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Paul Di Lucca has a million-dollar idea to save Christianity: open a Mickey D's in a church. Would you like that blood of Christ in BBQ or ranch?
A budding young entrepreneur believes he can stop the rising tide of Christians abandoning the church by offering fries with that.
Paul Di Lucca has turned to Indiegogo to help fund the purchase of a McDonald’s franchise that he one day hopes to open inside a house of worship. Christened the McMass Project, the proposition will cost around $1 million by Di Lucca’s estimates. But what the 28-year-old visionary lacks in capital, he is already making up for in marketing know-how.
The fledgling campaign has a catchy slogan, “It’s time to pray different,” a slick promotional video and a hashtag for social media, #Feast4Jesus. Di Lucca’s also cooked up a clothing line of branded baseball hats and t-shirts featuring the McMass logo, a crucifix dangling above golden arches reimagined as flying buttresses in a cathedral.
But mostly the energetic pastor is happy to accomplish his goal of giving young people in his battered community someplace to work or better, someplace to learn to work.
Since opening in September, the fast-food franchise has placed consistently among the top performers in the 80-store region, at one point sending an embarrassed Pridgen begging for bread at other Subways to get through a crazy rush.
''It's turned into a bigger operation than we ever imagined,'' he said. ''In weeks.''
But making money isn't the point, the minister added: ''Money just follows mission.''
The church started a work-skills program for young people two years ago but it fizzled without jobs for its graduates. That's when the church, which is housed inside a former supermarket and attracts about 2,000 people each week, opened its own businesses: a small bookstore, silkscreen company and cleaning company that contracts with an adjacent charter school.