|Cowboy missionary Jeff Smith of Midland, N.C., preaches to a crowd of more than 1,000 people at a June 10 rodeo in Archdale, N.C. Smith is a member of the Cowboy Church Network of North America. Photo by Jonathan Blair|
“Hey folks. Are y’all ready to rumble?” Jeff Smith asked the crowd of about 1,000, who responded with a loud yell.
As “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” played over the arena’s speakers, a group of cowboys and cowgirls rode into the ring on horseback to pump up the crowd for the Cowboy Stampede.
The stampede showcased the talent of cowboys and cowgirls from across North Carolina. And, later, the same cowboy who had stepped into the arena to begin the show grabbed his Bible and gave a message.
“This sort of thing draws people in,” said Jay Willard, one of the event’s organizers. “They see an event like this put on by Christians and it’s a good influence. It’s good for them to see that Christians can have a good time too.”
Smith, of the Cowboy Church Network of North America in Midland, N.C., has assisted in the incorporation of cowboy churches across the country.