New parachurch reaches out to young adults



Jimi Hendrix had the notion that his concerts were like an “electric church.”

The thousands of people who attended his concerts were not necessarily worshipping the influential ’60s guitarist, but were immersed deep within the moment and his music in a nearly spiritual experience, said Ryan Abel, a fan of Hendrix and worship leader at First Baptist Church of North Augusta.

That connection to something greater inspired Abel and other organizers to name their new parachurch organization Electric Cathedral.

There are currently four Electric Cathedral worship leaders who are also worship leaders in their respective churches, Abel said.

The “church” was removed from the name to avoid projecting the idea that this will be a new church.

“Cathedral is a great name,” he said.

Sacred Heart Cultural Center seemed the perfect fit. When Electric Cathedral holds its first service there March 10, it will be a new way for Christian young adults to connect with each other.

It will be similar to other parachurch organizations, such as Young Life and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which are Christian organizations but not under the authority of a specific church. Like the other organizations, it will appeal to a specific demographic – college students and young adults ages 18-35.

“We just came together and saw a need, a lack of fellowship amongst young adults,” Abel said. “We wanted to create an opportunity for relationships to be made and connections to happen.”

“It will be a typical young college worship service, with a full production of lights, video, band and speaker,” Abel said.

Once every three months, members will get together for a big social gathering designed specifically to bring people together.

He stressed that the organization is not a church and is not trying to replace the church in members’ spiritual lives, but to meet needs of young people who might be missing in many churches.

“This gives you an opportunity to engage with someone in your demographic that our generation is dying for,” he said.


What: Electric Cathedral, a parachurch organization that brings together college-age and young adults for fellowship and worship

When: 7:30 p.m. March 10; services will be held the second Monday of each month

Where: Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St.




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