Eustis pastor promises to get tattoo if church's attendance record is broken

Tattoo will be of church's logo, pastor says

EUSTIS, Fla. – The pastor of a Eustis church challenged his congregation, saying he will get a tattoo of the church logo on his leg if they break an attendance record on Easter Sunday.

"I would do anything short of sin to get people to come to church," said Rev. Leon Bloder, lead pastor of First Presbyterian Church.  "If they exceeded the previous record for Easter Sunday, I would get a tattoo of the church logo, and I would cut my hair."

If his challenge sounds familiar, it is.

Bloder says he was inspired by Local 6's story a few weeks ago about another church, whose pastor challenged his congregation to get tattoos of their church's logo to spread the word.

In Bloder's challenge, he says he wants at least 850 people in attendance on Easter Sunday, spread across all three services.

The church sees 450 people on the average Sunday.

"If I challenge my congregation to do something memorable and permanent, then they will think he's committed," Bloder said.

In fact, he says he's so committed, he will also cut his hair, which he admits he's been growing out.

The news about the haircut thrilled a portion of the congregation that wasn't too keen about the tattoo, he said.

But what about the beard?

"No beard.  I'm going to hang onto the beard," he said.  "I have to ask, 'What Would Jesus Do,' and I think he would hang onto the beard."

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