Rodeo Bible Camp draws young people to Christ

“We’re using what they know to draw them into what they don’t know,” Pastor Don Mayberry said. He slowed down for a minute to observe the activities at the first Rodeo Bible Camp at his church, Three Wooden Crosses Cowboy Church east of Augusta, Kan.

About 30 children and teenagers participated in the camp held June 1-4. Campers ranged from novices to seasoned rodeo competitors. Rodeo Bible Camp used campers’ knowledge about rodeos to draw them into learning about the Bible and how to have a relationship with Christ.

“The Making of a Champion” was the camp theme. Arena classes included:

  • Basic horsemanship
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  • Goat tying
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  • Pole bending and barrel racing
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  • Team roping
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  • Breakaway roping
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  • Chute dogging—a basic form of steer wrestling


Instructors were Christians, including several 3WC members. They are experts in their events and many are professional rodeo competitors.

The instructors brought biblical teaching into the arena classes. Participants in the barrel racing/pole bending classes walked their horses through the course first. The instructor urged them to always look ahead both in the rodeo arena and in life.

After a busy morning in arena classes, campers gathered for chapel before lunch. A mission team from Chatham Baptist Church, Chatham, Ill., helped with the camp. Milton Bost, the church’s pastor, led chapel sessions which focused on four men in the Bible—Gideon, Samson, Saul and David.

He asked campers, “What kind of champion do you want to be?”

Don Mayberry, 3WC pastor, related a story from the camp: “On Saturday evening, June 3, Gary Schuler, the arrowhead knapper, did an incredible presentation of the gospel as he shaped an arrowhead out of raw stone. Three girl campers gave their lives to Christ later that night in their small groups. Two boy campers made commitments for baptism.”

The camp ended on Sunday morning, June 4, with a rodeo where campers displayed their skills. In addition, one of the campers was baptized during the worship service. He had already accepted Christ as his Savior and wanted to be baptized.

Camp organizers held an evaluation meeting and are already planning another Rodeo Bible Camp in 2018, Mayberry said.