Worship at the Great Smokies Flea Market

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Kodak (WVLT) -- Discounts, deals, and a dose of the Holy Spirit.

You can get it all at the Great Smokies Flea Market in Kodak.

Every Sunday morning you'll find a nondenominational worship service just behind the main doors.

In a place where everything's on sale, God's love is still free.

You can get everything from wind chimes to sunglasses at the Great Smokies Flea Market, and it's all on sale.

But if you want to get something for nothing, that's easy too.

"The truth shall set you free, listen up, the truth shall set you free!,"

The flea market also offers a free dose of the Holy Ghost.

"You can just feel the spirit and the love when you come in here," said Patty Bishop, one of the flea market vendors.

Bishop's been bringing her her bible to work for five months.

"It's great that we can have it here at the flea market for the vendors that can't get out and go to regular church," she said.

Every Sunday morning from 8 to 9, the restaurant becomes the sanctuary a banjo becomes an organ, and vendor booths serve as pews.

This year its Minister Krista Atchley who picks up the mic picked to lead the non-denominational services.

"A lot of people that come through that door wouldn't ever set foot in a church and never have been to church," Atchley said. "We just want to be there for them."

Her family owns the flea market.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to reach the lost and help people with their needs," Atchley said.

William Spurling has sat in a booth since the services began 16-years ago.

"I've seen so many miracles happen through here," Spurling said.

Through aisles is where the Holy Spirit meets the Volunteer Spirit.

Churchgoers say it doesn't matter they're surrounded by t-shirts, purses, and just about everything else, because they're also surrounded by God.

"I feel more like I'm welcome," Spurling said, "I feel more at home

When service is over, the restaurant turns back into a restaurant, but Patty Bishop knows she will be back to that spiritual marketplace in just one week.

"The Lord has just led me here," she said.

The service is held every Sunday morning from 8:00 to 9:00 and often features guests speakers from Johnson Bible College and the community.

Bishop enjoys it so much, she comes back, even though she attends another church as well.

Minister Atchley welcomes anyone to come sing, share their prayers, or testify.


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