Praise the Lord . . . and pass the ammunition.
An Alabama church has opened a gun range behind its sanctuary as an extension of its fellowship, WIAT reports.
The red-clay dirt range behind the Rocky Mount United Methodist Church in Jemison began as an overgrown gully once filled with snakes and vermin, according to the station, and has turned into a ministry that includes guns, bullets and the Bible.
Mount Union’s pastor, Phillip Guin, says the idea of a gun range came up because “we had quite a number of church members, some elderly ladies, for example, and some not-so-elderly women that had purchased guns, but didn’t know how to use them.”
This is an opportunity for us to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ in a setting that is completely unique."
- Pastor Phillip Guin, of Rocky Mount Union Methodist Church
The range was originally used to teach firearm safety, but then transitioned into the Rocky Mount Hunt and Gun Club because many in the congregation hunt or are gun enthusiasts.
“This is an opportunity for us to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ in a setting that is completely unique. Even odd by some people’s standards. But who’s to say that church can’t happen right here,” Guin told WIAT.
The club is currently comprised solely of church members, but it is becoming a favorite of the Jemison Police Department. Marc McMinn, deputy chief of the department, said officers train there on a regular basis and use the range to offer safety courses to the public.
"Really, the whole purpose of this range is to provide recreational and gun safety in a warm, loving, Christian environment," Guin told UPI. "We wanted to come up with some different ideas to help our church grow, and we thought this would be a unique ministry to offer to the community."
"Right now, we are just really happy with how everything turned out," Guin said. "We found a use for the small 'Grand Canyon' behind our church, and turned it into something that is pretty cool."