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Mt. Dora pastor pays for his congregation to get inked

March 18, 2014

Keep this story in mind the next time you make a flippant remark to a large group of people. Pastor Zack Zehnder, in a sermon at the Cross Mount Dora church encouraging acceptance, told the congregation that if any member wanted to “go out and get a tattoo of the logo of the cross that we have for this church we will find money and pay for that.” The sermon was in response to some members of his flock who believe that tattoos are banned  by the Bible, citing Leviticus 19: 28: “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” Zehnder made the offhand offer of ink never imagining that members of his congregation would actually get the church’s colorful cross logo permanently tattooed on their bodies.

So far, at least a dozen church-goers have taken him up on the offer. Some of the congregation members who got inked were a surprise to the pastor, being older people who “didn’t seem like the tattooing type.” At least six more members of the congregation are expected to descend on Bill Gold’s Tattoo Shop this week. At $60 each, the inkings will cost the church more than $1000. Luckily, an anonymous donor stepped up to foot the bill at the tattoo shop.

Although it was only a remark made in passing, Zehnder is happy with the way things have turned out, saying, “I think it’s pretty neat that these guys are going to be walking out of here with a testimony and a chance to share God’s story with people that maybe I never would or maybe you never would, that don’t have tattoos.”

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