WARNER ROBINS -- Pastor Clyde Johns said The Rain Church has been on Gunn Road west of Houston County Galleria mall, across from the Centerville library, since 2006.
He said the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) congregation moved to Gunn Road from its previous location on Moody Road, where it was known as International City Church of God. Before that, he said the church was Houston Road Church of God.
Johns, 70, came to Warner Robins to pastor International City Church of God in 1976.
We wanted a fresh start, Johns said about the 2006 move. The building here on Gunn had been Maranath church, which was the old Green Street Church of God. We renamed it The Rain. We say The Rain is the perfect church for imperfect people. Thats what we are: imperfect people following Jesus.
Johns said he and his wife, Paula, who is co-pastor of the church, have been in one form of church service or ministry since 1976. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.
The Johns are originally from Irwin County.
The thing about The Rain Church, and I guess everybody says this about their church, but its such a great blend of people. Everybody is welcome, and I think everybody feels welcome.
Johns said many of the churchs ministries are based on the congregations desire to see others welcomed into Gods kingdom through Jesus Christ. He said one ministry is a particularly good expression of that desire.
Theres a ministry we operate on Market Street down around Commercial Circle called Rain on Me, he said. You can see it from Watson (Boulevard). Theres a big Rain on Me sign painted way up high. Every other Saturday its open from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and we feed homeless and needy people about noon. We have clothes we give away but dont give rent or utility money there because we do that through another local aid ministry. Every Friday night, we offer a meal at Rain on Me at 6:30 with a Bible study after that at 7. Everybody is welcome. Everybody hurts in one way or another, but so many people are really hurting who need a lot of love and a lot of care. Im grateful we have the kind of people here that care for others and are willing to reach out.
Johns said there is also a Bible study and service in Spanish at Rain on Me after the regular Friday meal and study.
Johns said The Rain also puts great stock in ministry for children. He said the churchs services would be considered contemporary with a modern worship band though they often reach back to older songs and hymns. He said the Pentecostal congregation offers liberty in worship and ministry during services but balances that with a regard for good order.
We are free and open to worship and the working of the Holy Spirit, but we know that doesnt mean anything goes. We appreciate the orderly, but free, expression of Gods Spirit working among us.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at email@example.com.