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Cowboy Church, Morning Manna, Holy Grounds

. 1 min read

From The United Methodist Church in Arkansas:

If you want to see a cowboy or girl in church, you best hold your service on Tuesday evening. Why? Because those folks travel and work on the weekends, moving from town to town on the rodeo, county and state fair circuit. So when Cowboy Church gathers, it’s Tuesday evenings at John and Pat Poole’s place, Adonai Tsuri, in Van Buren, Arkansas. Poole and his wife, and members of their Heritage UMC life group, had a vision of reaching people in the cowboy culture. According to Kip James, a member of the life group, the Poole’s vision was to offer a place where someone could come straight from feeding cattle or work, and experience welcome and belonging. That vision became reality with the construction of Adonai Tsuri, Hebrew for “God Our Rock.” The building is nestled in a bucolic setting overlooking a lake. Women and men—most of them laity—share the responsibility of delivering the message, and music leans toward bluegrass, country and hymns.
“The Poole’s wanted to offer a service where everyone was welcome,” James wrote in an email. “There are no expectations about your background in the Christian body, if you have been to a church or never been to a church.” The relaxed, come-as-you-are atmosphere has appeal for all ages, and it’s not unusual to see multiple generations worshipping together. “You always want to come to see how the Lord has worked in people’s lives,” James wrote. “To understand that God still is at work in this world and how much he truly loves us.”

Read the story of alternative worship experiences.