JEMISON, Ala. (WIAT) – What started out as an overgrown gully behind the Rocky Mount United Methodist Church has turned into a ministry, complete with guns, bullets and the Bible.
Pastor Phillip Guin says the gully, once full of kudzu, snakes and other vermin, had been there since before he arrived at the church. Much of the dirt used as fill was from a recent expansion.
When brainstorming about what to do with the area, the idea of a gun range came up.
“We had quite a number of church members, some elderly ladies, for example, and some not so elderly women that had purchased guns, but didn’t know how to use them,” Guin said.
Originally, the range was used to teach firearm safety. But about a year ago, that changed. The thought of a ministry started becoming more and more clear.
Guin says there are many in the congregation who either hunt or are gun enthusiasts. The safety training morphed into the Rocky Mount Hunt and Gun Club as a way to try and bring more members to the church.
“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,” Guin said, pointing at the red clay dirt of the range.
So far, the club is comprised of church members. But there are prospective members contacting Guin and other church members regularly.
The range has also become a favorite of the Jemison Police Department. Deputy Chief Marc McMinn told us they train there on a regular basis and offer training courses to the public. Plans are in the works for another training course in October.