Shari and Alex Ennis, serving the sinners of downtown
Pastor Alex Ennes believes he's been sent to Cleveland on a mission from God. Ennes, an Arkansas native, and his wife, Shari, from Westlake, have come to the Poorest City in America to plant a church in the hopes that the word of Jesus can help heal the wounds of our crumbling town.
So, naturally, the couple is putting Gateway Church
right where the need is the greatest: the Warehouse District. That's right. To prove that they're true trench-fighters, the Ennes packed up their home in the suburbs and moved to ground zero, the Bridgeview Apartments on West 9th Street — the one with the really nice gym and the concierge.
Downtown Cleveland can be a scary place for a guy from Arkansas who actually knows how to use a blow dryer. But Ennes dove right in. "I decided to take some risks," he writes on the church's blog
. Ennes first crusade? The salon. Just because you love Jesus doesn't mean you have to have his PWT hair. Eeewwwhhh!!! "I met a stylist named Danielle at Salon Mandolfino," writes the pastor. "We hit it off and have become friends."
But please don't think Gateway Church is only for people who know how to pronounce "Louis Vuitton." Ennes promises all will be welcomed, regardless of social status. That's why Sunday services will be held at Pickwick & Frolic's Hilarities East 4th Street Theatre. Seriously
. Unfortunately, to get to Kevin's Martini Bar downstairs, you'll need to be on Jesus' guest list. Come to Hilarities for a preview of Sunday services on March 18 at 10:30 a.m. Regular services start April 1st. -- Jared Klaus