Each year Triad Cowboy Church (TCC) attracts people from its community and beyond by hosting a professional rodeo.
While roping calves and riding bulls are not generally associated with most churches, this Archdale congregation places a high priority on offering a free event to the cowboy community.
“It’s just a good, clean, multi-hour event that a family can go to,” said Pastor Doug Davis. “We provide everything. Rodeo is something people are attracted to.”
The May 2 event attracted more than 3,000 people and resulted in 121 salvation decisions and 249 re-dedications. During the worship service, Davis shared an evangelistic message and invited commitments. Some filled out cards, which were then placed in buckets, but others came forward into the arena to pray and make public decisions. Those who made commitments were given a cowboy-themed New Testament Bible and a booklet called “Living in Christ.”
Doug Davis, right, along with Jim King, left, bring Chelsea Kindall up out of the water. Kindall was one of five Triad Cowboy Church members that were baptized on May 2 at the church’s annual rodeo.
This year’s event was the first time the church offered a public altar call during the worship service. This was also the first year the church held a public baptism. Five members agreed to be baptized by Davis and Jim King, TCC’s associate pastor, in a water trough on a trailer towed by a truck into the arena.
“This year, the stands filled up for that event,” Davis said. “For the first time it was like a holy hush fell over the entire arena. People were not talking; people were totally engrossed in the baptism. It was absolutely unbelievable.”
Decisions will be sorted and spreadsheets shared with pastors in Randolph Baptist Association (RBA). For those outside RBA, information will be forwarded to the appropriate association for follow up with the participants.
Rodeo events included team roping, mutton busting, greased pig chases, barrel racing and bull riding. Outside the arena, volunteers set up slides and bounce houses and had a train to ride. The only cost was for food, which the group tries to keep affordable.
Davis said the rodeo takes all year to plan and costs more than $10,000. Purse prizes are given to winners of the professional events. The church also held a drawing for an iPad.
World champion bull rider Jerome Davis and his wife Tiffany, host the event on their property. The Davises (no relation to Pastor Doug Davis) are members of TCC. Jerome Davis, a world champion bull rider, was paralyzed in a 1998 bull riding accident. He and his wife, Tiffany, raise livestock for rodeos.
Most of TCC’s members volunteer to help with the event. The church’s flag team performed, and a member sang the national anthem.
“Just about the entire church is involved,” Doug Davis said. “This is a major deal. It takes a lot of hands on deck to pull this off.”
The rodeo has grown over the last five years from 1,000 people at an indoor arena to more than 3,000. Davis said the prayer is that the event will continue to grow. It began at a time when the economy was struggling, Davis said. Typical rodeo events cost $25 per person for adults about $10 for children, but Davis said TCC wanted to offset those costs as much as possible. They recruit sponsors, who are recognized for their contributions. The larger sponsors are allowed to set up displays, but they can’t sell anything.
“We blanket our community,” Davis said, to recruit support.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – TCC is available to assist other cowboy churches in planning their own evangelistic rodeo. Contact [email protected].)