Photo: Alex Hevesy

Old vans are cool again, and nobody collects more vans than churches. Drive past any older church or other place of worship and you’re bound to see a several-yard long van or bus from decades ago sitting in the parking lot. Jesus and his disciples themselves probably drove around in a big old 15-passenger van, right?

I have decided to start honoring the wonderful church vans I encounter in the greater Baltimore area. Introducing: Church Van Of The Week.

Photo: Alex Hevesy

Our first featured van is a 1989 Ford E-350 Club Wagon that has been sitting in the back lot of Wheel Road Valley Baptist Church in Bel Air, Maryland for quite some time. This particular van is equipped with a 460 ci big block Ford V8 paired to a three-speed automatic transmission. I doubt it was fast going to vacation Bible school when it was in regular use, but it could probably tow the entire church with it.

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Third generation Ford E-Series vans were always destined to meet one of two fates: sitting neglected in the back of a church parking lot in rural Maryland, or sitting neglected in the back of a police impound lot in rural Maryland. Hard to say which is better.

What are the great church vans near you?

Photo: Alex Hevesy