Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Celebration Church Jacksonville Music Levels Disturbing Neighbors

Here in Jacksonville one of the largest, fastest growing churches is Celebration Church, pastored by Stovall Weems.They recently completed construction on a new main campus facility, what they call "Celebration Arena", shown at left.They are a multi-campus site, with videos of Stovall transmitted to several satellite locations in Jacksonville. This church is our city's version of Elevation Church, and Fellowship Church. Good looking, hip pastor, with loud rock-style music. In fact, Stovall has preached at Fellowship, and Steven Furtick has preached here at Celebration.

As reported by TV-12 News last night, the noise levels coming from the church during their services are so loud as to be a nuisance to the adjoining neighborhood, described by the homeowners as a "retirement"community.

However, from the TV-12 report last night, it seems that the church is not very concerned, and would not even talk to the reporter for her story. Here is an excerpt from the TV report last night:
"Since October, Dave and his wife along with his neighbors say they have sent letters, emails and have made calls to Celebration Church asking for assistance with the noise, but have received only one response that referenced a few pine trees planted as buffers....I [the reporter] called Celebration Church and asked for an interview but was told they would need two weeks notice and passed along contact information."
I visited the church a few Sundays ago to hear Tim Tebow speak at the new Celebration Arena, and I can understand the neighbors' concerns. As I told many people about my visit, the one word I used to describe that church is LOUD. I have never, ever heard music and bass levels as high as in that church. The music was so loud, I felt like my inner organs were vibrating! I've been to my share of rock concerts back in the day, and nothing was as loud and deep as the music being played at the church. As I walked in, I noticed the "fog" in the air to give the arena a nightclub feel. The "arena" is beautiful - huge back screen, HD side screens, comfortable chairs - and one heckuva sound system.

Hopefully Celebration Church will do more than just point to the pine trees, and will do something real to alleviate the concerns of Dave and his neighbors. In the TV piece last night, Dave says he is a man of faith and he felt guilty about raising the issue given that the noise is coming from a church, but he and his neighbors believe their quality of life is diminished by the noise levels on Sunday and Wednesdays. Celebration certainly CAN turn the music down, or provide some other engineering modifications to reduce the noise emanating from the property.

It is quite interesting that while this issue is going on, our city council is addressing citizens' complaints about noise coming from Metro Park rock concerts downtown. So Celebration, please be proactive and address this. If our city council is concerned about noise coming from city-owned property on a few weekends a year, certainly YOU can address the noise concerns from your own church every Sunday and Wednesday.

And for goodness sake, Celebration Church, please talk to the reporter. Why do you need two weeks to prepare to speak to a news reporter working for our largest TV news station in Jacksonville?

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ick! Not a very good testimony! Fix it quickly! And, apologize!!

Anonymous said...

Leave God's church alone!

You can mess with FBC because it is dead...our Church is alive and God don't want noone hurting his Bride.

Shame on You bully!

We shall overcome!

Anonymous said...

More Cowbell!!!

Anonymous said...

A little less celebration and I think more cooperation would be the right thing to do for the home owners nearby.

Anonymous said...

I have visited this church several times and I am in my early 30's and have attended plenty of rock concerts in my life and I left afterwards with my ears ringing and needed to take advil. The place is ridiculous and the people are brainwashed that go there too. Stovall talks a good talk but he is in the same category as Furtick. He might as well come out with a video saying hey haters to the poor retired people who bought homes when there was nothing but woods there and tell them to just get plugged in, actually they are going to need to turn down their hearing aids because of this place and then they come along and build the church around people trying to enjoy their last years? How offensive. Do you think the Veteran's arena should be in the middle of a nursing home community or a retirement home community? No I think not so regardless if it is a church or not they should turn it down, GOD CAN HEAR WHISPERING!!!!! and the people in that church who believe in speaking in tongues are out to lunch, but yet Stovall can't address that on Sunday morning (well the Sunday's he is actually there) I noticed he isn't there much it seems like almost every time I visted except for a few Sundays no mention of where he was! And to the person who said that Celebration is alive you are brainwashed too, go ahead raise your hands to the awesome praise music that makes you feel blessed and get your whole pumped up plugged in, connected feeling that's what it's all about right? All the connect groups 24/7 and the emphasis on church and less emphasis on God.

Anonymous said...

Typical of the new mega-churches....we're right, you're wrong...even when the church is dead wrong.

Anonymous at 3:10pm....seriously read what you have written man...do you know what your post looks like?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous at 3:10pm....seriously read what you have written man...do you know what your post looks like?"

Anonymous 3:10pm is a TROLL! He's just trying to get a rise out of people by being a contrarian and making insane statements.

He has claimed to be a member of every church that WD has blogged about. He also "prophesied" that this blog would be dead by the end of 2012.

So to sum it up, Anonymous 3:10pm is a liar, a false prophet and a TROLL!

So - consider the source.

Anonymous said...

It's called "in your face" religion.

Mark said...

Rock music at church is so 2003.

Victorious said...

I have young neighbors that play music with a base so loud that I can literally continue to hear it after they stop! lol

I've had to resort to asking for help from law enforcement though I hated to do so. But I find it unnerving after 1/2 hr. or so. I try not to be unreasonable and understand they are young, but on the other hand, they need to be considerate as well.

When a church service sounds more like a rock concert than a worship service, I fully understand the surrounding neighbors complaints.

Anonymous said...

If its too loud....your'e too old.

Victorious said...

If its too loud....your'e too old.

Or still have our hearing and want to keep it....

Anonymous said...

"I visited the church a few Sundays ago..."

Words any church dreads hearing that Tom Rich visited or is going to visit.

Why? Because it won't be long before he gets on his blog and starts bitching about the way they do things.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - that is pretty funny! At every church we've attended in the last 4 years we've been warmly welcomed and accepted by genuine believers, including staff members at the churches.

But of course if you're worried that someone might "start bitching", I guess you won't like anyone who thinks for themselves and expresses themselves.

Anonymous said...

Well, if a church wants to celberate our religon we have that rite! If these old bunch of prune juice suckers don't like it they can sell their homes, put on theyre geriatric shoes and get to steppin. Praise the Lawd! This new religion is about newly weds, NOT nearly deads! If Peter, the founder of our church, had known how to use lights and explosives to put on a better show, people would have loved his message, and if Paul could have sang rock spiritual music, he would never have been put in jail. Come celberate with us, we have cookies (and hot chicks with real shorty skirts on).
Can't wait till Sunday!

Anonymous said...

I too went to go see Tim Tebow Easter weekend and it was amazing. The most I enjoyed was the energy from the worship team. The music was awesome. Although if the neighborhood has complaints then the music could be turned down. Follow God's word when he said LOVE THY NEIGHBOR. Or soundproof the church.

Anonymous said...

"This new religion is about newly weds, NOT nearly deads!"

Very Christ-like attitude.
It's all about me.

Anonymous said...

It isn't messing with God's church to simply say the music is too loud, nor is it hurting the Bride of Christ. You are as a church being very unloving and unkind to dismiss what the neighbors are saying in regards to the noisy level. There is such an arrogant attitude coming from those defending this church. Please tell me what you are celebrating? Christ would not treat people like you do. If your celebrating Him what don't you start acting like Him and give a rip about your neighbor?

WishIhadknown said...

I never know what to post on threads like this. Some things are just so wrong on every level that they just speak for themselves. I a world where we are to be light and salt it seems like there are those who just prefer to keep people in the darkness.

Anonymous said...

Well, it's patently obvious that the church cut corners when building their facilities. Any contractor worth their salt would have had the building "soundproofed" to heavily dampen the sound emanating from the building while also dampening the sound inside the building to provide quality sound for the audience.

Any person who would possibly think that having people leaving with their ears ringing is an absolute fool and has no clue about sound dynamics, the science behind sound acoustics, or just simple concert arena design theory.

Loud never equals better unless your twelve. or a fool.

Anonymous said...

From my understanding from the article the church has not said you have to deal with it. Give them a chance. They thought the tree buffer zone should of done the job but it is not. This is when a church rep should could and visited the area during service times and see what it is like.
Pastor Chris

Anonymous said...

Bananas crazy!

Anonymous said...

Off subject. Why not have Tim Tebow be a pastor of a large church here in Jacksonville. He doesn't need the money and he has had numerous mission trips?

Joshua said...

Yeah, I happen to agree. A church should show at little grace and turn it down some.

joshua said...

Make it loud CD: http://source.celebration.org/music/52

Anonymous said...

Personally I've noticed a big change since the anticipation of the move to the new property and then afterward even more so.

The availability of earplugs in the church store was another indication of changes to the church, my family hasn't found pleasant.

Anonymous said...

FBC? Would that be First Baptist Church in Jacksonville?

Running a blog to complain about other Churches? Surely not...

Jim said...

I have been a member of Celebration church since June 2011 and it has been a life changing experience. Pastor Stovall and his entire staff are of the highest quality people I have ever met and the music is loud and proud and allows the spirit to really open your heart to receive Gods message. Not everyone is going to enjoy the music or receive Gods word the same way but don't hate. If it is true that Pastor Stovall will not talk to or respond to people I am sure there is a good reason. See this all the way through and I am sure you will have a positive opinion of the church and Pastor Stovall.

Jim

Jim said...

I have been a member of Celebration church since June 2011 and it has been a life changing experience. Pastor Stovall and his entire staff are of the highest quality people I have ever met and the music is loud and proud and allows the spirit to really open your heart to receive Gods message. Not everyone is going to enjoy the music or receive Gods word the same way but don't hate. If it is true that Pastor Stovall will not talk to or respond to people I am sure there is a good reason. See this all the way through and I am sure you will have a positive opinion of the church and Pastor Stovall.

Jim

Susan Dambrosio said...

"Old prune juice suckers should put on their geriatric sneakers and sell their homes!" My aren't you a fine example of a Christian! You should be ashamed of yourself!!

Susan Dambrosio said...

Amen!!

Pernaetova21 said...

Celebration likes their church loud . All music releases endorphins , especially when you are brainwashed into thinking it's HOLY. I get the same high when I listen to Aerosmith but you don't see me blaring it next to a church!! When I used to attend , they had ear plugs in the lobby for people who can't handle the noise. Maybe they should all wear headphones instead lol...

Anonymous said...

I agree. I've been there a few times and was astonished by how brainwashed these people were. That church is run by purely manipulative people.

Debbie said...

I have been a member of Celebration Church for 13 years. At that time I was going through a very painful and ugly divorce. Pastor Stovall and Kerri Weems have founded a church that has grown immensely and has helped thousands of people, churched and unchurched, people with tatoos all over to people in three piece suits, and people seeking for meaning in their life. I love my pastors and the church!!! I was an alcoholic and AA, although wildly sucessful for most, was not working for me. As a member, I was surrounded by people who loved me for me, and who focused on living their lives as Jesus did. I strongly take offense that I have been brainwashed. If I have ,it saved me from a life of alcohol addiction. People from all walks of life go there to experience God. Yes the music may be a little loud in the beginning and end of service but it does not last hours and it is not in the middle of the night. People cheer loud at football games, I cheer loud in gratefulness to God and what he has done in my life through Celebration Church!!! Besides, not everybody liked Jesus, not everyone will our church or our Pastors!!!

Anonymous said...

I use to go to Celebration Church and it was crude arrogant people like yourself that made me decide it wasn't for me. Not very Godly to not love your neighbors.

Plooply Yarbip said...

I tried this place and the music made my ears hurt so badly, as in intense physical pain, that I walked out. I came late once to avoid the music and heard nothing but conceited, non-qualified "pastors" talking about how great they and their church is.

Elizabeth Vega said...

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23 again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

This is at the beginning of your blog and yet you do not practice it - I came here looking for responsible, objective and reliable information about a church I am considering to become a member of, but nothing I have found here as helped. You provoked foolish arguments and that is not reliable.