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Prof saddles up to help evangelize cattle industry

COCHRANE, Alberta, Canada (BP)–Mike McGough, preaching professor at Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, is helping Christian ranchers reach their colleagues with the Gospel.

McGough is a chaplain for the Alberta Cattlemen’s Fellowship, a group of Christian ranchers, cattle buyers, farmers and rodeo performers seeking to carry the Gospel to their colleagues in and around the ranching industry.

“The ranching community is tough to reach,” McGough said. “These people are out on ranches that aren’t anywhere near a church.”

As part of his duties with the ACF, McGough has developed a number of initiatives to reach an increased number of ranchers.

One of the most effective steps has been the production of a Gospel tract series. They feature six members of the ACF who share their salvation experiences and their walks with God. The members range from cattle buyers to rodeo queens, and their testimonies are just as diverse.

“We’ve had a good response to the tracts,” McGough said. “People have been very receptive, especially since the people featured in them are local people that they know.”

ACF members passed out some 500 tracts during the Calgary Stampede and other such ranch-related events. Churches affiliated with the ACF have passed out another 200 or so when inviting people to similar events. Red Deer River Ranches near Sundre, Alberta, make the tracts available in their guest ranching facilities, where visitors have access to them.

“We’re hoping they’ll be even more widely distributed,” McGough said.

In addition to the tracts, the ACF conducts two pancake breakfasts during the Calgary Stampede each July. McGough said the breakfasts have brought as many as 1,400 people together, where they’ve heard the Gospel presented through music and personal testimony.

The group also has invited Paul Daly, a Christian horse whisperer, to give demonstrations during Stampede time. He blends his horse-taming techniques with a clear and concise presentation of the Gospel to captive onlookers. Eight people have accepted Christ during the demonstrations.

The professor said his experiences in the cattle industry have taken him beyond the Cochrane, Alberta, campus and into the community, where hands-on ministry truly takes place.

“Being part of this organization has allowed me to meet people I never would have met had I stayed on the seminary campus,” McGough said.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: RANCHING MINISTRY.

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