Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Williamstown Church Keeps Bull Riders on the Right Path

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Williamstown Church Keeps Bull Riders on the Right Path

Article excerpt

"It's all I want to do," he said.

Since he was a child, Milam, 19, said he has come to notice a pattern in the bull-riding culture. It is full of temptation, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

"I've got to control myself. I found myself going out the last couple of weekends, and you drink and all that," he said. "You can't get away from it in the rodeo world."

You can't get away from the nightlife culture, he said, unless you are at a place like the Crossroads Cowboy Church in Williamstown, north of Lawrence, a place where Western culture and worship intertwine.

"We started out in a circus tent five years ago, and it has grown," organizer James Hathaway said. Now the church boasts a congregation of more than 150 people.

The idea came from a desire to mix a passion for cowboy culture and a passion for Jesus Christ, Hathaway explained. The organization hosts events from Bible camps and studies to line and barn dances, riding clinics and rodeos.

"And there's not just cowboys out here," he said. "We've got golfers, old people, young people. They're all just comfortable here. You walk in the door and you're not judged."

This weekend, the church hosted its first bull riding school, Conquering the Beast, with 1997 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association bull riding world champion Scott Mendes. A young bull rider listens to a professional bull rider this weekend at the Crossroads Cowboy Church.

"The idea is that if they can come out and ride this bull and conquer this fear, they can go out and conquer their lives," Hathaway said. "If you focus on something better, you can go on and be a champion."

Both Mendes and Hathaway agreed they were pleased with the weekend's turnout of 15 participants to take part in the class, but it takes more than that to make everything work. …

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