters to a 21st century audience. From their signature hash tag (#NoPerfectPeopleAllowed) to their impressive social media reach (nearly 15,000 Instagram followers) to their rock-concert inspired performances, the Church is takin a bold approach to organized religion.

AIRED: June 11, 2018 | 0:04:59

All right, Anthony.

What do you got?

>> [ Rapping ] ♪ Yo

♪ One second

♪ Hey, if this your first time

at Church by the Glades ♪

♪ Welcome

>> My name is David Hughes,

and for almost, gosh, 20 years,

I've been the pastor of

Church by the Glades in

the South Florida/Coral Springs

area, Broward County.

>> ♪ Hey, because He lives

>> I can't teach people

until we get their attention,

so we work really, really hard.

And people today are so busy

and so distracted

that we want church to be

exciting, crazy, inspiring,

and we will get your attention.

In fact, we have a promise

at Church by the Glades --

you will not fall

asleep in our church.

>> ♪ You are good to me

♪ Yeah

♪ You're so good to me

♪ Whoa oh oh

>> Every 7 days,

there's a Sunday,

and every 7 days,

we're delivering

the same message,

the Gospel, you know?

God loves you.

He has a plan for your life,

and we've got to find a way

to repackage it,

make it interesting.

>> ♪ Sipping from your cup

till it runneth over ♪

♪ Holy Grail

>> I mean, we're always

recruiting volunteers,

people who are excited to be

a part of what we're doing --

vocalists, musicians, I mean,

even dancers.

Anybody who is an artist

in any capacity that we can put

onstage, we're looking

to recruit those people,

see if they want to be a part

of what we do.

>> ♪ Open it up

>> For us, we don't

worship the arts.

We worship God,

but we use the arts

to help bring people to God.

We just try to be creative, so

production values matter to us.

So, whether it's the quality

of our song or visuals or video

or dance, just making church

a predictably unpredictable

experience, which is

not the norm.

>> ♪ You survive

♪ Still getting bigger

♪ You're living the life

>> We're in South Florida,

where people

tend not to go to church,

so we just changed our mentality

and started thinking,

"People don't go to church.

What environments

do they go to?"

And so we thought about concerts

and clubs, so our church

has a bit of a vibe that feels

probably more like a concert.

>> I started coming here

in maybe 2007 or 2008, and what

I immediately loved was that

the presentation of the Gospel

and how creative they were.

I was not sure

if I was in a concert or not.

>> ♪ Yeah

>> Our music is sacred as well

as what you might call secular.

We try to start where the


or the audience,

where they live.

>> If you hear your favorite

song that you've heard on the

radio, and you hear it in

church, immediately you're

disarmed, and you're like,

"Oh, my gosh, I love that song.

It's being performed so well."

There are all these lights, and

already the folded-arm attitude

that you might have come in

with, you drop the hands

and then you're open to hearing

what Pastor David has to bring.

>> ♪ All about us

>> We're able to allow

biblical principles

to kind of be attached to it,

that when people leave,

they leave with a new meaning

and a new purpose.

>> ♪ Oh oh oh oh

♪ Oh oh oh oh

♪ Oh oh oh oh

>> I think the majority of the

crowd's reaction is they're

truly amazed at what we do here.

The production here,

the lighting,

the sound, the singers,

it's just all the talent here

that we have.

When we all come together,

it always turns into something

so spectacular that, you know,

sitting in the crowd, like, you

have no choice but to just

be taken back by what you see.

>> ♪ For you're glorious

>> Performing in front

of an audience this size,

to be honest,

I've gotten a little used to it,

but I do remember, when I first

started, this was probably

the biggest audience I had

ever performed in front of.

It's nerve-racking.

[ Chuckles ]

I mean, that's to say the least.

But, you know,

once we're out there,

and once the adrenaline starts

rushing through you, like,

it's turned that nervousness

into adrenaline and just,

you know, push through it,

and it always comes out awesome.

>> ♪ This is me

>> ♪ Hey


♪ Hallelujah

>> Our church

is multigenerational, but

we're heavy with young people.

Twenty-somethings and younger

are probably

our fattest demographic.

As we program, we think

through where they are in life,

what they're dealing with.

Social media is a huge part

of that world, so we leverage

that as much as we can.

>> And then I'll post on

social media, and I'll get a

message from a friend I went to

high school with, and he's like,

"That's your church?

Are you sure?

Are you sure that's a church?

That's not a church."

And I'm like, "Dude, that's my


Come check it out,"

And when they come through the

doors, again, their mind is

blown, their eyes are open

to what church can really be.

You've got to be willing to

change, you know,

not the message but basically

the way it's delivered, the way

it's packaged so that somebody

else, like me -- something who's

young, who is not necessarily

interested in old-school or

traditional ways -- can see that

there's, you know, there's

something amazing about this



>> To see more of

Church by the Glades,

click the link on our Web page.


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