Cowboy Church plans “Big Roundup”
Sunday, Oct. 25, will be a big day for the Cowboy Church of Orange County. That’s the day this unique church is planning to have its “Big Roundup.” A combination of the church’s facilities dedication and second anniversary celebration is planned. It’s the first Sunday the congregation meets in its new facilities on Farm Road 1078, just off of Texas 62, in Orange, about one mile north of Interstate 10.
Cowboy Church has been meeting for two years in a borrowed horse barn. Now they have their own facilities. The church had 20 acres of land donated to them. They purchased five adjacent acres. They felt 25 acres was needed for the ministry they had begun.
Their new building is unique and designed to attract Western heritage people, or people of the cowboy culture. Almost everything is done in a way that is “culturally relevant” or has appeal to the cowboy and the cowboy-at-heart. Still, everybody is welcome.
The building does not resemble a traditional church building.
Instead, it’s more like the horse barn they just moved out of. It is a metal building on a slab, with a cypress wood façade across the front, making it look like an old fashioned general store. It also has a front porch, with several wooden rocking chairs set in between the cypress and stone columns.
Inside, there is no carpet, just concrete floors. That’s intentional because the members don’t mind what gets tracked in on somebody’s boots. There is no stained glass, just clear glass making it easy to see the outside surroundings. Worshippers can look through the back glass doors and see three wooden crosses, reminding them of their Savior who gave His life on a cross.
They have what some people call “cowboy chandeliers” to provide the lighting. These are really No. 2 washtubs that are hanging upside down with four light bulbs inside each one. They also have ceiling fans with horseshoes on the fan motors and horse heads on the ends of the pull chains.
There is no sheetrock in the building. The walls are made of rough-cut lumber. The stalls in the restrooms are made of corrugated tin, and the tissue holders are made of horseshoes welded together. One of the first things to be seen when driving onto the property is a full-sized rodeo arena. The church plans to have play days, ropings, barrel races, rodeos, horseshoes, and special classes for horse lovers.
During the services at the Cowboy Church, the music is led by their own country-western band, called the Cowboy Cross Band. Their music includes country gospel, christian songs set to old western music and many of the favorite old gospel hymns. The band members write much of their own music.
Offering plates are not passed during the service. Those who want to contribute their tithes and offerings may put them in an old milk can or a plastic keg as they go in or as they leave. This provides for more privacy in their giving.
The dress is casual, or “come as you are.” Many of the worshippers have on boots, jeans, and hats while others come in tennis shoes and sweat shirts. There is no fancy baptistery. A large watering trough is in use and has been used many times already. By next summer, a large pond on the property may also be used.
The church invites the public to their first service in the new building Sunday. For those who park near the arena, “shuttle service” will be provided by a horse-drawn wagon and hay rides.
The service will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a “bandana cutting.” Following that, the regular worship service will begin at 10:30. A barbeque lunch with lots of trimmings will be served after the service, followed by lots of activities to include: horseshoes, stick horse races, sack races, horse rides, goat ribbon pull, calf dressing and others. One of the highlights will be a mechanical bull for volunteers to ride.
The Cowboy Church of Orange County is located at 673 FM 1078. Bring lawn chairs for the afternoon activities.
For more information, Pastor E. Dale Lee may be contacted at 409-718-0269.