Trains Draw Visitors to Washington Church


Alger Community Christian Reformed Church in Bellingham, Wash., has a unique outreach through miniature trains and 900 feet of track.

Church member Dale Bearden loves trains. Any sunny day he and other railroad enthusiasts give rides to kids—and their parents—on a track that winds through the wooded area beside the church.

One neighbor leery of attending any church sent her husband and young son to check out the trains. “The railroad was fun, and we liked the people,” her husband said.

One onlooker couldn’t resist the fun and fellowship the church’s railroad enthusiasts were having. He said he’d “been fighting with God for over 25 years.” But what he saw in these men “wasn’t religion; it was their joy!”

He told Bearden, “I’ve given my heart to Jesus. What do I do now?” The two spent the next hour in the Bible. Bearden noted of the outreach, “It’s about taking time to be with people and give an ear.”

—Evangeline Magee DeMaster