Twenty-two members of The Gathering Place spent the night in chairs and cardboard boxes to experience what it's like to be homeless.
The church, formerly known as River of Life Foursquare Gospel Church, sponsored an all-nighter Friday as they camped out in the Galt Plaza parking lot near Denny's on C Street.
In addition to the 22 people - including Pastor Larry Brand and wife Deanna - 20 others helped out on Friday, but went home that night. The group raised about $1,800 during the evening - money which will be used to help combat homelessness.
"I don't know how many people who said, 'We've been looking for a church like that for a long, long time,'" Larry Brand said during Sunday's service in Galt's Oldtown area. "We want to be the friendliest church in America."
And to do that, Brand said, the church needs to do more than preach about God and Jesus Christ. Church members need to go out into the community and, "Do what Jesus would do."
Members of The Gathering Place have helped the homeless in Lodi and Sacramento, and they plan to do it again.
During Sunday's service, Brand quoted Jesus as saying, "Love your neighbor as yourself," when referring to treating the homeless as your neighbors.
It may have been a little unorthodox, but Brand quoted children's entertainer Mr. Rogers in his sermon by always beginning his show, "Won't you be my neighbor?"
Brand noted that one homeless man actually approached the church members Friday night. He gave the man some money, but another thought came to him.
"I realized he had a story," Brand said. "I wanted to hear his story."
It turned out that the man's wife had left him and took their children. Brand said it was more Christian to listen to the man's story than say, "Here's your money and go away."
How did it feel to be homeless for a night?