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Keeping God in ‘God and Country’ PDF Print E-mail

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ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times



Five State Fair time will soon be upon the area, and the beginning of the festivities will have a quiet and more introspective feel through the traditional Cowboy Church service.

This year’s service will be at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 20 at the rodeo arena. The service will take place right before the annual horse show, and will feature First Southern Baptist Church Pastor Jack Jacob as the speaker. 

“The agriculture community has traditionally been very connected to God and country, that’s kind of its thing,” Jacob said. “And it seems like as times change, we seem to want to separate the God and country parts and just make it country, and I think in many ways that pulls us back to where the fair started and the idea behind ‘one nation under God’ and that kind of thing. So what I think this does is it gives an opportunity to start the day early and focusing on the one who established our nation and then be able to carry through on those activities with that understanding and appreciation for what we’ve been given.”

And overall, the service’s more relaxed atmosphere is one of Jacob’s favorite things about the event. 

“We’re there at the horse arena, usually the sun’s either coming up or has just finished coming up, and sometimes we’ve been wrapped in blankets because it’s been cool or wet,” Jacob said. “You go to church, you see the same four walls every Sunday, so this is a chance to be out. You see the horses and hear them, it’s a really cool and unique setting. Cowboy Church is one of those events where if you’re there, it’s because you want to be, so when we sing songs together, they really sing, and you can tell they really mean what they sing. Not that others don’t, but it’s just more pronounced. In the short message we give, the people are engaged and you can tell they’re processing, so that part is really engaging to me as a pastor.”

Like past services, Jacob said people should see Cowboy Church as a blessing. 

“There we are, gathered in a horse arena to have church before a horse show,” Jacob said. “We could easily be gathered together, issued a rifle, and be standing on the front lines trying to defend our home from invasion, which many people are doing. We get to enjoy the freedom they’ve protected, so probably my favorite thing is watching people from different church backgrounds come together in one commonality, which is the Gospel. It used to be very sparsely attended, and we’ve seen the crowds pick up more and more from those early days. So if there was one thing I’ve seen, it’s been that awareness and growth, and now people are beginning to ask ‘When are we having Cowboy Church?’ instead of hoping people will show up.”

Besides the Cowboy Church service, Jacob added encouragement for the community to attend the other fair festivities. 

“There is a lot, like with Gospel Fest, the monster trucks, the veterans appreciation show, all the different stuff,” Jacob said. “And I don’t want to sound trite here, but people are always saying ‘There’s nothing to do in Liberal’ and that is just so ridiculous. Here’s an excellent opportunity to see some top-tier talent in Christian music, country music, plus the monster trucks, the magic and talent shows, there’s just so much. Plus, coming out and supporting the youth who are continuing that tradition of agriculture excellence in the area. There’s also always the carnival and the carnival food, so there’s really something for everyone. It’s just a shame people sit at home and say there’s nothing to do in Liberal, but there’s plenty to do, they just need to go out and try it.”

The whole community is invited to come to Cowboy Church Aug. 20. 

“I hope people come out to the fair in general, and the Cowboy Church service,” Jacob said. “The traditional arguments of ‘That’s my family day’ or ‘It interrupts my day’ really go out the window because it’s early enough where you can go to the service and then go about your day either at the fair or at home. I would encourage people not to think of all the reasons you can’t come, but think about all the reasons you can.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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