By Ann Maniscalco
Ron Plymel is a professional horse trainer and bi-vocational pastor of Southwood Baptist Cowboy Church in Iuka, Mississippi. He uses a four-legged strategy so he can relate to those who feel more comfortable in a cowboy hat, chaps and spurs than in a suit and tie. He understands the cowboy culture and speaks the language.
“So what does it mean to give ourselves to Jesus?” Plymel asks. “I know that when we work with a horse, you can tell the very moment a horse genuinely gives himself to you. You can tell by the way he responds to your requests and the softness with which he moves. There is no stiffness, no resistance, no discussion; just response and obedience.” Plymer has given himself to cowboy revival ministries (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Paul Blanchard, Associational Missions Director of Winston Baptist Association in Louisville, MS, was looking for a way to reach those interested in horse training and rodeos in his community, and had requested Margaret Lackey State Mission Offering (MLSMO) funds to help bring this spring event to fruition. The series of four meetings began Sunday with an afternoon service, followed by evening services Monday through Wednesday. Three Louisville churches, Evergreen Baptist, Poplar Flat Baptist, and First Baptist, provided evening meals prior to the services. Attendees were given a New Testament called “The Way for Cowboys”, which was imprinted with a western motif and contained testimonies of Christian cowboys.
“The Cowboy Revival was very encouraging to those who attended,” Blanchard said, “the Spirit of God was present.” He was enthused to see the way the association’s churches supported the event, and hopes to do it again next year. And he will continue to promote the MLSMO, seeing the life-changing results of programs the offering sponsors. “I encourage our churches to give liberally to Margaret Lackey,” he said.
The Winston association is comprised of 30 churches, and most of them are small in number, mentioned Blanchard. “There’s no way a rural association like ours could do the different ministries and events we do without Margaret Lackey funds,” he pointed out. MLSMO monies have helped fund such things as their crisis pregnancy ministry, a mission trip to Bangladesh, crusades, conferences, and leadership events.