Not Porn, Dang it

Sex preacher? A controversial Richmond billboard is nothing but bait-and-switch shenanigans

A controversial Richmond billboard is nothing but shenanigans

LoveSex billboard Richmond River Point Church
A new billboard adjacent to Highway 59 in Richmond is the talk of the town. Courtesy of KHOU
loveSex billboard Richmond River Point Church
The billboard is a save-the-date for a series of September sermons that focus on love, sex, dating and relationships. Courtesy of KHOU
LoveSex video still
In a video teaser, Patrick Kelley, senior pastor at River Pointe Church, seems as if he wants his own sassy sitcom. Courtesy of River Pointe Church/YouTube
LoveSex billboard Richmond River Point Church
loveSex billboard Richmond River Point Church
LoveSex video still

A new billboard adjacent to Highway 59 in Richmond is turning heads, raising eye brows (amid other body parts) and pressing drivers to do a double take.

The message reads loud and clear in large, bold, black and pink all caps typeface: "You're invited to LoveSex."

As if homo sapiens, particularly in the bucolic suburb where there's nothing terribly interesting going on, needed such a cordial gesture of Southern gentility to feel at peace engaging in coital action — or roll in the hay, as country folk might say.

Could it be that a new nudie bar is coming to town? Is a new HBO television series, perhaps a raunchier version of Sex and the City, about to debut? Or is it possibly a memo from a clique of new age, born again hippies who wish better Os for Richmond residents?

No. No. And no.

The big board, which peaks above unkempt foliage, was strategically planted on Monday by spiritual minds at River Pointe Church, a non-denominational ministry with two campuses, one in Richmond and one in Missouri City. The bait-and-switch ad is to rouse onlookers to visit a website to find out more.

One would think the church would not utilize similar shock-and-awe antics to entice audiences to partake in their preaching.

Here's the catch: It isn't "love sex," as in verb plus noun.

On riverpointe.org/lovesex is where we digitally meet senior pastor Patrick Kelley in a video teaser — gay-ish techno music included — in which he prattles on about sex and love being controversial topics, that dating and relationships impact everyone somehow (biggest understatement of the year) and that a special "connections" guru is going to fix you up so you, through tête-à-têtes with Jesus Christ, can stay away from being tempted by the abomination of Miley Cyrus' and Robin Thicke's gyrating groins.

Although it may appear as if this man of the cloth really wants to star in his own sitcom (a sporty dad coming to terms with his primal urges?), the billboard is a save-the-date for a series of September sermons with Jonathan Sprinkles, aka "the connections coach."

Is this a case of marketing genius or branding stupidity? KHOU reports that one local threw away a printed mailer thinking it was porn.

If River Pointe is going to criticize Cyrus and Thicke for using suggestive moves to call attention to themselves, one would think the church would not utilize similar shock-and-awe antics to entice audiences to partake in their preaching.

But then again, if we've learned anything from the faux pas of former papal authorities it's that it's better to talk about sex than to keep it under wraps.

Watch the video teaser below:

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