Cowboy Church moves forward after setbacks in 2020
Hurricane Laura ripped the roof off our brand-new Children’s Building just three days before the Sunday we were supposed to have our very first Children’s Church service in it! Construction of the building had been in progress since summer 2019. Water from the Children’s Building also flowed directly into the church (the two buildings are connected) and flooded the main church building too. In the Children’s Building, there was of course major water damage to ceilings, walls, etc…and the walls all had been hand-painted with giant murals of Noah’s Ark, Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Adam and Eve…which were all destroyed. But we kept on trusting in God’s plan for our church. The Sunday after Hurricane Laura, we held church services completely in the dark with no electricity at all. Even our church band performed with hand-made musical instruments such as a bass guitar made out of a washtub! We called it “no electricity…just the power of God!” (see YouTube “Hurricane Laura” Sunday 8-30-20 video on Cowboy Church of Orange County YouTube channel). Financial sources were made available to us, repairs were made, and we are now re-building our children’s ministry and holding Children’s Church in the huge new kid-friendly building that’s all their own.
Through all this, Cowboy Church has continued all our outreach ministries as COVID-19 guidelines permit. We made and delivered Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, and contributed children’s Christmas boxes through the Samaritan’s Purse organization. Our resident missionaries, LaVern and Ricky Sterling, ministered to the Navajo Indian Reservation all summer from the Many Waters Mission in Farmington, NM. A second building team led by Rusty Honeycutt also traveled to Farmington, NM this summer to help with construction at a church on the Navajo reservation. Other than during the COVID-19 lockdown, Cowboy Church of Orange County has continued to hold regular Sunday worship services, with rows of chairs removed for distanced seating, encouragement of masks, providing of masks and sanitizer, etc.
During the lockdown, the Cowboy Church of Orange County YouTube channel launched in March 2020 and Pastor E. Dale Lee preached to an empty church, filmed his sermons, and our video team posted them on YouTube. Our YouTube channel continues to air Sunday worship services and mid-week Ladies’ Bible study devotional videos. Our YouTube channel currently has 200 subscribers, and for some of our videos, the YouTube “watch numbers” have topped over 800 views!
2020 had lots of challenges, but for a small country Cowboy Church, we feel God blessed us beyond measure.
Though we cancelled many of our Arena Ministry activities in 2020, we’re gearing up for our Cowboy Church of Orange County Pro Rodeo April 16-17, 2021, COVID-19 guidelines permitting. The Orange County Economic Development Corp has generously approved grant money for us for this project, so we greatly appreciate the opportunity to give back to the community that has been so supportive of us.