The second season of "Boat Church" got off to a rainy and overcast start, but it didn't dampen the spirits of those who came out to worship on the water.
People of all ages came out to enjoy the experience on the sand and in their boats.
"We were a little hesitant. We live on the bay and it was looking nasty this morning," said Brent DiGeronimo. "God provided and it's just been a great day out here."
Local Dena Boyd explained that gathering outdoors serves as a reminder that churches don't need a building to worship the Lord.
"I like it because I think it just reinforces the fact that church is not just about a building, where two or more are gathered in his name that's where Jesus will be, so I like the fact that people can just come together with a common interest and just enjoy nature and worship the Lord," she said.
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, one of the organizers, says he's excited about another year of boat church.
"We weren't sure how much of last year was driven by COVID and how much just because it's a unique worship experience. We've got great support from local pastors because we want to drive people to their local churches when Boat Church is over. This is about a four-month experience. And we'll see whether this was just a COVID phenomenon."
Worshipper Gina Lane described Boat Church as being "back with the disciples, just hearing the Word on the beach. It's just a great experience, whether there's sunshine or rain."
And Jack Lane, who came by boat, was grateful that he didn't let the dreary weather keep him home.
"It was a rainy morning. It was easy to just lay in bed and watch it on TV," he noted.
"You feel the people out here. You feel the spirit moving. It's a great environment, we're so blessed to be a part of this."
The Sunday message was delivered by Pastor Randy Singer of Trinity Church. He sees Boat Church as a creative way to reach the unchurched.
"The people who come to Boat Church might not come inside the walls of a normal church," the pastor explained. "It's non-threatening. You can come in your boat, or set up your chair. And then maybe, you might not be expecting it, but you might just hear a Word from the Lord that day."
And Christian recording artist Josh Wilson brought his soulful worship all the way from Nashville, Tennessee.
"I think it's amazing. I think it's a great idea! I love that it started up last year. My wife and I love the beach and it's really fun to be in the Virginia Beach area. I love that it's still going and we're doing it, even though there's some clouds out; the cloud cover's kind of nice."
Boat Church meets every Sunday at 10 a.m. at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach through September.