This week our featured I Know Jo business is Wheeler Peak Cowboy Fellowship.
I spent Wednesday evening from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm being fed, both physically and spiritually, while attending The Wheeler Peak Cowboy Fellowship. It is what I would consider non-traditional church. Leader Michael Dean told me he had been part of a Cowboy Church in Muleshoe, Texas with over 300 members; and he missed that fellowship when he moved to Angel Fire. Michael said the Lord told him, if he’d put a cowboy church together in Angel Fire, God would bring in the people. (Wasn’t that in a baseball movie. too?) So along with his wife Bobbie Jean, and good friends Henry and Roz Garland, they embarked upon establishing the Wheeler Peak Cowboy Fellowship in February 2012. And come they have!
First things first, since it’s a little chilly here in the mountains during the long winter season, the Cowboy Fellowship needed an indoor place to conduct their services. The United Church of Angel Fire welcomed them with open arms. Wheeler Peak Cowboy Fellowship rents the fellowship hall at United Church every Wednesday night for their services. At 5:30 pm the food, laughter, pickin’ and grinnin’ gets underway in a setting that is casual, friendly, and glorifies God.
Everyone has his or her tasks. Bobbie Jean is in charge of the potluck dinner, which I must admit was very tasty! Henry takes care of the muscle work and the administration end of the 501(c)(3) organization, and Roz, with both a degree in music and a beautiful voice, manages the praise and worship team. The band members include Michael Dean (piano and vocals), Roz Garland (vocals), David Harris (guitar and vocals), Harvey Wright (bass), and rounding out the group, Mo Findley (mandolin and fiddle). When they start playing, toes start tapping and hands start clapping! Everyone is invited to sing along as words scroll across a large screen.
Michael told me they have only two rules at the Wheeler Peak Cowboy Fellowship:
- 1. We don’t judge ya
- 2. We wantcha’ to experience the love of Christ
He sets an accepting atmosphere, welcoming all backgrounds and denominations, saying, “We believe its OK to be a Christian and have fun too.” They dish up homemade food, smiles, and songs. Michael said they are growing by leaps and bounds and they have a full schedule of upcoming guest musicians, speakers and events. One of them may include a Family Foot Function! (I interpret this to mean a “dance” in secular nomenclature, as in, David danced before the Lord, from scripture.)
What impressed me the most about the Cowboy Fellowship was the sincere joy of all those I met at the service. Sincere in their welcome to each other and to me. Sincere in their laughter and family feeling during the evening. Sincere in their desire to provide a place for anyone, and for everyone to feel comfortable to worship in a non-traditional fashion. It felt more like I was in their home, at a friends-and-family dinner gathering, topped off with down home fixin’s and singin’!
The Wheeler Peak Cowboy Fellowship invites you to join them on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00 in the fellowship hall of the United Church of Angel Fire, 40 West Ridge Road, Angel Fire, NM. For more information call 505-603-9646 or 214-215-3215.