Story by Darl Devault, Contributing Editor
In his sermons and in person Terry Hill, pastor of the Canadian County Cowboy Church in Yukon, tells his congregation and this writer our church is in a good place. He says things are better than ever because God is sending them more good people.
The board recently has been kicking around the idea they may need to expand the non-denominational Cowboy Church on East Main, on property donated by the Yukon Round-Up Club in 2013.
“You do not have to be a cowboy to worship with us,” Hill said. “We just want our visitors to know we are not overly formal in our dress and our fellowship includes many who are not cowboys or wear cowboy hats.” (story continues below)
Hill is grateful for all the new people seeking fellowship in God’s name who are attending the church since it shut down for eight weeks during the height of the COVID-19 surge in the area.
He wonders if the availability of their extensive online ministry is attracting more people to come in person. He thinks some of his early congregation members are watching the sermons online.
The ministry streams services both on YouTube and Facebook.
Hill shares a story about how he got back to his roots as a cowboy and pastor during their eight-week shutdown for COVID-19. He and his wife Evelyn took their video camera down to the Holy City of the Wichitas in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, northwest of Lawton. He was inspired to record his sermon on the 66-acre area that looks much like Israel during Biblical times. A few weeks later, trying to change this up, Hill did his sermon on horseback in his round pen. These sermons can be found in the church’s Web site archives.
The church has a practical ministry giving away Cowboy Bibles and Bibles for all ages to whomever wants one. The church supports local, state and foreign ministries. Hill say their mission is “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ: Galatians 6:2.”
Every Sunday the service begins with the presentation of the American and Christian flags. The congregation stands with hats removed as they sing God Bless America, followed by their theme song, Yes Lord, We Will Ride with You.
Another direct service to the flock is providing spiral notebooks on each row for the recording of prayer requests or a praise report if God has done something for members. The church prays over the needs expressed in the requests later in the service.
Again Church websites have become the new front doors of any church. Before visitors step inside the church itself, they can get a sense of the community and determine if they would belong. When a church streams its services online, it invites potential newcomers to join the service from afar to see how the sermon resonates with them.
Pastor Hill credits streaming for bringing many new families to the church within a few months. He happily says streaming “has been a huge success and we hope to have even more families join.”
Hill thinks the congregation attends services on Sunday and then some watch the archived stream later to deepen their understanding of that week’s lesson.
Founded in 1947, the Yukon Round Up Club owned the 13 acres now the church campus. The rodeo arena still emphasizes the cowboy heritage with club’s name part of the original metal archway over the road leading to the arena. The church has made the venue a part of the ministry, offering community events.
On Sunday mornings, CCCC kicks off their services at 550 E. Main Street with fellowship, coffee and doughnuts at 9 a.m.
Sunday school classes for all ages start at 9:30 a.m. The church service begins at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday evenings they serve a fellowship dinner from 5:30pm to 6:30pm for a voluntary donation. Bible study classes for all ages begin at 7 pm.
They now offer a LIVING FREE class, small group sessions for those who need inner healing and help to stay away from life controlling problems.
Hill, owner of El Reno Steel, along with his wife Evelyn, founded the church in 2010.
“We welcome you to our weekly Cowboy Church Service, where hats are welcome but not required,” Hill said. “We pray you will be blessed as we worship and fellowship in the “Cowboy Way”.”
For more information on this “Cowboy Ministry”, find them on Facebook and YouTube or visit: www.canadiancountycowboychurch.com.