5 Ham-Fisted Religious Websites

Evangel Cathedral

The Evangel Cathedral website has an introduction animation with a "Skip Intro" option, but I'm fairly confident that no one has ever used it in the history of the site's existence. The sequence looks like Jesus Christ himself sat over the shoulder of the designer and shouted out ideas to make it more spectacular. What it lacks in message it makes up for in lightning bolts, spinny shooty things and heaps of kick-ass sound effects. It's not until the final scene of righteous souls firing into the air that you're reminded this is a website for a church and then the sequence abruptly stops just as quickly as it started before redirecting to the homepage. The introduction as a whole is hands down the most ambitious effort I've ever seen to hold the attention of someone without making anything close to a point.

Who needs a point when there's a courtyard with a fountain?!

It's understandably difficult for a website to live up to such an epic introduction but the Evangel Cathedral handles it deftly with a wailing guitar solo and flying words that shoot across the page and probably mean something in the context of real sentences. Nearly everything on the page undulates, glides or generally fights for your attention, both to assure you that the church is stimulating to the point of discomfort and to remind epileptics they aren't welcome.

Not everything on the page has a message or a purpose, but it all looks like it does and if nothing else, that seems like a fitting analogy for the life of someone who might attend this church.

K&K Mime

K&K Mime appeals to a very narrow demographic of people who enjoy the pageantry of Baptist church but are sick at the thought of vocal communication. Keith and Karl Edmonds are twin brothers who combined their passion for God with their love of pretending like it's really windy. K&K "silently interpret contemporary gospel," by enacting situations in which they resist temptation, find faith in small tasks, and sometimes get stuck in imaginary boxes.

Some boxes are smaller than others.

As you look at their website, if you find yourself thinking, "That electricity looks familiar" it's because the same company that designed this page designed Evangel Cathedral's. There's even a similar epic introduction. Sharper FX is responsible for church websites all over the country and has somehow gotten away with making them all nearly identical. The K&K Mime site, however, is the only one that shows a little individuality, despite the fact that it's run by twins. (I'm not going to wait until the end of this column to apologize for that joke, I'd just like to get it out of the way now.)

As you might expect from mimes, the size 8 font text and horizontal/upside-down menu buttons on the homepage suggest that words are not a priority for K&K Mime. I'm certain that if they could perform a physical interpretation of "Message Board" and "Contact Us" they would absolutely do that instead. Everything on the page is absurdly tiny, including their heads. Everything, except for the massive white gloves. Those gloves, extending toward you to touch you, to reach inside you and hopefully drop a handful of faith.

Faith is more viscous than you would imagine.

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Soren Bowie

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