News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

'Pig & Gig' kicks off new church

By Melanie B. Smith 340-2468

Giving a free hog roast and saying, "Come one, come all!" may not be a conventional way to launch a congregation.

But the event is a good way to reach "unchurched" people and to introduce Mosaic Church and its site, said Billy Butler, a minister who got the assignment in 2006 to begin a new church in Decatur.

Mosaic is a startup sponsored by the United Methodist Church.

The "Gig & Pig" event will be Oct. 20, 2-6 p.m., on property where the congregation meets, 2713 Old Moulton Road S.W., near City View Farms. Musicians will include Rend the Heavens band from Nashville and Shane Baker of Florence. Two hundred pounds of pork will be barbecued for the "pig picking," the pastor said.

An artist will create a painting on a big canvas as music plays. Football fans will be able to watch games on a big screen TV. Inflatable games will be set up for children.

Mosaic is "going public" after more than a year of planning and team building, Butler said.

The meeting place is the same as a previous Methodist "church plant," Hope Springs. The Rev. Kelly Clem, who was transferred by the conference to a Huntsville church in 2006, led Hope Springs. It is no longer listed as a district church. Butler said he has invited those involved in Hope Springs to participate in Mosaic.

Butler was formerly pastor of Cherokee and Rogers Chapel United Methodist churches in the former Florence district.

The funds for "Gig & Pig" are coming from the United Methodist North Alabama Conference and the Northwest District, Butler said.

Butler said on his MySpace Web site that he likes to be viewed as a coach rather than as a traditional pastor. For more information, call Butler at 353-9877 or go to

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