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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Giddyap to God

Cowboy churches are rounding up a new niche of churchgoer. Wearing spurs and Stetsons, cowboys worship at home on the range, astride horses or seated on broncos at a church rodeo. Behind Bible covers that read "The Way for Cowboys," they yeehaw for Yahweh, get baptized in horse troughs, and sing Happy Trails to You as a benediction.

In Texas alone, more than 50 congregations have "cowboy" in their names. And www.cowboyministers.com lists cowboy church leaders, many of whom rope four-legged critters in the mornings and lost lambs — the two-legged kind — in the afternoon.

"Church is not a building, it's people," former rodeo rider Robert Harris said in USA Today (March 10). "Wherever they gather you can have church, and wherever they are hungry and needy is where you should be."


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