The Lexington comic and toy convention grows larger each year. It celebrates superheroes, fantasy art, robots and aliens.
Author Lydia Sherrer of Louisville knows it’s a magical way to meet with fans. Several of her young adult novels about wizards and witches flew off the table at the 2018 convention.
The comic fans go there to search for books, posters and figurines. But before they poured on the floor on Sunday, a few of them also did some soul-searching.
Sherrer was one of a small group of people who found their way to a room in the Hyatt Regency, set up for a service called Geek Church.
Organizer Dave Mattingly told the congregation., “I like to reach out because you are my people. I am a nerd in almost all ways.”
The Louisville man has been conducting church services at comic cons around the region for more than 15 years. He’s literally been a rocket scientist, an engineer, a computer programmer and an improv actor. And he was an atheist until a business partner helped him see the Bible in a new light. Now, he’s born again.
“He was a real Christian living it out,” Mattingly said. “I saw the joy, hope and love and all the ways he was serving people and started to feel the tug at my heart.”
Mattingly , a frequent vendor at comic cons, said he hated it that Christian exhibitors often didn’t have time to worship on Sundays when attending the out-of-town events. “ I started this just so we’d know we are not alone. I’m not the only Christian who likes board games or weird movies, whatever… we’re everywhere.”
His non-denominational church services are somewhat traditional– there are hymns and communion– but the sermon topics are unique.
Mattingly said, “I’ve preached about aliens and The Walking Dead, whatever to find a spark to reach the audience I want to reach.”
At the Lexington event, he talked about the infinity stones that are key to the Marvel Universe movies, drawing parallels to how Christians can combine their skills to make a difference.
“We are different infinity stones, ” he told the congregation. “We become more powerful and the gates of hell shall not prevail against us.”
Sherrer loves that she doesn’t have to give up going to church when she’s at a convention and she believes God smiles on these unique gatherings.
“He takes incredible joy in all these incredible things that geeks are doing,” she said. “All these creative imaginative things reflect what He created us to be.”
After church, the congregation went back on the hunt for autographs or classic toys, comic books or customers. Dave Mattingly hopes some of them have already found what they were looking for.
Dave Mattingly is not a licensed minister, just what he calls a “rogue operative for the Lord.” He’s involved in several unique ministries. Click HERE for links.