Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church

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Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church
Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church

Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church – The name itself often conjures up images of rustic decor, shepherds giving sermons on horseback, outdoor prayer services, cow herding and baptisms in cow pots.

While some of this may be true – depending on the church – the pastors in the cow churches say that most of the people in their churches are not even cows.

Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church

Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church

Doug Allen, senior pastor of Blanchard First Baptist Church, where Cross Brand Cowboy Church is a ministry, said cowboy churches were created to share the gospel with those in the cowboy culture.

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“A lot of them started doing rodeos and other things, and it started to grow,” he said. “A lot of them now have a lot of people or most of them don’t have horses. They like the culture or they can like it.”

Dennis Aaron, pastor of Open Range Fellowship in Greenwood, said ranchers make up a large part of his congregation.

“We’re probably 10 percent cattle and 95 percent people who don’t know one horse head from another,” he said. “Our group is people who have never been to church or people who have been hurt or hurt in other churches and haven’t been for a long time.”

Kay Gilbert, who co-pastors Cowboy Outreach and Health Arena in Haughton with her husband James, said the cowboy ministry began in the early 1960s with Glenn Smith and his wife Ann.

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“He and his wife started traveling all over America, going to rodeos to bring the Gospel to people who travel throughout the year,” he said. “They lost the church and some did not have the church houses and others did not want God, but God brought them the Gospel.”

Gilbert added that about 10 years ago, the Baptist church decided to start building cow churches.

“Most of them in Texas are Southern Baptists. And it’s starting to starve people’s lives and it’s starting to connect with people’s lives,” he said. “Some people come to cow temples just because they like the atmosphere of the West, but that’s not all. It’s about reaching Jesus.”

Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church

According to the American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches, in just 12 years its members have reached 225 churches – 168 in Texas and 57 in other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kansas, Montana is. Minnesota.

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Valerie Robideaux, pastor and director of professional discernment at Centenary College, said cow churches are an example of a growing number of church groups in the United States.

“New churches are born, probably from many established churches, because the elites feel the need to develop other forms of church,” he said. “The cow church speaks to the diversity in the larger Christian culture.”

“Many of them meet at other times. For example, ours meet on Thursday and it is a service of this church, but most of them are private churches,” he said. “I deliberately continued our ministry as a church ministry because I wanted the support of the church and the support and responsibility that comes with it.”

“I was born and raised on a ranch and rodeoed and rodeoed in high school and got my card in 1984,” he said. “I was out of it for years, but God brought me back to those roots and I started going into the rodeo world and doing rodeo cowboy stuff, team roping and bull riding and stuff.”

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“It started to grow, and there were 60 or 70 in my house and then God gave me a vision,” he said. “I know without a doubt that this is what he told me to do, so I’m happy to do it and I did it with everything I have in me.”

“My career started in 1990, and I was a rodeo parent,” he said. “My daughters were in high school rodeo and we traveled a lot and were members of the Word of Life Church at the time. Pastor Sam (Carr) knew me and he knew I was a rodeo mom, and we started to see that the Lord. . People, the families who traveled … can not return to the age of the church”.

Gilbert started a prayer program in his home and later became an auction house in south Bossier.

Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church

“We lived here for many years and then my husband and I moved here to our farm in 1999, and we started keeping a cow shed in our horse barn,” she said.

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The Gilberts moved the church from the barn and it is now in the original church building.

“Currently we do not have a playground in our church. We felt that God was very interested in building the church itself, building a real foundation,” he said. “A lot of people have the idea that we have to be on horseback and in the arena.”

But at the Open Range Fellowship, Aaron said that when the weather permits, parking attendants will be stationed on horseback to guide people through the parking lot and show them where to park. On Friday night they have what is called a team draw and on Saturday night there is a draw.

“And it’s not unusual to see so many cowboy hats scattered throughout the church,” he said. “I dress like I’m going to the rodeo.”

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Allen said they have an open field where people can bring their horses and ride only when the weather permits.

“But at seven o’clock (when the service starts), everything stops,” he said. There are those who can wear cowboy clothes and there will be those who have never been on a horse in their life and dress casually. “

At Open Range, Aaron said they target those who have never been to church or haven’t been in a long time.

Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church

“I didn’t want to look like a church or talk like a church because churches can’t get into it,” he said. “I’m not against the traditional church, but this is the way God told me to follow these people.”

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“And we have 30 to 50 kids in the Children’s Choir,” he said. “We’re having a blast.”

Gilbert said his ministry has taken him from the pulpit to the arenas to the bullfighting and driving teams.

“I went the whole game,” he said. “But God brought us to the church and now we are a full church, not just a fellowship.”

“Ours is not. Ours is based on the presence of God,” he said. “It’s no more than being on a horse. It’s a different atmosphere but when people come they either like it or they don’t like it.”

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He said: “Tell me how many people are saved and rich in your church. Now that tells me the success of the church, not the numbers.”

“It’s so broad that people can come to that scene if they’ve never seen a horse in their life,” he said. “They can come here and pray and be free and that’s important to us.”

“We don’t stress about teaching,” he said. “We preach a risen savior who wants to be more than your savior. He wants to be involved in your life.”

Riding For The Brand Cowboy Church

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