Vegas pastor gets first-ever tattoo during sermon

The pastor of a Las Vegas church, which describes itself as "a church for people who don't like church," is in the middle of an "odd" series of sermons called "Tattooed," to highlight issues related to identity. As part of the series, the pastor got his first-ever tattoo during the worship service and while delivering his sermon.

"The one Jesus loves," reads the tattoo Pastor Vince Antonucci of the Verve Church got on stage during the worship service last Sunday, two weeks after he started the month-long series on Sept. 18.

The pastor received the tattoo from Las Vegas tattoo artist Chance Gomez, who is a Christian.

Why a tattoo? Each person has certain setbacks which leave a mark in their lives and then begin to define their self-perception. And such marks can symbolize a tattoo.

Antonucci said he had an abusive father, who would call him "stupid" and "worthless."

"He would tattoo me with questions like, 'How could you be so dumb? What's wrong with you? Are you totally worthless?'" the pastor told the Las Vegas Review Journal. "And then he would make statements like, 'You've got a real problem' or 'You really are stupid.'"

Antonucci added, "In order to get your new tattoo, your new ID, you have to first remove the old. I had lived so long thinking of myself in a negative way. I didn't know how to not think of myself that way. I didn't realize that God loved me."

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