Heartbeat AT

For those who seek fellowship 
with the wilderness, . . . 
"Be still and know that I am God." 
Psalm 46:10


Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. 

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing.

Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.

Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100

The following is an ever-expanding list of churches Circuit Rider and Sherlock have personally visited and confidently recommend to any who would long to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Psalm 100:4

You will not only find a name, address and phone number, but will also discover when we last visited that particular congregation and why we are pleased to recommend it to you. 

There are a lot of churches across America, to be sure.  It is our goal and desire to begin highlighting those that truly fulfill the purpose to which God intended.

Please feel free to write to us and let us know what you experienced after attending one of these congregations.  God's plan for reaching this world is still His local church.  For that reason, it is our privilege to serve Him by serving you in this manner.  To those in the AT community, consider yourself invited to come, explore and worship. 

Because of His grace,

Circuit Rider and Sherlock

To the church of God which is at Corinth (or any town near you), to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; their Lord and ours . . . I Corinthians 1:2





Casas Adobas Baptist Church, Oro Valley, AZ

Last Visited: February 15, 2009







Cornerstone Bible Church, 12268 SW 128 St Miami, FL  33186, http://www.cornerstonebiblechurch.com/ - Edwin Gonzalez, Pastor
(305) 235-0440 Miami, FL

Last Visted: January 11, 2009


Mt. Hope Community Church, 5335 Hwy. 53W, P.O. Box 234, Jasper, GA 30143, (706) 299 0847

Last Visited: March 25, 2012

Ever since Craig Miles (Clay '06) and his wife Suzy (Branch '06) felt led by the Lord to move from Franklin, NC to Jasper, GA so they could minister to this congregation, it has been my intention to come by some Sunday and worship with them.  Yesterday was that day, and I knew almost immediately that their church needed to be added to our list.

 I immensely enjoyed the Sunday School Bible Study Hour, taught by a young man named Buddy.  He led us through an insightful and thought provoking study of Romans Chapter 11.  The Morning Service was delightful, the people I met very friendly, and Craig's sermon from Ephesians 6 was right on target, focusing on children being all that God wants them to be.

In a nutshell, my two greatest reasons for recommending this congregation to you are Craig (pastor@mthopecc.org) and Suzy themselves.  For the past several years, these two have actively served hikers in countless ways all along the southern end of the Appalachian Trail.  No hiker would feel unwelcomed here!  In fact, you would likely be well fed, both spiritually and physically, before you were on your way.  That certainly was my experience.  With these two, it always has been.  -Circuit Rider




Harvest Bible Chapel, 800 Rohlwing Road, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008, http://www.harvestbible.org/ - Dr. James MacDonald, Senior Pastor

Visited:  January 20, 2008


First Baptist Church, Geneva Illinois

Last Visited: November 29, 2009





Grace Reformed Church, 1105 Woodland Drive, Elizabethtown, KY, www.grcpca.org

Last Visited: December 7, 2008

This cold, December Sunday morning found me at a small Presbyterian Church thirty five miles south of Louisville in a place known as E-town.  We may never have known of this friendly congregation had we not "crossed paths" with Beaker and a young man named Daniel last Summer at the RPH Shelter.  It was a hot day along the New York section of the A.T. and we were glad to arrive at our destination early.  Already there were these two and it didn't take long for us to "connect."  As a result of that memorable meeting I drove south from my brother's home in Louisville this morning to reunite with our friends once more, this time to worship with them at their home church. 

It didn't take long to see why they claim this congregation as their own.  The comfortable, inviting setting is one that causes you not to want to rush off.  The music, a mixture of hymns and choruses, was worshipful and tastefully led.  The "Kids Choir" sang a special Advent Call to Worship, a creative arrangement that was well done.  Prayers were offered for the recent tragedy in India as well as for members of the church family back at home who were dealing with everything from health concerns to heartache.  Finally, Pastor David Atkisson walked to the pulpit and presented his second in a series of Advent messages, this one dealing with the topic of "Peace; What is it and Why it Alludes Us."  In short he explained that Peace is the interelated and interconnected Shalom, the Hebrew word for Peace that encompasses all the facets of well-being.  He then brought it all together by teaching us that it is the Gospel, the Shalom the Apostle Paul was proclaiming (Colossians 1), that tranforms us from Peace unravelers to Peace restorers.

I stayed for coffee and the Adult Bible Study Class which meets following the Morning Worship Service, capably taught by Daniel's Dad Jerry.  It was easy to linger and meet several folks before finally climbing into the Subaru and heading north. 

I hope to return again someday and gladly recommend this congregation to any who would, for sure, be glad they made the effort to walk through these front doors.  -Circuit Rider 



Limerick Free Baptist Church, 2 Sokokis Trail North, Limerick, ME, http://www.lfbc.org/ - Pastor Jack Daniels

Last Visited:  January 13, 2008

Monson Community Church, Monson, ME - Pastor David Ray

Last Visited: October 26, 2008 

Western Mountains Baptist Church


P.O. Box 264

Kingfield, ME 04947

Land Address: 929 Carrabassett Road (ME 27)

New Portland, ME


Last Visited: 11/11/12

This is where Circuit Rider and Sherlock attend church when they are in western Maine.  They have gotten to know many in this congregation, as they spend a considerable time in the Stratton area each year.  Visitors will find here a warm welcome, good music, and excellent Biblical exposition from the pulpit.  You can reach Pastor Tom Dubois and his wife Betsy (right) at 207 678 2328.


Calvary Chapel, Frederick, MD - Pastor David Ochoa

Last Visited: June 14, 2009


Park Street Church, One Park Street, Boston, MA, www.parkstreet.org - Gordon Hugenberger, Senior Minister

Last Visited:  March 2, 2008


        First Baptist Church of Allegan                                                              


1290 32nd Street (M-40 South)

Allegan, MI 49010

(269) 673 5683

Last Visited: 11/18/12

If you are looking for a church family where you will actually experience the feel of being home, this congregation is for you. 

We were struck immediately be the friendliness of those we met for the very first time.  Then, to top it off, we were treated to excellent teaching from the pulpit by Pastor Greg Carlson.

This is a church where you will find several of Circuit Rider and Sherlock's close friends.  Among them are Mel and Joni Brummel.  It was Mel who prepared CR for his first thru hike in 1999.  Then there's Kent and Becky Wallace.  Both CR and Sherlock worked closely with this wonderful couple during their years at Lake Ann Camp.  As for the Carlson family, it is their cottage in the Upper Peninsula that the guys call home.

Age specific Growth Groups meet each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. with the Morning Service following at 10:30.  


Glen Memorial Baptist Church, 219 Truckey Street, St. Ignace, MI 49781, 906-643-8608 - Mike Lane, Pastor

Last Visited:  March 1, 2009

Of all the congregations we feel privileged to report on and recommend to you, none comes more easily than this one, the place Sherlock and I call home.  Since 1985 it has been my blessing to enjoy a very special relationship with these precious people, initially as Youth Pastor and, in recent years, as part of the church's extended ministry.

Located in Michigan's breathtaking Upper Peninsula, in the small town of Saint Ignace, along the north shore of Lake Huron, this growing congregation of 130 or so, under the leadership of Pastors Mike Lane and Dave Davis, continues to expand its impact and influence to the surrounding community.

The music, a nice blend of traditional and new, sets the stage for a pulpit ministry that desires to instruct, encourage, and challenge hearers to discover what it truly means to love, trust, and serve the Lord.  If you would choose to visit, you would soon find that you are a welcomed participant in a Sunday worship experience you won't soon forget.  It doesn't take long for this crowd to make you feel as if you're a part of the "family."

Each Sunday morning begins with an enjoyable time of fellowship at the Coffee and Breakfast Bar on the lower level.  The Men's Bible Study Class at 9:45 is bursting at the seams.  How they get nearly twenty guys in that small room each week is beyond me!  And that's just the men!  There are classes for everyone, with plenty of topical variety.

Following the Morning Service, don't be surprised if you're invited to a local restaurant or, even better, to someone's home.  As pleased as you will be that you came, your new friends at Glen Memorial will be even more excited to have you there.

There's no place like home and there's really no home like this place.  Please consider yourself invited to our neck of the northwoods.  Come and come often.  Linger awhile.  You'll soon see why "up north" is never off our "beaten path."  -Circuit Rider 


Grand Marais Mennonite Church, Grand Marais, MI

Last Visited: February 8, 2009







New Hampshire

New Jersey

Old Bridge Baptist Church, 21 Kossman Street, East Brunswick, NJ 08816, (732) 257 7959, http://www.oldbridgebaptistchurch.org/ -Rev. Bill Nowak, Pastor

Last Visited: March 8, 2009

There's something about the feeling of being home that warms the heart like few other experiences.  This satisfaction occurs for me anytime I cross the State line into either Michigan or New Jersey. 

Several times this past Fall and Winter we have enjoyed the privilege and pleasure of being with Mom and worshipping at her church.  The thing that impresses me most with these precious people is their commitment to prayer.  If you're wanting someone to pray for you, here is a group of quality saints that can be trusted with the task.  If they tell you they're praying for you, they're praying for you.

This past Sunday Sherlock and I once again had the privilege of attending both the morning and evening services at this small church nestled in the historic district of East Brunswick.  Built in the mid 1800's this church in central New Jersey still stands as a pillar to the community around it.

The worshipful and well thought out music, the preaching, and the sweet fellowship before and after each service would cause any visitor good reason to want to return.  On this particular occasion, Pastor Bill Nowak opened the Scriptures to the Old Testament Book of Ezra.  He then began to show us from the Word of God that, as in the days of old, peace, happiness, and fulfillment come only through approaching God on His terms.  He expounded on the prophet Ezra's attitude toward prayer; how he: 1) properly prepared to pray, 2) wanted to take an appropriate approach to being in the very presence of God and, 3) was willing to accept God's judgment, if need be.  In conclusion, he challenged us with the truth that if we prayed as Ezra did, our prayer lives would be transformed, for we would pray with that same attitude that ultimately confesses, "Father, You are the center of my universe, and not myself."

There are no strangers at this church.  All are welcomed and encouraged to return.  Whether you walk through these doors for the first time or decide to come again, you'll be glad you made that decision.  And be sure of this, in the meantime they will be praying for you!  -Circuit Rider

New Mexico

New York

Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 1359 Broadway #4, New York, NY, http://redeemer.com/ - Rev. Tim Keller, Senior Pastor

Visited:  February 10, 2008

North Carolina

Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church, 800 Fullwood Lane, Matthews, NC 28105, www.christcovenant.org  - Rev. Mike Ross

Visited: January 4, 2009 


First Baptist Church, 69 Iotla Street, Franklin, NC 28734, (828) 369 9559, http://www.fbcfranklin.org/ 

Last Visited: April 5, 2009

When I think of the reasons why we would heartily recommend this congregation to you, I begin with two people; Craig and Suzy Miles.  Craig is on the full time staff at First Baptist, serving faithfully as Family Pastor.  Yet the overriding passion he and his wife possess is for each and every hiker who comes through the doors of this church. 

Each Spring, when hundreds of hopeful thru hikers begin making their way northward from Georgia, the first Trail town they come to in North Carolina is the relatively small mountain community of Franklin.  Craig and Suzy are there to meet them, often going out of their way to shuttle them any number of places, never wanting anything in return.  For three weeks each year, during the height of the "hiker season", some forty volunteers work with them, joyfully serving a hiker breakfast right in the Fellowship Hall at the church.  Volunteers even provide transportation to and from each meal.  In short, no hiker will ever be sorry they visited First Baptist, especially as long as Craig and Suzy are there.

I also can't help but reflect on the time we spent there last Sunday.  The Men's Bible Study, led by a very capable and well prepared gentleman by the name of Jim, was nothing short of rich.  The Morning Worship Service that followed, with a wonderful combination of excellent music and preaching thrilled our hearts.  Pastor Harold G. Ball, who will soon be retiring, presented a Palm Sunday message we will long remember.  Speaking from Matthew 21:1-11, he focused on the burning question of the day for so many who witnessed Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.  "Who is this?" the stirred residents of that city wanted to know (Matthew 21:10).  Pastor Ball, from that same text, then went on to answer that question that still stirs hearts today.  He is the Son of God.  He is the Son of David.  He is the promised Messiah!

There is much more I could relate about our memorable experience, from the sweet fellowship we enjoyed with so many friendly people who made us feel right at home (even in hiker clothes), to the extremely meaningful celebration of Communion that Sunday evening.  For now however, suffice it to say that we gladly recommend this fellowship to you. 

North Dakota



           Stillwater Reformed Presbyterian Church, Stillwater, OK

           Visited: December 14, 2008




160 N. Courtland Street

East Stroudsburg, PA 18301

(570) 421 7662


Last Visited: 11/25/12

 First Baptist Church

Just minutes from the where the Trail crosses the Delaware Water Gap, you will find a friendly congregation where the Bible is clearly taught and the music makes you long to worship.  The church is full of hikers, including the Pastor.  Call them and someone will be more than happy to give you a ride to and from the Trail.            

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pastor David Cornell

Tenth Presbyterian Church, 1701 Delancey Street, Philadelphia, PA, http://www.tenth.org/ - Dr. Philip Ryken, Senior Minister

Visited:  April 27, 2008, May 4, 2008

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Earle's Grove Baptist Church

398 Cedar Lane Road

Westminster, SC 29693

(864) 972 3107


Pastor James Dyar

The epitome of "southern hospitality."  We have been in few churches friendlier than this one.  The moment you walk through the door you are made to feel like you have been, or should have been, there for years.

The Adult Bible Class, which is held in the auditorium each week at 10:00, is always worth the effort to get there.  Paul does an excellent job at unpacking Scripture and is always well prepared.

Pastor Dyar preaches the Word of God unashamedly with that old country style flare.  You can't help but leave challenged, instructed, encouraged, and ready to meet the challenges of the coming week.

Add to all that lots of good music, times for concentrated prayer, and people who will truly long for you to come back, it is little wonder why this wonderful congregation in the country is one we highly recommend.

First Presbyterian Church, 1324 Marion Street, Columbia, SC, http://firstprescolumbia.org/ - Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, Senior Pastor

Visited:  April 13, 2008

South Dakota





Village Baptist Church, Church Street, Belmont, VT, 802-259-2440, Glenn A. Davis, Pastor

Visited:  August 10, 2008



West Virginia


Faith Evangelical Free Church, 9035 Blumenstein Road, Woodruff, WI, http://www.faithfreewoodruff.org/ - Pastor Rick Goff

Visited:  February 17, 2008



"I love Thy kingdom, Lord, the house of Thine abode,

The church our Blessed Redeemer saved with His own precious blood.

I love Thy church, O God,

Her walls before Thee stand,

Dear as the apple of Thine eye and graven on Thy hand.

For her my tears shall fall;

For her my prayers ascend;

To her my cares and toils be given,

Till toils and cares shall end."

~T. Dwight

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