As opportunities for worship at Lake Texoma may stand as a high priority for many lake enthusiasts, a family-oriented marina and a variety of churches near the lake can meet the spiritual needs of lake visitors and area residents.
Bridgeview Marina and Resort outside of Madill, Oklahoma, was the site recently for a sunrise Easter service and Easter egg hunt that followed. While the marina doesn’t offer regularly scheduled services, the cowboy church nearby, and other groups, conduct services there from time to time, marina general manager Ed Matthews said.
“The cowboy church, halfway between here and Madill, has held services here and as a result, another group has brought a minister and singing to our outdoor stage,” Matthews said. “We have had a baptismal service down at our boat ramp and have had weddings here as well. It’s something that is really needed, and we are proud of our family values.”
With its emphasis on family, Matthews said services at Bridgeview Marina are very welcoming.
“It bridges the whole age group — grandmas and granddads, moms and dads — and they bring the kids, you know,” he said. “So, it’s good, it’s good. And, what we do takes in all denominations. Everyone is welcome, no matter what church you go to.”
Matthews said that based on patrons’ responses, the marina’s attention to the worship needs of visitors seems to be well founded.
“Our patrons and customers think it’s great,” he said. “We had about 50 at our sunrise service even with the weather being a little rainy. The lake was made for memories, and we want families to know we’re doing our part.”
Bridgeview Marina and Resort is located at 13947 Reel Lane in Madill, Oklahoma, and may be reached at 580-795-3979. Their website is www.bridgeviewmarinaandresort.com.
On the Texas side of the lake, the Chapel of Lake Texoma in Gordonville is a church with doors open wide for lake visitors as well.
“Having begun in 1962 as Sherwood Shores Chapel, the chapel operated under that name for more than 50 years,” pastor the Rev. Timothy J. Hammons said. “We want to reach out to Lake Texoma in a more expansive way, as well as to our own community, so we recently changed our name to the Chapel of Lake Texoma.”
Hammons, who has been a pastor at other churches since 1995, became the church’s pastor in December.
“We are a non-denominational Bible church,” he said. “The way we view worship is that when we come together, we’re meeting in the presence of God to be fed spiritually by Christ himself. We seek to hear Christ through the preaching and reading of the word of God. So, we’re kind of traditional in that regard, but we think that that’s what the Bible prescribes for us to do, so that’s what we’re doing.”
The Chapel at Lake Texoma has Sunday school at 9:15 a.m., coffee fellowship at 10 a.m., and worship at 10:30 a.m. Bible study meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays.
For more information on the church, which is located at 969 Hillcrest Circle in Gordonville, call 903-523-5217 or visit thechapeloflaketexoma.com.
The First Baptist Church of Gordonville is another church that welcomes lake visitors and members of the community as well.
“They are welcome to come not only to our Sunday services but to our Wednesday meals and Wednesday services as well,” church pastor the Rev. James Raffety said. “We currently have what I would call a blended worship style. We do a lot of traditional hymns, and we do some contemporary praise music also.”
He said the church reaches out to campgrounds in the Gordonville area with flyers to let people know of their presence in the area. Raffety sees growth in lake activity and in the surrounding community as important factors in the church’s mission.
“We are seeing a great influx of people coming into our area, and God is doing the same thing as he positions our church to share the good news with these folks and to give them a place for worship, fellowship and doing life together,” he said. “We say that’s what church is about here — ‘doing life together.’ It’s just a great community to live and worship in and be a part of, and our lake visitors are always welcome.”
The First Baptist Church of Gordonville has Sunday school at 10 a.m. followed by worship at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. A free fellowship meal is at 5 p.m. Wednesdays followed by activities at 6 p.m. for children, youth and adults. The church is located at 187 Gordonville Road in Gordonville and its website is www.fbcgordonville.com
Hagerman Baptist Church can be found on a different part of Lake Texoma near the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. Its welcome sign is always out to lake enthusiasts and visitors to the refuge.
Built in 1921 in the town of Hagerman, the church has a relationship with the lake and its early beginnings. To create the Denison Dam, land from the city of Hagerman was taken for the dam. In advance of the dam’s completion, the church moved to higher ground and continued to serve area residents and visitors to the newly created lake once the dam was complete.
“Our church is really welcoming, and our visitors are treated like family,” church pastor the Rev. Neal Alexander said. “It’s a church that’s full of grace and family, and it’s just a good place to connect with.”
Alexander is optimistic about the future of the church and he wants the church to continue serving with open arms.
“We are intent on meeting the spiritual needs of our community, and those of our lake and refuge visitors as well,” he said. “We just want to be a church that knows Christ better and makes Christ known to other people.”
Hagerman Baptist Church is located at 4619 Refuge Road in Pottsboro, and its website is www.hagermanchurch.com. Sunday school is at 9:30 a.m. Sunday mornings followed by worship at 10:30 a.m. A meal is served at 5:45 p.m. Wednesdays with Bible study held at 6:30 p.m.