For the past 16 years, Branson illusionist and Pastor Dave Hamner has been hosting the Branson Gospel Sunday Service, a Christian outreach to the community that meets each Sunday at the Hamner Variety Theater. Next year, several longtime members of Hamner’s ministry will join the lineup of shows headlining the theater.
“The Lord is opening so many doors, and we’re very excited about next season,,” Hamner said. “I’m so thrilled about having my good buddy Mike Walker bringing the ‘Conway Remembered’ show to our theatre next year, as well as Joe and Tamra Tinoco and the ‘Magnificent Seven’ show, the ‘Twice Adopted’ show, and the ‘Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show.’”
The ministry began in 1999 at the Remington Theatre when Hamner was a member of the “Branson City Lights” show.
Even though this will be Walker’s first season at the venue, Walker, as well as Tamra Tinoco, have been a part of Hamner’s ministry for several years. The Koenig family who compose the “Twice Adopted” group, are also members of the ministry.
“I really like the way he actually preaches from the Bible, and not some other book,” Walker said. “Most ministers and preachers are a lot of times nothing more than like motivational speakers, but real preachers actually use the book that was made to be preached out of.”
Hamner describes his ministry as a church service designed to educate and evangelize.
“I look at it like we’re serving the Lord because he called us to do so,” Hamner said. “When anyone calls me ... and I can help, I do it because I want to share the Gospel of Christ in any way that I can.
“The Lord gives us different opportunities to share his Gospel, and that’s the greatest thing we can do.”
In addition, the church provides services in the community like food provisions, supplementing the local Salvation Army with funds for needy families, hospital visitations and directing funeral services when needed.
“We try to reach out to the community, as well as the people who come to our area who don’t have a church.”
As far as mixing his ministry with show business, Hamner said it was all about having the right Christian people in the right place.
“We’ve never had any issues with anyone, and I think we have that trust level,” Hamner said. “I think having strong Christian people there is a great thing to build that trust on.”
The Sunday service is open to anyone who wants to worship. The Hamner Variety Theater is at 3090 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. For more information, call 417-334-4363.