It wuz Saturdee afternoon o't' rodeo. Stun Nermun clumb into t'bull pe, baptizyun' acoupla bull riders n' a stock tank surroundt by t'largest bulls an' broncs. New Trail Fellowship Paster Stun Nermun leeds a church at’s “distinctivelee kuntry.” — Brethre n' Christ U.S.
“All I ast t'bull riders wuz thay cov'r my backside, so no bull would come aft'r me,” he sed.
Nermun is t'foundyun' an' seenyer paster o'New Trail Fellowship n' Abilene, Kun. It’s a cowboy church — part o'a movement o'churches reechyun' folk frum ranchyun' backgrounds.
Fer minny a yeers, Nermun pastert tradityunal Brethre n' Christ churches n' Kansus an' Oklahoma, whar he cummenced ta see church cultchur conflictid wiff t'ruggt individualist ethos.
His'n misshun at New Trail Fellowship? Ta shatt'r t'cowboy cultchur’s barriers ta a'followin Jesus Christ.
N' t'1800s, about 300 Breth­re settlt n' Kansus, lat'r pyuneeryun' church-plantyun' an' evangelism efferts throughout t'West an' sowyun' seeds fer global missyuns.
Abilene itself oncet markt t'end o't' Chisholm Trail, t'cattle-drif' path frum Taxus ta Kansus. It attractid outlary, gunfights an' prostitushun.
Tho no long'r a capital o'vice, t'own is rootid n' cowboy cultchur, a way o'life tradityunallee at odds wiff Christyinitee.
Accustomt ta t'wide-ope expanses o't' West, cowboys developt a cultural resistance ta rules like thems n' organizt relijun.New Trail Fellowship shuns church fermalitees ta innerduce ranchers ta Jesus Christ.
Each Sundy, Nermun preeches n' blue jeens an' cowboy boots. T' relaxt, come-us-y'all-air servus feetures straightferward sermons an' western musick, wiff instermints like banjos, man'olins an' guitars.
“We’re distinctivelee kuntry,” Nermun sed.
New Trail’s outreech canters roun ranchyun'. Fer eggzample, leeders volunte'r at area rodeo evants, such us barrel raseeun', ropyun' er yewt rodeo.
Born n' a barn
T' church wuz eve born n' a calvyun' barn.
“We cleend out t'stall, laid down fresh dirt, pullt out fresh bales o'hay — an' made a church,” Nermun sed.
Outgrowyun' t'barn an' the rentin variyus bildins fer wership, t'congregashun desirt ta creete a permanent, larg'r site reflectyun' its western heritage. T' barn-like wership cant'r — which will evantuallee include un indoer rodeo arena — sits un 20 acres o'propertee, offerin ample space fer rodeo ministries.
T' new facilitee, which opend n' Octob'r, eve includes a stock tank un wheels. As he did a year ago fer t'bull riders, Nermun plans ta baptize members n' t'stock tank.
Thishere time roun, tho, he plans ta ste'r clar o'bulls.


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