Monday, October 04, 2010

Cowboy Churches and Christian Rodeos

I've got my eyes wide open, my ears up and cultural radar on high. Was "walking the Earth" -- driving actually -- and tuned into an American Indian radio show yesterday. Heard the host, not Comanche is all I could tell, talking about an upcoming pow-wow at a Cowboy Church in Texas. Thought, that's interesting, because I'd not long before driven by wooden structures with signs that read "COWBOY CHURCH" -- and even still I was wondering what they were all about.

On the radio, the host talked about rodeos (like one at the Comanche Nation Fair last weekend), and also about the Cowboy Church movement. What buzzed my ears was when he said, "You know there are 170 Cowboy Churches in North Texas today?"  Really?

First looking at a map of Cowboy Churches in the Texas area when I got back to the internet, they sprang out at me from Google like a vision out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers!  These churches are spreading like tumbleweeds in high wind, and not just across the Great Plains. . . 

Cowboy Churches remind me of the Great Awakening church movements and their concurrent waves of religious fervor back in the days before what we think of as American cowboys even existed. 

With the modern Cowboy Church you get a dose of Baptist-like fundamentals, plus "come as you are" dress code, horseback riding and rodeo competition. And signs with credos like "Branded by Jesus!"

For more on the Texas-based core area, see the Texas Fellowship of Cowboy Churches:

For the spreading manifestation of the movement, see the Cowboy Church Network of North America ("Impacting the Cowboy Culture with the Gospel of Jesus by Planting Cowboy Churches in Every County"):

For Cowboy Church TV out of Waco ("now airing in the UK!"):

I counted 22 Cowboy Churches in North Carolina like the one in this footage. How about in your neck of the woods?

Today's Rune: Possessions.  (Top image adapted from Cross Trails Cowboy Church for illustrative purposes only).


the walking man said...

I think I'd rather go to the cowboy church of saloons, dance hall girls, and rigged faro games.

Do you suppose that was that a gold Timex that preacher was wearing or a waterproof Rolex?

jodi said...

Erik, no cowboys churches in my neck of the woods, however, we do have an Indian cemetary....

Charles Gramlich said...

Jesus was a bull rider!?

Anonymous said...

Now if the church going folks would only practice what the Bible says and love their neighbor as themselves. I am afraid it is they only do love their neighbor if they look like, act like, think like them. Any one else is "The Other".