Church Takes Over Building That Used To Be An Adult Swingers' Club

Church 2:14 in Peoria, Illinois, is expanding, though its new home may be a little surprising—the building used to be a sex club.

Services are currently held at the Monarch Music Hall, a concert venue, which fits the contemporary Christian music vibe of the church. But as the church expands, it's beginning to outgrow the music hall. A typical Sunday sees between 120 and 150 parishioners.

"[Monarch have] been unbelievable partners, but we just have it for Sunday mornings," Chris Toews, chairman of the Church 2:14 board, told the Peoria Journal Star. "Monarch's a great facility, but we were kind of lost up there a little bit on the north side.

church 2:14 service
Services for Church 2:14 are currently held at the Monarch Music Hall, a music venue in Peoria, Illinois. The church expects it to be a year until they can move into the new space. Church 2:14

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"We've wanted for a long time to be in the center of the city, to kind of rebuild with the rest of those businesses down there. We see it as a new epicenter, drawing people in rather than pushing people out, as it was for a while," Toews added.

The building Church 2:14 is hoping to move into comes with an interesting history. Until 2011, the building housed Club 307, a swingers' club.

"It's a pretty interesting story there, going from that to a church," Toews said.

The building is currently completely empty. It's estimated converting the space into the new home of Church 2:14 will take between $700,000 and $800,000, including the purchase price.

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Though Church 2:14 is a legitimate church taking over a space that used to be a swingers' club, in Nashville, a swingers' club tried to pass itself off as a church.

In 2015, The Social Club, a Nashville-area swingers' club tried to open at a former medical office building. When the city council quickly rezoned the area to keep The Social Club from opening, the owners had a surprising response: They rebranded the club as the United Fellowship Center, a church. It wasn't going to be a traditional church, though; members of the United Fellowship Center would worship by having sex.

In 2017, an injunction was filed by the city against the United Fellowship Center after investigators confirmed the organization was indeed functioning as a sex club, down to charging an entry fee of $40. Though the Social Club is still open, it appears that the United Fellowship Center location has closed.

It's not uncommon for distinctively shaped buildings like former Pizza Huts to be taken over by churches, including the Full Gospel Church in Augusta, Georgia and the Church of Our Savior in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Oddly enough, there are a number of empty church buildings across the country. New York City's St. Vincent de Paul Church closed in the early 2000s. The building owners decided to sell, and now the renovated 19th-century building is known as the Spire Lofts, a luxury apartment building. A one-bedroom unit in the Spire Lofts can go for as much as $4,767 per month.

Church Takes Over Building That Used To Be An Adult Swingers' Club | Culture