September 9, 2023
Music News

This punk rock church is probably a cult. And it’s okay with that.

The Deliverance Bible Church near Dallas is a Christian outfit that offers outreach to disaffected kids. But is it more of a cult than a church? Either way, it seems to be fine with the designation. This is from

One day in May 1999, Cleetus Adrian was watching The Apostle, the 1997 film starring Robert Duvall, when—as he tells it—he heard God tell him to become a pastor. Adrian’s father was a Nazarene pastor, and he already attended his father’s church. But when God calls, you answer.

That weekend, as on most weekends, Adrian went to a punk show in the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he lived. Looking around at the concertgoers, Adrian thought, They’re sheep without a shepherd. The following Sunday, Adrian opened a punk-rock church where outcast kids could go to worship: Deliverance Bible Church.

Adrian’s best friend Jeff Davis was the first to show up at DBC’s inaugural service. DBC wasn’t much of a church at first: ten friends met at the YMCA gym in Fort Worth and read a few Bible verses. But, unlike at other churches, they could pray however they wanted: sing, dance, run around, shoot hoops. Adrian, Davis, and others started handing out DBC flyers at concerts.

About a year later, the DIY young church moved from the YMCA to its current location in Hurst, Texas, a small, mall-dominated suburb nearby. Hundreds of people started showing up every Sunday: punk rockers with ten-inch blue mohawks, heavily pierced goths, hardcore kids. Word spread that even if you couldn’t wear a spiky collar to your mother’s church, you would be welcomed at DBC.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37017 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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