God in the country at cowboy church

Morgan Walker

Nov. 15, 2012 at 5:15 a.m.
Updated Nov. 18, 2012 at 5:18 a.m.

Pastor Wayne Haskell baptizes Brayden Tipton, 10, in a feed trough filled with water after church.

Pastor Wayne Haskell baptizes Brayden Tipton, 10, in a feed trough filled with water after church.   Morgan Walker for The Victoria Advocate

Sunday mornings in the wooden barn are calm.

The fog settles around the horse arena behind the Crossroads Country Cowboy Church, and a feeling of purity surrounds worshippers as they enter the barn.

The church, nestled off Old Highway Road in Inez, fills as members slowly trickle in and greet one another like old friends.

About 10 a.m., Ronnie Walling begins to pick on the guitar and the gospel band joins in with songs.

With the soothing sound of Beth Haskell's voice flowing throughout the barn and into the grassy parking lot, church begins.

Pastor Wayne Haskell grew up in a church he never felt comfortable in. His parents dragged him there every Sunday morning, and they often left the church house feeling worse about themselves than they did when they entered.

His childhood pastor even called him down in the middle of church services in front of everyone one morning. That led him to think that church wasn't for him, until he found what he calls the church of multiple chances. "It doesn't matter what you've done, where you've been or who you did it with, we welcome everyone into our fellowship. Regardless of the journey that has led you here, we are all on the same path," said Haskell, the church's third pastor.

The Crossroads Country Cowboy Church, which started in 2008 on Walling's land, is a pure religious experience where relationships within the church family are built and cherished.

In a part of the country where going to church sometimes feels like a day of judgment, the Cowboy Church has found a way to call together those who just simply wish to worship. There are no prerequisites, there are no requirements and there isn't even a dress code, although boots are welcome.



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