Daniel Stiles on Cowboy Churches
Date: August 1st, 2011

Most people have never heard of “cowboy churches.”  While religion has always been part of the pioneering West, there has been a new movement in the western US,  Canada and even Mexico to promote rural outreach, particularly to individuals such as rodeo wranglers who might not otherwise be enticed by a traditional church.  Daniel Stiles — an ordained minister with the Trinity Fellowship in Sayre, Oklahoma, and a the regular announcer at Cody Night Rodeo — talks about the world of rodeo and cowboy church ministries.  We start with insight into Dan’s personal religious journey from a kid in a small town in Missouri, through his bull riding experiences, and look at how he eventually connected with Trinity Fellowship.  Along that path, we get an idea for what it is like to ride an angry 2,000 lb cow.  Dan then leads us into a discussion of the various challenges facing a pastor who has taken on the task of ministering to young, single males (and females).  He recounts various lessons learned on this journey as well as providing us with a number of very inspirational stories.  These lessons not only apply to rodeo ministries, but also contain insights into running a ministry in general.  We also discuss the role of Trinity Fellowship and other “cowboy church” organizations such as Riding High Ministries, as well as inspirational individuals such as Andy Taylor, Cody Custer, and Lane Frost.  Although we have some short audio problems about three quarters of the way through the podcast, the interview is well worth listening through to the very end as Dan shares some personal thoughts about the direction of religion in today’s society.  By all admissions, this interview was a personal indulgence for me and turned out to be one of my favorite interviews to date.  If you made it this far in the description, leave a little “yee haw” in the discussion box below. Thanks!  Recorded: July 13, 2011.


Trinity Fellowship in Sayre, OK (Andy Taylor, lead pastor).  You can view streaming video of services from this website.

Riding High Ministries (Todd & Leslie Pierce).

Camp of Champions & Young Riders, a youth ministry program that is all cowboy and cowgirl.

Cody Night Rodeo in Cody, WY.  (and the official Facebook fan page for CNR.)

Cody Custer’s story on CBN.

Lane Frost tribute page.

4 Responses to “Daniel Stiles on Cowboy Churches”

  1. Jake says:

    I wonder if the concept of church without walls is a response to what the Spirit is doing in our culture today. In the past churches were quite literally the center of the physical community. Bell towers and steeples rose above the houses and other buildings signaling that life centers around the Christ and His Church. People could look to that place and find comfort, peace, and hopefully the truth that would allow them to carry forward on a daily basis in a dark and hostile world. Now it seems that the physical centrality of the church is no longer possible. Communities, at least in even small metropolitan areas, do not have ‘centers.’ There is a church on every corner, each trying to vie for attendees and competing over territory. But the Lord, in His mercy, has still designed the church to be central. Only instead of geographically central in a community, the community is more narrowly defined in terms of culture, situations in life, and even age. Cowboy church seems to fit that model of how church can still be at the center of the cowboy community, and yet not be centrally located geographically. When it comes down to it, isn’t it really about the loving community of Christians living their lives in fellowship under the lordship of Christ? Praise God for Cowboy churches.

  2. […] Daniel Stiles on Cowboy Churches and Rodeo (not really related, but it was a very cool interview). […]

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