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. 

To support the mission

Cowboys of the Cross is a full time ministry shepherded by Scott Hilgendorff (His testimony can be found below). Like other missionaries, Scott relies on the generous support of private donors to carry out the work of the Great Commission within the rodeo and cowboy culture. Donations are managed through LifeSong Family Church in Lewisburg, TN. To give online, please click the button, selecton online giving and please choose Cowboys of the Cross from the dropdown menu. To give via mail, please make checks payable to LifeSongFamily Church but include a note that it is for “rodeo ministry.” Donations can be sent to LifeSong Family Chuch, 1041 S. Ellington Pkwy
Lewisburg, TN  37091

Strength: Cowboy Strong, God Honoring

Part Eight, going into battle with prayer

A special series from Cowboys of the Cross

Sometimes the cheater still comes out ahead

By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

Sometimes the bad guy wins. There really is a rodeo judge out there that has it in for someone and successfully screws the cowboy over every chance he gets. There really is someone lying and cheating their way to get ahead of you at work. Some of you are victims of crimes in which the person got away with it or the punishment just didn’t seem like enough.

When I get to teach something and it’s one of the ‘difficult’ Bible verses like the one that you’re about to read, I get it. I know it’s easy for me to teach it but it doesn’t mean it’s always any easier for me to live it out when I’m standing there asking you to try.

Romans 12: 19-21 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

This is honestly harder for me to say than you might think because I don’t want to share the bad thoughts as someone who is in a position to teach and minister to you but this is my reality right now: there is someone out there that a small part of me would take satisfaction in taking a swing at with my baseball bat. I’m not joking. And it troubles me that as mature as I would like to be in my faith, that I’m still capable of a thought like this, though I’m grateful and want to be clear it is a small part of me and I would never take that action.

But what it shows about me is that I do get it when I teach verses like this. I’m not asking you guys to do things I either presently find hard or have had a chance to work through myself as I’ve learned more about what’s in the Bible.

It’s hard to see someone get away with evil and be satisfied that God will take care of it when the systems in place fail. But here’s the deal. Adam and Eve decided in the garden they wanted the same knowledge as God and allowed sin to be a part of our world. They wanted to be able to judge for themselves what is right and wrong, rather than leave it to God. It’s a natural part of being human but as Christians, we’re made new and meant to be becoming more like Jesus and less like our old selves.

When we’re dealing with Christians who do wrong to others, there are several Biblical responses to that including church discipline e and a process to make the situation right. A Christian who is truly saved would want to follow these steps, particularly ones laid out in Matthew 18:15-20.

Testimony: Dave McKissick, Jasper, GA

Rodeo photographer tells his story of coming to faith

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Contact Us


Phone: 865_293_2668




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

New devotions/teaching right here every other Thursday

How we handle false prophets

The following was written to help us understand false prophets in response to false ideas that the cowboy community, among thousands of others, were sharing at the time of the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse, centered around End...

Where to find us

April 20 Bulls Gap, TN, Bull Riders and Outlaws bull riding, cowboy church

Scott is found at events sanctioned by the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association, the Bull and Outlaws Association, the National Cowboys Association.

They can also sometimes be found at PBR Velocity Tour events, International Professional Rodeo Association events  and others.

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.

Meet our Teachers / Preachers and Site Contributors

Keith Miller

Keith Miller

Keith Miller grew up in a strict Amish home in Indiana until discovering the freedom of an independent relationship with Jesus Christ. As a bull rider, he met his wife Natalie and together, they have a daughter Gracelyn and have settled in Westport, Indiana. Keith...

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Scott Hilgendorff

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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Josh McCarthy

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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Jim Bull

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

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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