Cowboy church addition to worship places

Area resident invites all to service with a different twist

A former Texas resident is trying to form a church with a cowboy approach.

Shane Hail of Seymour, TX, who recently moved north of Cozad with his wife and children, works for farmer/rancher Matt Lauer of Gothenburg.

The Hails attended a cowboy church in Baylor. Hail said he liked the style of workshop so decided to start one in Gothenburg because he likes the town where their children also attend school.

“They’re the same as any Christian church with a cowboy twist,” Hail said. “They’re more simplified and we have a lot of events like rodeos, team ropings outside of church.”

He added that their main focus is on what Jesus has done for them and what the Bible says.

Extracurricular events give people a chance to see “what’s going on” so they may decide to attend cowboy church, Hail said.

He was quick to point out that the Gothenburg Cowboy Church is not intended to compete with other denominations.

Although a group of about 25 people has worshipped for the last month at the rodeo grounds on Sunday mornings, Hail said they will start meeting at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Sundays of each month so their meeting times don’t conflict with other churches.

After a church service at 2 p.m. on Sept. 8, featuring Kevin Rowe and the Prodigal Sons, members will meet again on Sunday, Sept. 22, at the rodeo grounds.

“We don’t want to take away anyone from other churches,” he explained. “We think we are a body of Christ and it doesn’t matter what church you go to.”

In addition to meeting on Sundays this past month, Hail said the church hosted a play day at the rodeo grounds where youngsters rode real or stick horses in events like barrel racing.

“We think God is leading us to do this,” he said.

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