Before the cowboys and cowgirls at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo started prepping their livestock for the show ring Sunday, many took a detour to an auditorium on the show grounds, or as it was known on that day, their sanctuary.
Every Sunday of the FWSSR, the auditorium is transformed into church for the vendors, show participants, and anyone else who wants to stop by.
The Shepherd’s Valley Cowboy Church out of Alvarado set up shop there for the last decade or so now; finding the Stock Show a natural fit for their congregation.
“It’s their wheelhouse,” said church leader Anna Weaver.
The hour long services draw mixed crowds, Weaver said some just curious to check it out, and others devoted Christians excited to have a place to worship at the yearly event.
For many of the out-of-state tourists to the Stock Show, the services are their first glimpse of the Cowboy Church phenomenon that’s become so popular throughout Texas.
Weaver said, though their run at the show is almost done for the year, they plan to keep coming back and being a mainstay at the event.
“The hard work and the back bone and the grit of Western life, so it’s thrilling,” said Weaver.
“It’s humbling to get to be carved out of a lifestyle to pastor to them."