"The Stand" open air crusade debuts in Haleyville

HALEYVILLE - A Haleyville couple is taking a “stand” for the Gospel, and everyone is invited to join them.
Butch and Lea Benton have opened up a field on their property - located at 3521 Littleville Road in Haleyville - for a unique type of church service.  Called The Stand, the service is a drive-up, non-denominational open air crusade being held every Sunday night at 6 p.m., and it is the only one of its kind in the state.
“This is a weekly revival, an outdoor, drive-in revival,”  Butch said.
The Bentons were led to create this opportunity for revival after watching online services from the River at Tampa Bay Church in Florida, founders of The Stand Open Air Crusade.  The Bentons reached out to the church in Tampa.
The first Sunday night of this month, The River at Tampa Bay partnered with 11 other congregations around the world to take the Stand’s message to obey the Great Commission by going out and preaching the Gospel even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Lea noted that when the 11 partnerships were named during the Sunday, Sept. 6, event, Haleyville was the only one in Alabama declared as a partnership.
The manifesto for The Stand, which is located at Revival Ministries International’s website, www.revival.com/e/thestand20, fights back over churches worldwide closing due to COVID-19, indicating the movement stands for the Word of God and, “for billions around the world whose rights to worship freely were removed and have not been, or perhaps will never be, restored”.
“We are doing this to stand for our rights as Christians, to stand for liberty and to stand for the Gospel,”  Lea said.
The Stand will feature different local speakers, youth groups and praise and worship teams from around the region three weeks out of the month, with the local service partnering with the service in Tampa on the first Sunday night each month.  Attendees can sit in their vehicles and listen to the service via FM radio or they can bring lawn chairs and sit outside their vehicles to hear the guest speaker.  This Sunday, Chris Stokes, pastor at Lynn Church of God, will be speaking.
“This is not one church in one town,”  Butch said.  “This is for the area.  Everyone is invited.  No matter your denomination, you are invited.”
The Bentons are members of Solid Rock Church in Haleyville, and their church family has been very supportive of their effort to bring The Stand to Haleyville.
Services are open to all age groups and will take place each Sunday night as long as the weather permits, the Bentons said. 

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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