Cowboy church planting breaks into a full gallop
OAK GROVE – A church planting boot camp is being planned for the Bob Gurney Ranch here May 18-19 even as Missouri Baptists continue to do the work that they hope will eventually lead to many new cowboy church starts in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
“Everybody that wants to be involved in starting a cowboy church needs to be there,” said Ray Gurney, pastor of Cross Creek Baptist Mission in Grain Valley. Bob Gurney, Ray’s brother, is a deacon at First Baptist Church, Oak Grove, who owns 87 horses on his 80-acre ranch.
The Gurneys have been working on planting a cowboy church in eastern Jackson County. Last October, they helped put on a horse whisperer evangelism event at Frick Arena here for a crowd of around 500 people. That has resulted in a group of people meeting once a month with a cowboy band leading them in worship.
“Some nights we have testimonies, and we’ve had some people get saved,” Ray Gurney said. “We had five people baptized at a sunrise service (on Easter). It’s going to be a cowboy church. Right now I’m waiting on a pastor, and we’ll line up, team up with him, and we’ll go to town.”
There are also prospects for cowboy church plants in Lone Jack, Platte City and Bonner Springs, Kan., Ray Gurney said. A big event in Lee’s Summit that drew around 1,000 last November added to the momentum, and some of the Missouri horsemen traveled to Guatemala in December and January as four cowboy churches were planted down there.
The goal for the church planting boot camp is 75-100, “but every time I’ve guessed, God’s doubled it,” Ray Gurney said.
“I guess you could say I’m just trying to keep up with God in all of these events that are taking place in churches wanting to start.”
The schedule for the church-planting boot camp begins May 18 from 6:15 p.m.-6:45 p.m. with registration and a meal. A cowboy church service will begin at 7 p.m., with training to follow lasting through 9:45 p.m.
On May 19 after breakfast, the morning will be filled with information on how to do cowboy church. Breakout sessions will be in the afternoon.
Cost is $50 per person. To register for the training, contact Ray Gurney at (816) 690-0019.