Cowboys of the Cross

Welcome to Cowboys of the Cross: your resource for Christian cowboys. Cowboys of the Cross has been providing cowboy church for the rodeo and cowboy community for more than 15 years. The website is your source for stories of faith and encouragement as well as devotions and news and information affecting cowboys of faith. Cowboys of the Cross leads cowboy church at rodeos and bull ridings in both Ontario, Canada and across the north and southeastern United States.   MORE ABOUT US HERE

Welcome home!

Welcome back friends and to the new design for the Cowboys of the Cross website.  The software we relied on to maintain our site is no longer supported and it took us awhile to get everything moved into a new system.

The new site should now be smartphone and tablet friendly while still bringing you the same great content, updated every second Thursday.

The site will still feature faith-based or encouraging stories, devotions  and teaching series to help you dig deeper into your faith, testimonies, photos and more.

Cowboy Church Services:

Join us for a short cowboy church service before the event starts:

May 19

Tiger, GA –SEBRA Bull Riding with Scott

May 26

Tellico Plains ,TN–SRSA Rodeo with Scott and Michael



New stories and devotions every other Thursday

Bull rider wants others encouraged to read their Bibles

Lane Fritz doesn’t find it easy but he’s trying to read his Bible more and encourage others to do the same.

That’s why you’ll sometimes see the Modoc, Indiana bull rider take a break during from the action at a bull riding to open it up and read it.

“When other guys see me reading it, they stop and ask what I’m reading,” he said, hoping that when others see him doing it, they can feel more comfortable opening theirs.

He recently gave his King James bible to a friend who didn’t have one but got a new Holman Study Bible from his church for graduating high school.

This past Saturday, Fritz had sat down behind the bucking chutes and opened the Bible up to a random Psalm and began reading when a traveling partner, Cody West, crouched down with him to see what he was reading.

They were at The Mack Arena, a Southern Extreme Bull Riding winter series run by Joe and Amy McQuillan. The event has been held all fall through spring for more than 15 years and is one of the places many Ohio and Indiana bull riders strengthen their grip on bull riding. It was the last night for the series and the second time this year that I got to go to lead cowboy church behind the chutes.

I talked with Fritz and West a little about their Bible reading and West asked a question that most rodeo cowboys and bull riders have: what’s the best way to read it?

Fritz said he mostly just opens it up at random to try to learn something and I was able to encourage him to use the study notes that come with the Bible and focus on reading smaller amounts at a time to be sure he understands what he’s read before moving on. He said not knowing who all the people are and how they are connected makes it confusing. He also said the ‘slang’ in the language is sometimes hard to understand but he is wanting to do better at reading his Bible more.

I went over a few basics to try not to overwhelm them and suggested to him and West that they start with John to learn more about Jesus and the gospel first but that they also might try James as a shorter book but one that is more to the point. I find for the cowboys and bull riders just getting started with their Bibles, that sometimes that is an easier book to get comfortable with studying the Bible in general.

It can be hard to get participation but I’ve started a group to do an online Bible study and will be including the people who have normally come to the cookout/Bible studies we’ve done in Ohio in the past as well as anyone else who has a genuine interest in learning more about the Bible. The text-based format will make it slow going but there will be a chance for the guys (and a few spouses) to answer questions after looking at sections of scripture to help them understand the text better.

Many of the guys carry Bibles with them but it seems less often that you see them open it up. I used to give away what are known as ‘cowboy Bibles’ which are inexpensive New Testaments designed to be compact and kept in their gear bags or glove boxes. They have rodeo-related covers on them and some are printed with cowboy testimonies in them. I switched a few years ago to giving out compact Bibles I can sometimes get at a chain of Christian bookstores for just a little more than the cost of the cowboy Bibles, but that way, they have the complete set of Scriptures. They have tooled covers that fit the cowboy style and for those I know are really trying to understand their Bibles, I will get them a study Bible.

It’s always exciting to me to see someone bring theirs into the group when gather for cowboy church. I know another bull rider who also happens to be from Indiana who will slip away somewhere before the bull riding starts to read some from his away from the distractions around him but Fritz said he prefers to read his in the open to be an encouragement to others.

It was definitely an encouragement to me to see the two of them talking about what Fritz was reading.

In all your ways...

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths — Proverbs 3:6
A Cowboy of the Cross believes God comes first and strive to follow His leading from a desire that comes from the knowledge of the cost of our salvation, paid for by Jesus Christ through is death on the cross. Through a saving and repentant faith in Jesus and the knowledge of his resurrection, we know God has forgiven our sins and will take us home to Heaven when our time here is done. Through God’s grace, we’ll get through the mistakes we make and grow more like Christ with study of Scripture, time in prayer and learning to hear God and following the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading Tips

* Use a study Bible–They can be a little more expensive but a good study Bible has notes that will help you understand the text. Note, there is a difference between a ‘life application’ Bible and a study Bible.  Our recommendation is starting with a study Bible to help understand the full context of what you are reading and how it relates to other parts of the Bible

*With a study Bible, be sure to read the introduction to each book before you start one to help understand who wrote it and who it was written to and why. This helps from taking it out of context

* Reading randomly is fine because you can always learn something. The Bible is not structured like a regular book that has to be read from cover to cover. We suggest starting with John to understand who Jesus is more fully but if you also want to get used to ready Scripture, the Book of James is quite direct and can be easier to understand what he is teaching.

*Take your time! Don’t feel like you have to read an entire book or chapter in one setting. It is better to read smaller sections at a time until you feel like you’ve understood it the best you can.

*It takes time! Learning to ride a bull or bronc or learning to rope a calf doesn’t happen with the first try. It takes time to get used to the language of the Bible and to learn how all the pieces fit together. The more you read, the easier it will become but you have to stick with it. Don’t give up!

*Ask for help. Scott is here to help you try to understand what you’re reading and what he doesn’t know, he will help find the answers. He’s a phone call or email away. 865 239 2668

Meet Michael Damien Moore, the newest member of the Cowboys of the Cross team

Michael Damien Moore is a bareback rider from Athens, TN and the nephew of rodeo producer Mike Moore. Originally from Alaska, Michael has started leading cowboy church, largely at rodeos in the ‘south’.  The hat he is wearing in the photo was his father’s. You’ll see why that’s important in a minute. This is his story…

    From a young age I knew something had been significant about my life. I was saved around eight years old when my Sunday school teacher asked who believed in Jesus. I remember raising my hand and being called to the front of class. I knew Jesus died for my sins – not that I knew how real death really was – and that he was raised to life again. That’s the best I could remember and that it felt like my conscience was following me around telling me to wonder literally, what would Jesus do.

     I also felt set apart like I was apart of something greater than myself that was not just an association. I later found out we call this being sealed by the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit truly was a comforting person that time in my life, through Him I asked many questions and sought these answers up until I would get distracted fighting with my brother and sister while my mom tried to raise us alone.

       I just want to say this as forward as I can, my dad killed himself while I was home at the age of Four in Cowparas Cove TX. My dad, Marvis “Buster” Moore, was stationed at Ft. Hood as the 142nd Signal Battalion Command Seargeant Major. He was well respected and he was my hero. This event has stuck with me my entire life but I have truly given this burden I carried for so long over to Jesus Christ. With the help and leadership of the Holy Ghost I have learned to address the issues that had stemmed from being fatherless.
     I’m 28 now and God has been so good to me as a son. His chastening proves that he cares how close I am in Him and in fellowship. God has given me hope through His Son’s blood and the Holy Spirit’s restoring power to carry on. I am just merely a sinful man that belongs in the mire of my disobedience and sinful flesh to wallow in, yet I am saved and have promise in Jesus’ name. I believe that He died for my sins, was resurrected in three days and seated at the right hand of the Father and will come again.
       It’s been a long life, more had followed after my dad’s death with institutions and programs for troubled youth and juvenile detention and medications. I mean the list is endless. At the age of 18, I had even attempted to take my own life. However, I realized not long ago that I have a heavenly Father who I know, and that knows me. In every situation, my God has given me the endurance I need. I hope to use my experience to help someone in need. I started riding bulls and bareback broncs because my dad did all three rough stock events, but I hope through rodeo I may spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and get other cowboys to leave their old self behind with all the drunkenness, lust and strife to become a new creation in Jesus Christ. I have sinned no less than you and deserve the same consequences, I just want everyone to believe that there is salvation and no condemnation in our Lord Jesus for those that believe in Him. We have been forgiven.

Meet our Teachers / Preachers and Site Contributors

Scott Hilgendorff

Scott heads up Cowboys of the Cross, a ministry dedicated to bringing cowboy church to rodeos and bull ridings across North America but with a focus on discipleship. The ministry evolved out of Riding for Christ Ministries, the name which Scott operated under for more...

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James and Jenn Douma

Hey everyone, my name is James Douma. I have been involved with the rodeo for the past several years. I am a full time firefighter in Ontario during the week and ride bucking horses on the weekend. I am married to an amazing woman named Jenn and together we have a...

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Michael Damien Moore

Michael Damien Moore is a bareback rider from Athens, TN and the nephew of rodeo producer Mike Moore. Originally from Alaska, Michael has started leading cowboy church, largely at rodeos in the 'south'.  The hat he is wearing in the photo was his father's. You'll see...

read more

Josh McCarthy

Howdy! My name’s Josh McCarthy and I compete in saddle bronc riding in the PRCA and I’m the youngest of five from northeastern Wisconsin.  I grew up in a Christian home and went to church every Sunday. I accepted Christ into my life when I was little but I didn’t...

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Alan Burt

       My name is Alan R. Burt and I live in Defiance, Ohio. I came to Christ at a very young age, around seven years old. I remember hearing the gosple after a church youth program Thursday night somtime in the wintertime. I sought out one of the leaders and asked...

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Jim Bull

I grew up always praying before meals and hearing that our friends that passed were in heaven. However, I never felt I knew who God was and definitely didn't have a relationship with Him. I lived my life thinking if I seemed like a good person, then I must be a good...

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Jesse Horton

I was 'raised Christian.' I can't remember a time before I was 10 years old that I wasn't a church-goer, though I remember several years of my teens where my family didn't attend church. I confessed my sin and my need for Christ when I was eight years old, but I do...

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Phone: 865_293_2668


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Mail: Cowboys of the Cross, 3710 Warden Branch Lane, Gatlinburg, TN, 37738

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