Knoxville church challenges members to "Forget the Frock"

5:53 PM, Apr 8, 2012   |    comments
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Many East Tennesseans fill their Easter celebrations with traditions from new church clothes to egg hunting.

But at Dante Baptist Church they challenged their members to break one of those traditions.

Instead of buying new clothes, they asked members to "Forget the Frock" and opt for a t-shirt that would raise money for charity.

"You expect to walk into a church on Easter and see little girls in frilly dresses and you come in here and see lots of people are sitting around in t-shirts," said Music Director Melissa Langford.

She got an idea from a blog post to share the money usually spent on new Easter clothes with people in need.

"As a family we decided to do it, then we brought it and shared with it our youth group and they jumped on it. Then we invited our whole church family," said Langford.

They decided to give the funds to an orphanage in Africa.

The shirt reads "147 million + 6% = 0."

The equation represents how many orphans could be helped if just 6% of Christians pitched in. It's a passion close to Langford's heart. She's adopted children of her own.

"To think about them being hungry in their situation and all it takes is sacrificing something so little as new clothes so that they can be fed," she said.

Families like the Cottrills jumped on board without question.

"It's nice to wear a t-shirt to church. It's not something we usually do and of all times Easter sunday, but we're enjoying it," said Chris Cottrill, a church goer.

They feel it takes their eyes off what everyone's wearing and puts attention on the message of Easter.

"It gives us the opportunity to say this is really what Easter is about. It's about Jesus and what he would do," said Langford.

The church raised $1,200 by selling more than 100 shirts at $20 each.

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