Stillwater News Press

Faith

September 18, 2009

Riders of the Cimarron host cowboy church

Riders of the Cimarron will host cowboy church at 7 p.m. Monday, at the Payne County Expo Center.

Cowboy church will feature fellowship before and after church, music and guest speaker Bill Bowman. Bowman is an associate pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Skiatook, an author and former horse trader and professional rodeo rider from Oklahoma.

Those attending cowboy church are “drawn together initially by the common denominator of the code of the west, but more importantly, in fellowship of the love of Jesus Christ,” said Bowman.

The service, the only one of its kind in Stillwater, is open to the public and serves as an more open setting in which to worship Jesus Christ, said Cowboy Church co-hosts Charlie and Darlene Kaupke.

“It’s more of a laid-back atmosphere, but you use the same Bible, same words,” said Charlie Kaupke.

“The focus is not on how you look or where you’ve come from. It’s more of where you’re going,” said Bowman.

Cowboy churches originally began as additional services held Mondays for cowboys who weren’t able to attend church on Saturday or Sunday due to weekend rodeos, said co-host Darlene Kaupke.

The Kaupkes began the Stillwater cowboy church about seven years ago and offer it on a monthly basis. Charlie Kaupke is a lay preacher in the community and said God called on him to begin the church.

The Kaupke’s say cowboy church often supplements other people’s regular church attendance elsewhere.

“The goal of the Riders is not only to reach people of Christ but to get them involved in their local church fellowship. They actually want to enhance membership in Bible-believing churches. It’s not to replace the church, it’s to support the church,” said Bowman.

Next month’s cowboy church will take place Oct. 19. For more information call 377-8184.

About 60-80 people attend each cowboy church, and the Kaupke’s say they welcome people of all ages and backgrounds.

“It’s not just for cowboys and cowgirls,” said Darlene Kaupke.

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