By Tamara McCullough, NewsCastic
What do God, a professional rodeo clown and church have in common? Give up? It’s the cowboy church.
While many people may not be very familiar with the cowboy church, its existence came about in 1972 as the brainchild of Glenn Smith, a professional rodeo clown. That’s when he was called by God and heeding the call, he sold all of his worldly possessions and entered the ministry full-time, along with his wife.
Glen had a special interest in introducing Christianity to the western rodeo and bull riding circuits since he could relate to them. As Glen made his rounds from city to city, he noticed that cities he had previously visited began to incorporate this new type of gospel and thus, the cowboy church was born.
Today, cowboy churches are found in western states and mostly in Texas and Oklahoma. The churches are steeped in Christian ideology but adds a twist with Western culture and without all of the extra trimmings. These unique churches tend to meet in more laid-back, rural settings like barns or arenas and their gospel choirs sing country western and blue grass.
When it comes to sermons, they’re just the way a cowboy would like them: short, simple and sweet. But according to the American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches (AFCC), the churches’ congregations and leaders, “believe the Bible is the true, complete and unfailing Word of God. The primary goal of the AFCC is to help our affiliate churches reach people for Jesus Christ.”
Now, it’s time to giddy up and learn about 5 of the booming cowboy churches you probably didn’t know about
Galloping into God’s Good Graces
The Cowboy Church of Ellis County believes that you “come as you are, but leave changed,” according to its website. Though the church started in 2009 to reach out to cowboys, barrel racers and the like, the church has grown in population to encompass a diverse population of true believers. Believers come for the warm, inviting atmosphere and stay and continue membership for the message of God’s love and acceptance.
You can load up the convoy and visit this Waxahachie church in person or learn more at www.CowboyFaith.org.
Come As You Are, Just Believe in Jesus
The Western Heritage Church celebrated their 5th anniversary in 2015 and continue to make Mondays better with fellowship, country western singing and a fun, laid-back environment. From children to silver spurs (senior citizens), the Irving-based ministry reaches them all. Come as you are, wear what you want, just believe in Jesus Christ and enjoy some great blue grass and country western music.
Before you hit the dusty trails, learn more about WHC at their website at www.westernhc.org/.
Rodeo, Ropers and Religion
Denton County Cowboy Church proves that church is more than just sweating it out in pews and praying for the service to be over on a Sunday. With ministries for the young, seniors and everybody in between, the church puts God first. But, they do express their Western heritage with arena ministries, which include a youth rodeo, an arena team, rough stock and team roping.
Located in Ponder, TX, you can steer yourself over to learn more about the church at www.dentoncountycowboychurch.org/.
Buckles and Bibles
Lone Star Cowboy Church keeps it simple with “We Believe” branded across their home page. While their main mission is to reach people of Montgomery, TX and surrounding areas with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they do it Western style with Rodeo Bible Camps, Rodeo Schools and Team Roping Events. Plus, they offer classes for members of every age.
Mosey on over to http://lonestar.tv/ to find out more about events and the church.
Country Church Done the Cowboy Way
When it comes to finding a cowboy church that does it the cowboy way, you need not look any further than the Cowboy Church of Copper Creek in Aubrey, TX. With a calendar full of events titled, “Cowboy Worship,” “Kids Korral,” “Adult Ranch Hands” and “Youth Wranglers,” you can tell they take their worshiping and their cowboy heritage seriously.
To see what you can wrangle up at this church, go to www.cowboychurchofcoopercreek.org/.