On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

What if the Lord moved you to take your testimony to the beach? And to build sandcastles for Him?

That’s the unlikely mission of Randy Hofman. He’s been creating stunning Christian sand sculptures along the Ocean City, Maryland, boardwalk for two decades.

He’s got a regular spot on the public beach at Second Street. Hie sculptures run as big as 20 feet across and always have  biblical themes such as Christ on the Cross, The Last Supper, Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and David and Goliath.

Yes, the wind and rain destroy his masterpieces on a regular basis. A few years ago, a teenage girl urged her boyfriend to jump on one of Hofman’s creations. He did and spectators were furious with the couple.

“The police arrested them for disturbing the peace,” Hofman said. “It’s good they did. A crowd saw what happened and went crazy.”

An ordained minister since 1985, Hofman views the sand sculptures as his ministry. “The messages show people that God is reaching out to us,” Hofman says. “They have to be short and simple so people can easily read and understand them … like a billboard.”

He hands out a small, 32-page Bible booklet to anyone who wants one — and averages 50,000 takers each summer. He says he has distributed about 800,000 booklets.

Most observers treat Hofman’s sculptures with respect, if not awe. Some stop at the site to pray. If invited, Hofman may join them.

One woman wrote to him that her son had been killed in a car accident but had one of Hofman’s Bible booklets with him when he died. “That brought her peace,” Hofman said.

In 1989, a stranger offered to pay Hofman’s expenses if he’d go to Argentina, South America, and build his sand sculptures.

“I accepted and spent several weeks on the beach at Mar del Plata,” Hofman recalls. “I enjoyed it so much that I went back later at my own expense.”