Sanctified Jam Factory

By Robert Gruber

Friday night, February 17, marked the first event staged by a new Christian ministry in town known as "Sanctified Jam Factory." Staged in the gymnasium at the Highlands American Legion Post on Bardstown Road, the Sanctified Jam Factory combined a booming sound system, concert-style smoke and lighting effects, an expert DJ and a uge stack of modern Christian dance hits to create, in effect, what may be Louisville's first full-out Christian "rave" party. There was also a performance by N.U.T.S., a singing troupe that performed a number of exuberant Christian pop songs.

Despite a minimal amount of promotion, the tum-out — estimated at about 200 — was excellent for a first-time try. The S.J.F. was sponsored in part by WJYL-FM (88.3/104.7), also known as "JOY-FM," and was hosted by Tim Kennedy, a consultant (and former DJ) with the station. JOY-FM, the area's newest Christian radio station, targets Kentuckiana youth with a wide variety of new music styles and provided S.J.F. with most of the music played that night. A portion of the proceeds taken at the door will be donated to JOY-FM.

Ed Arnundson, director of Sanctified Jam Factory, was more than pleased with the response to the event. Although S.J.F. is currently a "floating ministry," Amundsen is looking at property, with plans to locate and firmly establish S.J.F. as a church and a youth center, complete with sporting facilities, food and of course, music — all with the emphasis on Jesus Christ. To that end, Amundson's ministry is based "word-for-word from the Bible" and is interdenominational. "Everyone from Baptists to holy rollers'," says Amundson, "the whole spectrum is covered."

While some churchgoers may consider "Christian dancing" an offensive oxymoron, others, like Amundson, see the Sanctified Jam Factory as an exciting opportunity to reach the lost with the gospel, as well as provide believers with a Christ-centered atmosphere that's a bit more casual than a church service. A no-smoking, no-drinking, no-dirty dancing policy is strictly enforced, which might not sound like a whole lot of fun to some; the folks that showed up for S.J.F.'s first night, though; appeared to be having a genuine blast (at one point there was some pretty wicked limbo action happening out on the dance floor).

At press time, another "sanctified jam" was scheduled for March 31 at the Red Barn on U of L's Belknap Campus. For details of upcoming jams call Ed Amundsen at 495-2590.