High Plains Snifter

After 118 years without a liquor store inside their city’s limits, Lubbockites are on the verge of voting with their thirst.
High Plains Snifter
Drinking Problem: Existing liquor stores on the Strip may go out of business if voters authorize package sales throughout the city.
Photograph by Artie Limmer

Victory Life Baptist Church, in Lubbock, is located on the southwestern edge of town, past the encroaching brick-home developments and box stores, out in an expanse of yellow, treeless fields so flat you can stand on the church’s doorstep and watch the membership approach from miles away. About eight hundred loyal churchgoers congregate here each Sunday to listen to the lanky, baby-faced 35-year-old pastor, Brad Jurkovich; they find his youthful enthusiasm, as well as his unapologetic and unembarrassed conviction, refreshing. One recent Sunday, for example, he grabbed his lectern, leaned forward, closed his eyes, and addressed the Lord by saying, “God, you are so great. You are just awesome.

Such passion for worship, some would argue, is flagging among newer generations of Lubbockites. The strict moral code that has defined life for decades on this stretch of the plains has lately shown signs of erosion. Case in

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