Texas Preacher Builds A Drive-In Fellowship

drive in church TexasAmerica's car culture has produced all kinds of businesses that appeal to people who never want to leave their cars, trucks or SUVs.

Drive-in movie theaters, carhops, drive-in fast food restaurants, and drive-thru bank tellers and ATMs are all geared toward those who'd rather park and be served, rather than get out of their vehicles.

So why not church services? That's the idea behind Rev. David Ray's parking lot church in Lucas, Texas, reports Dallas area TV-station WFAA.

Ray, who is pastor at the Presbyterian Church of the Master, refers to his Christian service as "Sanctuary Under the Sky."

On Sunday, wannabe worshipers parked their cars outside Lovejoy High School around 9:30 a.m. local time, and with worship bulletin in hand and car radios tuned in, they listened to Ray give his sermon.

"This is the first time I've ever worn shorts to church," attendee Gene Schulle told the news station.

Some folks may criticize the idea, said fellow churchgoer Dotty Claybrook, but she prefers being alone in her car rather than being inside a large church with lots of other people.

By reaching out to people like her, she said of Ray's efforts, "He's making a difference."

This is Ray's third drive-up church, the pastor said, adding that he thinks Jesus would like it.

Ray's idea may seem novel, but it's exactly how renowned televangelist Robert Schuller got his start in 1955, years before building his massive Crystal Cathedral in Southern California.

According to the Crystal Cathedral website, Schuller, lacking any other venue, offered weekly services from the rooftop of the snack bar of the Orange Drive-In Theatre, encouraging "all to come as you are in the family car."

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