Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
The ranch rodeo is many things to many people.
For some it represents long tradition and forges bonds between like-minded men and women.
For 1,000 Hills Cowboy Church pastor Beau Hague the ranch rodeo is “The front doors to the church.”
"We try to plan events that are going to attract that cowboy culture and through that event, we hope to build authentic relationships with them and in turn help them build a relationship with the Lord," Hague said.
This is the second ranch rodeo that the 1,000 Hills Cowboy Church has put on this year and it already seems that it will be as successful as the first, Hague said.
Already, the rodeo has 16 teams signed up and 4 teams on a waiting list in case someone cancels, he said.
Before the actual ranch rodeo gets under way on Oct. 26 at Crystal Beach Stadium, some fun activities for young and old alike will begin at 9 a.m.
These morning events will include dummy roping and mutton bustin' for the kids, and a double mugging and open ranch bronc riding for adults, Hague said.
There will be prize money for adult events and for the kids, the winners will receive a custom belt buckle, he said.
Then at 4 p.m. the ranch rodeo events will begin.
“The rodeo should be over around 7:30-ish, and then we will have a hamburger feed before the Aaron Watson Concert,” Hague said.
Watson is a veteran country music crooner from Amarillo, who has been described as an artist who writes country music with "Jesus on one shoulder and the ghost of Waylon Jennings on the other."
"He's not a guy in the Christian music industry but he is a Christian and he loves the Lord and he just happens to sing really great Texas country music," Hague said.
While there is a fee for some of the day's events, including the hamburger feed, Hague said “We don’t do this with money in mind. In fact, it probably costs us more than we're taking in."
Partly that's because admission for those who want to watch the ranch rodeo is free and open to all.
Hague said it's just his church's way of sharing their passion with the public.
“We just love to have fun and do horseback type events,” he said.
And the more events the church holds, the more it seems to grow.
“The Lord has really blessed us," Hague said.
The 1,000 Hills Cowboy Church has been having services in Woodward since July 2010, he said. Since then, the congregation has grown to more than 250 with more members continuing to join, he said.
On the horizon is the possibility of a 30-acre spread where the church hopes to build a worship barn that will double for other events, Hague said.