First Baptist Church Caldwell, a church established almost 170 years ago, felt a call to reach a largely segment population in their community - cowboys. With the help of Texas Baptists Cooperative Program and community residents, FBC Caldwell helped start Burleson County Cowboy Church, which has become the largest protestant congregation in their rural community. Learn more about how this cowboy church in a cowboy town is fulfilling its purpose to reach lost souls for Christ.
Pastor Steve Johnson, FBC Caldwell: First Baptist Caldwell has been around for almost 170 years. It's kind of hard for us to step out of our mold, so we thought if we can't be agents of tremendous change and reaching a different people group, maybe we can birth a mission that will.
So we helped start, with the assistance of the state convention [Texas Baptists], a cowboy church in our town.
Pastor Harvey Abke, Burleson County Cowboy Church: There was a need planted in a lady's heart at First Baptist Church of Caldwell, her name is Ruby Cross. I feel like God put the need in her heart, for this ministry. And so when the time came, being that it was already prayed for, two-and-a-half years ahead of time, God just opened the door. It's a cowboy church in a cowboy town.
We've had people that hadn't been to church in 30 or 40 years. I think it's the atmosphere here that has kind of opened up, and it kind of lets them feel free when they come in.
Johnson: The support that came through the Cooperative Program to help pay that mission pastor's salary during the church planting and it has transformed Caldwell. That is easily the largest Protestant congregation in our little rural community. It's Texas Baptists working together, and First Baptist had the privilege of having a front row seat.
Harvey: My vision for this church, my prayer for this church, is to continue to reach lost souls. I think that's our number one purpose, is to reach people for Christ.