Church Turns Gully Into Gun Range

"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," said Pastor Phillip Guin of the Rocky Mountain United Methodist Church in Alabama. His congregation has found a new way to worship, with a recently constructed a red-clay shooting range fashioned from an empty, previously snake- and kudzu-filled gully behind the church, according to this story from

Guin said the idea of a gun range came up because "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."

The range began as a place to teach firearm safety, but then transitioned into the Rocky Mount Hunt and Gun Club, because many in the congregation hunt or are gun enthusiasts, according to For now, the club's membership consists only of church members, but it is becoming a favorite of the Jemison Police Department.

Deputy Chief Marc McMinn said officers train there on a regular basis and use the range to offer safety courses to the public.

"Really, the whole purpose of this range is to provide recreational and gun safety in a warm, loving, Christian environment," Guin told UPI. "We wanted to come up with some different ideas to help our church grow, and we thought this would be a unique ministry to offer to the community."