MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) — Billboards are supposed to grab your attention, but one local pastor is using them to sell a path to salvation. Pastor Kia Moore’s billboards use the word “mane,” a word somewhat unique to Memphis.
Even Memphis Tigers Coach Mike Norvell took notice tweeting, “Love the 901 – #MemphisMane.”
“We joke about this being a pop-up church that I could literally have church in my truck because I carry a lot of church stuff with me,” said Moore.
Moore leads the Church at the Well, established only six months ago. The church meets every Sunday in the White Station High School auditorium in East Memphis.
Moore is showing us things she uses during worship that she carries around in the back of her Ford Explorer.
“Stuff for kids, blessed oil for when we pray, some more signage.”
You may not be familiar with Moore’s fledgling congregation, but you’ve no doubt seen its messages posted on billboards at Walnut Grove and Poplar at 240 branded with Memphis’ icon word “mane.”
Social media erupted over these billboards reading *For God so loved Memphis Mane,* and Facebook friends love it. It took a long time for Moore to gather the courage to move forward with the messages.
“Knowing that people would be questioning, ‘Why did they use Mane with a scripture?’ In my mind I was like, you’re already a woman. Just wait,” said Moore. “Then eventually I was like I don’t care what people think I’m doing.”
A marketing professional, Moore knew exactly what she was doing. The Bible tells the story of Jesus meeting Mary at the well. Moore says those billboards are invitations for all to meet her at the Well.
“So, those billboards are missional,” said Moore. “We wanted to go after people who use Mane every day, who have been in Memphis all of their lives, who read the Bible but might not see themselves in scripture.”
The “mane” billboards were supposed to come down the day after Easter, but the billboard company has offered the Church at the Well an extended run. Moore says not having the expense of a brick and mortar church allows them to afford the billboards at well under a hundred dollars for a week.
“I’m doing exactly what God called me to do,” says Moore.