A VISIT TO CIRCLE 3 COWBOY FELLOWSHIP-from Gail Marvel’s ongoing “Experience the Church” series

By Gail Marvel

MONTROSE-My visit to Circle 3 Cowboy Fellowship took place on Sunday evening, Oct. 4, 2015. There were under 50 present, not including a multitude of flies, four dogs and one horse…a mare named Charlie. The mult-iuse facility is a cross between a barn, a recording studio, a workshop and a church. Charlie, who was recovering from an injury, added her voice to the congregational singing, as well as to the message, with snorts, whinnies and ear splitting neighs.

My seat was next to the stall and throughout the service Charlie would chew hay, drink water, and then hang her head over the railing. Worship leader Gary Lear said, “How is she going to write a good article about us if my horse is spitting all over her!” The opening prayer ended with a robust congregational Amen, seconded heartily by Charlie.

The service began with long winded Richard Black blowing the shofar as a call to worship. Wood clamps held sheet music on the Plexiglas podium for the three member praise team, which was led by professional singer Gary. Song selections included, “I Will Praise You,” “Every Storm (Runs out of Rain),” and “The Old Rugged Cross.”

Following Charlie’s whinny of adoration for “The Old Rugged Cross,” Pastor Rick Williams said, “That’s a hard act to follow. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a horse praising God. Well, bless her heart!” The pastor, who works for Telluride Express, uses his drive time to spend time with the Lord. The pastor opened with prayer, which was punctuated with a whinny. The pastor said, “I got an amen out of her!”

Pastor Williams changed the scheduled sermon topic and opted to speak on the mindset, function and feel of the Cowboy Church.  He said, “God calls us to specific tasks. God has called us out of the traditional church. Christianity is not a religion; it means you are in a relationship with Christ. Discipleship is what we do and we are disciples. He [Jesus] didn’t send us out to save anyone, He sent us out to make disciples.” Although this one-year old church doesn’t consider themselves to be a traditional church, they have elders, a church board, sermons, communion and fellowship.

Pastor Williams, a former fire fighter said, “God specializes in using people who are not necessarily accomplished in those tasks. God could have called someone more qualified [than me]. I told Him, “God, you’ve called the wrong person; you picked the wrong guy.” God is persuasive and persistent.”

During his presentation the pastor reflected on Moses, a shepherd who liberated a nation; Gideon, a valiant warrior; and David, the youngest son to be called a king. He said, “God isn’t looking for impressive people, He wants willing people, people who will bow their knee.”

Referring to the early church (Acts 4:13) the pastor said, “Ordinary men were with Jesus. The disciples, after being filled with the Spirit, turned the world upside down. A shaping and a molding has to take place. God’s ways are not our ways and He has purposed us to be His people and to do His bidding.”

Communion, small pieces of unleavened bread and small cups of grape juice that represent the body and blood of Christ, were served. The congregation sang “Amazing Grace,” and not to be outdone, Charlie added a double neigh.

Announcements were made and at the conclusion of the service chairs were moved to make room for tables and the potluck fellowship meal that follows each service.

Contact Information:

Circle 3 Cowboy Fellowship

19319 Dave Wood Road

Winter address – 622005 Oleander Circle

Montrose, CO 81403