Tattoo shop owners launch new church
Tim Thomas of Knucklehead Tattoo is more than skin deep in his love for people.
Thomas moved to Prineville with his family and opened a tattoo shop in March 2020. In less than three weeks, due to COVID-19, his business along with many others had to temporarily close. He has recently reopened, and in addition to his business, he is also following one of his greatest passions.
Thomas is co-pastoring a church that will be held on Sundays at Crooked River Brewing. He will be working with Bob Nash, also known locally as "Pastor Bob."
He commented that they call their ministry "The Church on Main Street." They will be at Crooked River Brewing on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Their first service was June 21.
"We have always been the Church at ... wherever we have been," commented Thomas.
Nash pointed out that they have both come out of Assemblies of God churches.
"Theologically, we are a pretty mainline, traditional theologically church," said Nash. "We just happen to be doing church in a way that looks to be very non-traditional —which it is."
"I was a transitional pastor for about 17 years. I was in Bend for six years, from 1976 to 1981," Nash added.
He grew up in a church family and spent a lot of time in denominational churches. In 1995, he and Thomas became friends, and both were living in Central Oregon. In 2002, the two began a ministry at Café Paradiso in Bend, which they rented for Sunday services.
"That was kind of our first introduction to street-level ministry — instead of waiting for people to come to our building and our program, we just stepped out and went where they all hang out," pointed out Nash.
They rented the building every Sunday night.
"It was such a great experience to step out of a box — out of the traditional setting with the same message and the same music, but the impact was just so profound,"he exclaimed.
A few years later, they did a similar setting at the Black Horse Saloon in Bend. This year, both men found themselves in Prineville. Based on what they have learned from past ministries, they decided to open a church in Prineville when Thomas moved back.
"It was an incredible time of growth for both of us," noted Nash of their past ministries.
Thomas moved to Albany for a number of years, and Nash ended up doing a church at Checkers Pub in Redmond. When the COVID-19 arrived, they had to suspend any gatherings. Thomas started his business in Prineville in March, and they have waited for an opportunity to start a ministry in Prineville.
The two men are also involved and associated with Good Samaritan Ministries, and have been for quite a few years.
"And now we are here, which is here with people — and we have a message and we have music we think is going to touch your heart," concluded Nash. "It's how we give that truth from our heart to the world."
He added that for people who struggle with traditional settings, Thomas and Nash can show up to where they are.
"We come here not to preach to you, but just to embrace you and let you know that there is a God that knows your name."
They are hoping to add a children's ministry soon as well. The new church at Crooked River Brewing can include families and children.
"They are actually going to be open when we are there," Thomas said of the staff at Crooked River Brewing.
Their staff will be cooking and serving on Sunday mornings.
"Every place we have been thus far has done the same thing — Black Horse Saloon was open, Checkers Pub was open — everyone has been open when we are there. It's been great," said Thomas.
"We get to be real people in a real world, and we don't have titles or an office with our names on a door. We are just two people that love Jesus," he concluded.
Church on Main Street
Co-Pastors: Tim Thomas and Bob Nash
Location: Crooked River Brewing
Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m.
Address: 420 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754
Owner: Tim Thomas
Address: 427b N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754
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