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Yee-haw! Cowboy church is ‘simply moving,’ columnist says

Mary Jane Skala, a staff writer and columnist for KearneyHub.com in Nebraska, writes about attending Cowboy Church, an annual worship service at the local county fair sponsored by the Kearney Church of Christ.


As everyone arrived, they were offered coffee and lemonade at a table set up alongside rows of chairs. I got a doughnut, too, plucked from four heaping boxes of glazed doughnuts and frosted doughnuts. It was all free.
They passed out little white booklets with words and music of six gospel songs. We started off by singing three of them. We had Scripture and passed those silver communion plates among the rows.
Jay Towell preached a sermon without a single note. Instead of pastoral robes, he opted for black chino pants and a long-sleeved, grape-colored button-down shirt. He led the hymns, too, which were sung a cappella.
After the service, I headed over to the Ag Pavilion and sat in on my first-ever swine exhibition. …
As I headed to my car, I thought about that worship service. The pioneers worshiped simply, in humble settings, when they first came to Nebraska and built soddies. Cathedrals are breathtakingly holy, but a church comes to life wherever two or three are gathered in His name, Towell said. He was right.

Read the full column.
It’s the fourth summer the Kearney Church of Christ has hosted Cowboy Church, Towell told The Christian Chronicle. One of the church’s families is active 4H, a youth development organization, and was looking for a way to invite their friends from the fair to church.

Jay Towell (Photo via kearneychurchofchrist.org)

“We had a handful of visitors that first summer,” Towell said, “and each year it has been steadily growing in popularity. This year we had about 40 volunteers from the church who attended, set up tables, food and 60 folding chairs. Then they just greeted and mingled with our visitors.
“By the time the service started, we were scrambling to find more chairs.”
More than 50 visitors, including Skala, attended, Towell said.
“Everyone seemed pleasantly surprised with how simple and effective the service was,” he added.

  • Feedback
    The group of churches that have had a Church of Christ exhibit at the Illinois State Fair for many decades also host a worship service at the fair and always draw several visitors.
    Gary Greene
    July, 31 2012
    I’m just curious, have you had any contact with the nationally organized Cowboy Church group that has become a fairly regular fixture at rodeos, fairs, ropings etc? I wonder if they have copyrighted the name? They are, I think, affiliated with one of the Baptist conventions. Anyway, kudos for your efforts for the Lord.
    Chuck Reed
    July, 31 2012
    Hello brother, I am so excited about this effort y’all are a part of. I live in Powell, Oklahoma. It’s just a small community outside of Kingston, Oklahoma, southern Oklahoma. There are a couple of cowboy churches here in the area (being a horse and cattle community and all…), but they Are not what I believe to be the true church. I love them all and have a great relationship with them but I believe you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, I would love to come visit next time you have this event going on. Please let me know when is the next Scheduled time and would love to come be a part of it. Love you all… Don’t know you but, I know you are my brothers and sisters in the Lord… So, love to all of you!
    David Rodriguez
    Pulpit Mnister
    Powell church of Christ
    Kingston, Oklahoma
    David Rodriguez
    August, 1 2012
    COOL! Bring a “Cowboy Church of Christ” to Lawton, Oklahoma!
    todd padgett
    August, 3 2012

Filed under: News Extras News Links Uncategorized

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