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Fishing Church


Why is it that some people can roll out of bed on a beautiful Sunday morning and pick up a fishing pole – but, they can’t seem to get in to a church? One tiny congregation on the Gulf Coast understands the lure of the water. And, as Reed Galin reports, that seems to reel-in the visitors.


(Locator: Grand Isle, Louisiana)

Sunday morning in Grand Isle, Louisiana.

In this tiny fishing community, most days deal with casting a line…one way or another.

Music:  “Stand by me while I run this way…”

The Reverend Regina Hickman is the lone piano player and pastor of Grand Isle United Methodist Church.  She understands the lure of the water.

The Rev. Regina Hickman/Grand Isle United Methodist Church: “A lot of Sunday mornings I go walk on the beach before I come and I don’t want to leave the beach.”

The sanctuary is a couple of fishing camp houses leftover from the oil boom days. The congregation is a mixture of locals and retirees who come here to fish.

The Rev. Regina Hickman:  “We have people who come to the camps on the island and later they’ll go fishing or they’ve already been.”

Deep “soul” fishing may compete with deep-sea fishing, but Andy and Sue Galliano think there’s room for both. These church members often head out of the chapel with visitors in tow.

Sue Galliano: “We just do it for fun, we invite people to come out with us. We just give them a chance to see the island slow.”

Or, to commune with the dolphins.  Yes, on Grand Isle, it’s a good day for those angling for a little piece of paradise.

The Rev. Regina Hickman: “This is just a wonderful place to be.”


Hickman says that they hold services out on the beach from time to time.  And, she says if visitors call ahead of time and let them know they’re coming, the congregation will fix breakfast for them.  She didn’t say whether or not that included fish.

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