Praising The Lord ... In A Ford

You drive in like you would at any other church - and listen to the program like you would at any other drive-in.

"Good Morning and welcome to the drive-in Christian Church," says Pastor Larry G. Deich.

That's right, a drive-in church, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports. Give Pastor Deich a halleluiah.

About 50 years ago, the church took over the old Neptune Drive-in in Daytona Beach, Florida, and ever since it's been offering a double feature of salvation … and convenience.

"It's the message of God," Deich said. "We just deliver it a different way."

"And it works for us," said Mary Hoss. She and her husband, Bill, used to go to a conventional church. "Since I've been retired, I've decided to take the easy way and sit in the car."

Folks here like being able to dress however they want and bring whoever they want.

Hartman observed: There's more dogs there than people, practically.

But the main reason people give for coming here instead of a church building is that it isn't a church building.

"The great outdoors that the Lord has made for us - and to sit here and hear his word, outside!" said churchgoer Norma Jean Harrison.

That's pretty much the church's credo.

"We say we worship outdoors by the seashore like Jesus did," Deich said.

"But the disciples weren't packed in a minivan," Hartman said.

"No, they weren't," Deich said. "But they were probably standing next to donkeys and camels and, you know, the transportation of the day."

Still, transportation today is much more isolating. What about community and fellowship? Well, worshiper's in mirror may be closer than they appear.

Before and after every service they gather in the old concession stand for donuts or coffee or just to put a name and face with a make and model.

The whole place really is convenient.

"Isn't there a risk, when all is said and done, that it's so convenient - God won't count it?" Hartman asked.

"No, God doesn't work that way," Deich said.

In fact, pastor Deich believes that God is AAA okay with the drive-in church.

"I know she does," Deich laughed.
  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.

Comments