Dressing up to go to church has long been out of fashion in many denominations. Most Sunday services at church now resemble like casual Fridays at the office. The trend in dressing down will likely continue, but one congregation in Virginia may be taking the “come as you are” ethic just a bit too literally.

In church, you come as you are. That’s especially true inside the Whitetail Chapel in Ivor. Clothing is optional for everyone from the pastor to the congregation.

“I really don’t think God cares what you wear when you worship,” said Richard Foley, a member of the congregation. “The thing is worship.”

Churchgoers like Foley have no problem getting the word of God from a pastor in his birthday suit.

“Some of the biggest moments in Jesus’ life he was naked,” Pastor Allen Parker said. “When he was born he was naked, when he was crucified he was naked and when he arose he left his clothes in the tomb and he was naked. If God made us that way, how can that be wrong?”

Pastor Allen says the congregation is a family-oriented one and is very involved in helping others.

The Whitetail Chapel is part of the Whitetail Nudist Resort, the only year-round nudist resort in Virginia. It opened in 1984 and business is booming. More than 10,000 people visited last year and business is up 12 percent from a year ago.


For the adventurous, the WVEC website has a video of the segment that ran on the local news. It’s not particularly graphic but it is about as horrific as you’d imagine.

I’m in favor of everyone—even nudists—attending local services. But isn’t it a bit disrespectful to attend church wearing nothing but your birthday suit?

(Via: Gene Veith )

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