Christoval River Ministry
The Christoval River Ministry got underway on May 28, 2011, and has been held each Saturday throughout the summer. The service begins at 2:00 PM with free hot dogs for everyone in the park. Members of the Ministry Team walk through the park and invite people for food and fellowship. When folks come for the hot dogs, ministry team members tell them that pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, along with live music, and a message will be available starting at 4:00. The ministry uses the time from 2:00 to 4:00 to invite, feed, and get to know people. At 4:00 we kick off the live music. The band has a good sound system, so the music is heard throughout the park. At about 4:20, a message is delivered by Brother Clifton Brown (Videos of Clifton’s Open Air Preaching). Clifton was a 20 year hard-core drug user who was miraculously delivered from all his addictions by the Power of Jesus Christ.
Clifton shares his testimony and then he preaches a powerful message . . . the truth straight up and without apology or sugar-coating. God has honored this powerful preaching style, and each week we see His spirit move among the people in the park.
For those in the River Ministry, this summer has been an adventure. Each week we see new and exciting things, and we are always amazed at how God is using this ministry to reach people. One of my favorite memories of this summer was walking through the park one day inviting people to our service. I happened upon a really hard looking man . . . covered with tattoos and scars. I invited him to the service, and he said he would be pleased to come. He said that for the last 5 years, until two months ago, he had been the music and choir director for his church. I was surprised, and somewhat taken aback, and so asked . . . “well, how come you are no longer the music director?”. He said that it was the church in the Texas State Penitentiary, and since they let him out, he no longer attends services there. He did in fact attend our service.
We have found that many people hate “church” but do not hate God. In some cases they have good reasons to resent the church. We have learned that by not having a building, and by meeting people where they are, we have the opportunity to share the Love of Jesus Christ with people who would never step into a church building. This summer has been full of amazing experiences, and lots of new friends.
The photo album below is our “scrapbook” of our time in the park this summer. Enjoy!