River church to return Sunday

Published 8:44 pm Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hundreds flock to Higgins Ferry Park on Memorial Day weekend. Many of them make the trip for River Church, the traditional service hosted by Clanton First United Methodist.

River Church is held each Sunday morning at 8:30 from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend at the John Trobaugh Pavilion.

“This is something we offer the community that is a very unique worship service in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable,” said Pastor Larry Anderson. “It’s kind of hard not to worship in that setting.”

River Church is a tradition begun by the late Rev. John Trobaugh, former pastor of the church.

The services started as small gatherings at the Trobaugh family boat dock and have grown to a sizeable congregation.

People are encouraged to attend in casual clothing. People arrive by boat, car or simply bring their lawn chairs and worship from the nearby hillside.

The services are convenient for vacationers staying in their summer lake homes.

Anderson said attendance has topped 200 on some Sundays, particularly on holiday weekends.

Each service also includes special music from soloists, duos and groups. Fittingly, each service is begun with the popular hymn, “Shall We Gather at the River.”

The congregation sings from the old Cokesbury hymnals, which include many familiar gospel favorites.

“It’s a good informal service to start your week the right way,” Anderson said. “We’re happy to be able to offer it.”

For additional information on river services, call Clanton First United Methodist Church at 755-0490.