A former governor launched an unconventional church set up, wherein people can worship by the beach at a park in Virginia.
Organized by Bob McDonnell, the Virginia Beach Boat Church is held every Sunday at the First Landing State Park. Pastors take turns to lead the services. It will run until September 26.
Speaking to The Virginian-Pilot, McDonnell shared that he got the idea when he saw such program while visiting the Smith Mountain Lake.
"It was just a fun alternative place to go to church," he said.
"People that can have a church family of support, hear the gospel at least once a week, people they can lean on in tough times. ... If we had more of that, I thought society would be better," he added.
He also shared that the event has been attracting people in the area.
"Boaters come by and stop, and people walking that trail stop. Some people that hadn't intended to be in church, they pull up. Whether they planned it or not, they're in a church service."
Derrick and Kurshell McCorkle revealed that their children were excited to join the service because they can play in the sand. The couple also disclosed that it was the kids' "fastest" to prepare for church.
Terri McIntosh, another attendee, stated that the experience is different than that of sitting in a church since she can feel the presence of God in nature.
Already on its second year, the activity was relaunched on May 30 this year, commemorating the victims of the Virginia Beach Municipal Building mass shooting in May 2019.
McDonnell stated that the set up allows people to comfortably attend church and enjoy activities in the park afterwards.
"Maybe instead of dressing up in your Sunday finest on a particular day, if you plan activities on this beautiful, God-given water and resources we have to offer in Hampton Roads, you can get in your boat, your jet ski, your bicycle, get on your hiking shoes and just spend an hour at First Landing State Park and then you can go on to your activities. You don't have to go back home and change," he said.
In a statement to CBN News last June, the former politician uncovered that the boat church gains support from local pastors since it will drive people to their churches when it concludes this year.
Pastor Randy Singer of Trinity Church told the media outlet that the event is a creative way of reaching out to the lost. He explained that people can just come in their boats or set up their chairs in the area, and by listening to the sermon, they may be able to hear God's message for them.
Josh Wilson, a Christian recording artist, was also delighted with the idea because he and his wife love the beach.