Cowboy Church is different than most traditional congregations. Sunday they celebrate “Church in the Dirt.” The 5th anniversary service will be celebrated in the rodeo arena. It will also include a free meal of barbecue brisket, links and all the fixings. Immediately following the meal will be a youth rodeo.

If you attend the service, then God pays your entry fees into the rodeo, according to the Rev. Dale Lee, pastor of Orange County Cowboy Church. Bracelets will be handed out to participants before 10:30 a.m. If you don’t attend the service, you can still enter the rodeo by paying the fees. A negative Coggins is required.

Scott Mendes, the 1997 world champion professional bull rider, will deliver the sermon.

“This will be the first Sunday service held in the arena,” said Pam Scales Crew, a member of the church; “If the weather is good and that is what we are counting on.” She said they have devotionals at play days, but this will be the first complete Sunday service held in the arena. “We’re kind of proud of that.”

Lee said, “If the long-range forecast is accurate, it’s going to be perfect. It said 58 to 76 with no rain.”

“We’re really fortunate in the five years we’ve had the church we’ve never really rained out,” said Crew. She said one time in the first year, when they met in the blue barn on Texas 62, the bottom fell out about 3 p.m. “They were cleaning up and had to scramble to get things in the barn.”

The congregation is praying for cold weather. “We used to be used to the heat, when we were in the barn,” said Crew. She was referring to the first two years the congregation met in the blue barn. They’ve been in their current location for three years.

The youth rodeo is for ages 18 and under. Books opened Oct. 15 for bull riding, roping and mutton busting. Call 409-698-6165 from 6-9 p.m. A current negative Coggins and parent release forms are required by all. Signed release forms can be found online at

Events, entry fees and cash prizes are: Junior bulls, $25, $250; Steer riding, $15, $150; breakaway roping $25, $250; Junior barrels, $25, $250; chute dogging, $10, $150; team pull, $15/team, $100 Baskins gift card to each team member 18 and under (one boy, one girl); mutton bustin’, $5, $50; ribbon pull, no fee, new bicycle for 12 and under and 6 and under.

There will be Western dressage and cutting horse exhibitions.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. Church service begins at 10:30 a.m. The meal will begin immediately following the church service; with the rodeo beginning at 1:30 p.m. Cowboy church is located at 673 FM 1078. Handicapped parking will be available, with a hay ride pickup service from the parking lot to the arena. “We want to make it convenient,” said Lee.

Pictured: Scott Mendes, the 1997 world champion professional bull rider.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.