Drive-In Ministries has heard the cry from the lost segment of our society who does not come into our churches. We have outfitted special Mobile Units that travel “Around the Corner…Around the World” assisting churches, church planters, and other Christian institutions in reaching those within their reach with the message of hope and eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Terry Lytle was saved as a young boy in Jackson, Michigan. He later attended Moody Bible Institute where he also met and later married Olive Van der linden. Movie Ministries began in 1948 when Terry and Olive joined with the Ray Brubaker Organization known as “Cathedral Caravan”. Then while pastoring the West Rome Baptist Church in Manitou Beach, MI, Terry worked with Cathedral Caravan again, this time at Devil’s Lake, MI. Here he began to envision concepts of how to reach the people the churches were not reaching.
In 1950, Drive-In Ministries was founded as Terry procured permission to use a cornfield in the Devil’s Lake area to set up a platform for an outdoor Drive-In service. Soon evangelistic films were added to the service and greater attendance followed. Later a huge projection screen was built along with a glass-enclosed platform. (The Devil’s Lake Drive-In closed the summer of 2008 after 57 years of operation).
The ministry vision expanded to St. Petersburg, FL in 1958 where the outdoor Drive-In could operate year-around. Within a few years a complete Drive-In was built on U.S. Hwy. 19 and proved to be an excellent tool of evangelism.
In 1973, Terry’s vision turned “mobile” as he developed the “Magnificent Movie Machine,” a completely self-contained 55’ tractor/trailer rig, with screen sections that folded and stored on the roof and living quarters on the inside.
In 1974, his vision turned to the boating vacationers when a businessman offered his 50’ yacht to be used as a floating Drive-In on Lake Michigan. Hence the “Showboat” was born.
Next came the “Grand Van,” a 42’ retired U.S. Postal bus, converted into another mobile film unit. This unit not only traveled the U.S. but also Mexico. Downsizing and multiplying was the next vision Terry followed. A fleet of used aluminum 27’ 5th-wheel trucks/trailers originally made for Frito-Lay became a fleet of Drive-In mobile units that spread into 27 states, Mexico, and eventually two were even shipped to Ukraine.
Now the fleet of mobile units has grown to include several step vans and a number of regular passenger vans equipped with electric screens and all equipment.
Terry was the founder and visionary of Drive-In Ministries for 57 years until his death in April of 2008. Olive stood by his side faithfully and was called home to be with the Lord in May of 2008. The ministry is growing and continues to expand the vision he started.