By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
– John 13:35
We are encouraged by the number of churches that provide monthly gifts to bless our troops with Military BibleSticks. One of those congregations is Living for the Brand Cowboy Church in Athens, Texas. The church’s motto is “Love ’em till they ask why,” and that’s exactly what they do.
Tuesday evenings they offer equestrian events such as roping or barrel racing to the community at no charge. Even the concessions are on a donation basis. The only request is that those who attend stay for a devotional message. The church also offers weekly small groups and studies for men and women, along with a monthly movie night. On top of that, their combined gifts have provided more than 850 Military BibleSticks for the men and women serving our country.
Jeff Ingram, the deacon in charge of missions and outside ministry, has been with the church since it began in 2000. At that time, there were eight people who led a devotional at the local fairgrounds on Sunday mornings. They used an upside-down trash can as a pulpit and the speaker from a guitar amplifier as a PA system. God has blessed them since those humble beginnings. Today, an average of 500 to 600 people attend services each week and the church has just built a new sanctuary that can seat 750 people.
Jeff says he remembers when their youth pastor first presented the idea of supporting the Military BibleStick program. Everyone liked the idea and, within 30 seconds, they went from thinking of supporting one or two to 20 a month. Jeff says he mentions Military BibleSticks whenever he can. He has forwarded information to friends in other churches and has the opportunity to talk with a lot of veterans and reservists in his work. He recently had the opportunity to give a BibleStick to a friend who was being deployed again, after that friend gave his BibleStick to another young man who was headed out to serve overseas. Jeff said, “I haven’t met a non-believer yet who has been in the military.”
Jeff is a firm believer in doing whatever you can whether financial or in prayer to help spread the Word of God. Living for the Brand Cowboy Church is proud to support our troops through the Military BibleStick Program. He says they aren’t a big megachurch, they are just a group of believers and God blesses them to get things done. As for the Military BibleStick program, Jeff’s encouragement is to give whatever you feel led to give, whether it is one-time or monthly. He says, “Whatever you give will be put to good use!”
We thank Living for the Brand Cowboy Church and churches like Colony Christian Fellowship (Reno, NV), Meade Church of the Nazarene (Meade, KS), Clyde’s Chapel Baptist Church (Wendell, NC), Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Munising, MI), and Liverpool United Methodist Church, (Liverpool, PA) and over 7,000 other churches for supporting our troops through the Military BibleStick program.
Image 1: Three Soldiers displaying their newly received Military BibleSticks.
Image 2: Living for the Brand Cowboy Church in Athens, Texas, displays its patriotic pride.