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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There has been a teevised Mass for the homebound for as long as I can remember, and Las Vegas has drive through wedding chapes. To the people who criticize this congregation, "Judge not, lest you be judged".

August 30 2011 at 1:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to GOODDOC1's comment

I'll "judge" ...you're all weak and pathetic.

August 30 2011 at 4:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Years ago the church back home had a drive thru confessional. They called it "Toot and Tell" ; 3 sins or less you could take the express lane.

August 30 2011 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is not such a new concept. I am 57 and when I was 9 years old and we moved out from Queens New York to Long Island, the church was not large enough to hold everyone so they had mass services in the local drive-in movie...we used to put the speakers on our windows, just like you did for the movie! Those masses were for when we had lazy Sundays...Oh what a memory.

August 30 2011 at 12:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why not? We've even though about putting in a window for drive-thru communion and baptisms. You can do it on your lunch hour if really pressed for time.

August 29 2011 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They did that in Florida a long time ago. I think there's still one in operation somewhere around Daytona Beach.

August 29 2011 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


August 29 2011 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jefferson Starship "Miracles" off the Red Octopus album. Please listen and enjoy the music

August 29 2011 at 9:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


August 29 2011 at 9:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rebarfab1's comment

No thanks, I be judgin' on this...you're nuts.

August 30 2011 at 4:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought Billy Graham was first pastor to used drive-in theatre like about 60 years ago.

August 29 2011 at 8:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Old idea, new version.
Dr. Robert Schuller built the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim, California back in the 70's - including a drive-in church. No big screens, but you listened to the service on the speakers that sat in your car window.

To those who scoff, have you ever tried to get four preschoolers ready for church at 6 AM? It really ruins the whole idea of going at all. Leave 'em in their jammies, load 'em into the car, grab some pop tarts and a DVD player, and Mommy & Daddy can enjoy the sermon & music while the kids play in the back seat. Far better than spending Sunday morning watching Nascar.

August 29 2011 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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