Local church draws thousands with 'Super Bowl of Preaching'

OAKLEY, Ohio (WKRC) - On a day when many will skip out on Sunday service, a local church has found a way to grow their attendance.

Two pastors are going head to head in the Super Bowl of Preaching at Crossroads. This is an event that has transformed Super Bowl Sunday into one of their highest-attended services of the year.

At the Crossroads Church in Oakley, pastors Brian Tomes and Chuck Mingo took part in the preaching competition that they say turns church "into a spectator's sport."

There was tailgating, plenty of food, music, commercials and even a little bit of smack-talking. "I am ready to ball and I am ready to preach. Game on! Mingo and losing is his name-o."

The event even had its own commercial. "Echo, featuring Alexa 2.0, incredibly lifelike. Cash me outside howbow dah."

"Chuck and I have been going toe-to-toe for many years right now," said Tomes. " Yeah and it's really a lot of fun I think you get a heart for Crossroads, we don't take ourselves too seriously, we're up for having fun, it's creative and it's also a challenge today I think what people are going to hear when they come is going to push them a little bit spiritually."

Messages touched on division in today's society. "That's Jesus style football. We do not move away from people who are different from us, we move toward people who are different from us. So my question to you is it in our culture right now that you would be pretty uncomfortable if they outnumbered you at the dinner table?"

"It's quite wonderful they interweave you know the social things and the social aspects of today's society with a little bit of real honest to goodness teachings from the Bible," said Ricardo Parales.

"I was impressed so 10 points for that, 10 points for accurate use of the Bible."

They spoke about what the sport can teach us. "Delayed gratification is when you do something now, knowing you're not going to get anything positive until much later and this is the way football works."

Another year of friendly competition combining football and faith made getting up for church on super bowl sunday something to cheer about. "Brian and Chuck are great, entertaining, great music."

The event drew rave reviews. "I'm kicking myself why I didn't tell more people about this because I've never been here before for Super Bowl Sunday. This is incredible."

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