River Church takes to the shores of Lake Mitchell

Published 10:43 pm Friday, May 29, 2009

While hundreds head to Lake Mitchell every Sunday morning in the summer, many others are heading to church. But now it is possible to do both.

River Church began Memorial Day weekend and will continue every Sunday morning through Labor Day. The services, conducted by Clanton First United Methodist Church, start at 8:30 a.m. and replace the church’s traditional early service.

The John Trobaugh Pavilion at Higgins Ferry Park serves as the venue for the services, which started about 40 years ago. The pavilion bears the name of the service’s late founder.

“It’s a more relaxing service,” Clanton FUMC Associate Pastor Brian Dovey said. “People can pull up in their boats or cars, and speakers are set up. They can come in their shorts.”

Not only is River Church a welcome change of pace for regular church members, it is also an outreach to natives and vacationers at the lake. Although hymns are sung and messages preached, River Church is more accessible and casual than an indoor church service.

And in 40 years, not a single service has been rained out.

“It’s a very beautiful setting to be talking about God, surrounded by his creation,” said Dovey, who will be delivering the message at the May 31 River Church service. “God says all creation testifies to his greatness.”

Dovey and Pastor Larry Anderson share the pulpit with lay speakers from the church throughout the summer.

For more information, call the church at 755-0490.