Churches everywhere are always looking for ways to draw more members to their pews. It is their mission to engage folks in their personal walks of faith. The Rocky Mountain United Methodist Church (RMUMC) in Jemison, Alabama is no exception. While some churches might add a new children’s program or worship service, what the RMUMC has recently added is certainly novel.

“This is an opportunity for us to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ in a setting that is completely unique. Even odd by some people’s standards. But who’s to say that church can’t happen right here.”

That is a statement by RMUMC Pastor, Phillip Guin, in regard to the congregation’s gun range. The RMUMC, in response to desires expressed by some of their elderly, and “some not so elderly” woman members, built themselves a shooting range. The range was carved out of a former over-grown, snake and vermin infested gully, and was originally intended for gun safety training. Since its inception, the range has become a place of bible study and armed self-defense training and practice.

The effort was well-received by the congregation, many of whom hunt and/or enjoy recreational shooting sports. Following the success of the shooting range as a training facility, the church formed the Rocky Mountain Hunt and Gun Club as part of their community out-reach ministry. As a result, the church regularly responds to the queries of prospective members.

The shooting range is not limited to only those seeking Christian fellowship. In fact, the church welcomes law enforcement to the range and happily hosts the local Jemison Police Department. According to the department’s Deputy Chief, Marc McMinn, the range is utilized for public and police training, with future plans for additional training classes beginning in the fall of this year.

What a unique way to peacefully integrate the wholesomeness of gun ownership, training, and recreational shooting into daily life.

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