Lufkin Pastor brings rodeo experience to the pulpit - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Lufkin Pastor brings rodeo experience to the pulpit

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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

Since 2004, Cross Timbers Cowboy Church has been bringing the western spirit inside the church walls. Ford Adkins has pastored the church since it first started with only a few families.

When you step inside the church, you enter a different kind of church.

"We have a lot of people that are cowboys," pastor Ford Adkins said.  "We have a lot of people that have never been on horses. We wear our caps, hats and boots. They all get coffee, kaloches, doughnuts and listen to county gospel music."

The church has been lead by Adkins since the church first opened its doors in 2004 with a handful of people. Now a Sunday service can draw almost 200.

"They have a perception and stereotype of pastors and I may not fit that," Adkins said.

Before entering the ministry, Adkins made his name somewhere else far away from the pulpit, gaining attention on the national rodeo circuit. After winning over 50 championship buckles and eight saddles, Adkins earned the prestigious National Cowboy hall of Fame Award.

"I've traveled as a professional rodeo cowboy and bare back rider," Adkins said. I've rode some saddle back all over the country. God designed me to be a cowboy and that's what I am. Some people think that rodeoing and cowboying are dangerous, but so is getting in a car and racing down a piece of pavement."

Adkins preaches with a smile today, but getting there was not easy.

"I didn't think that I was meant to be a pastor, but then I saw a not from my wife that was a prayer to God that we would move our family up here and become a pastor," Adkins said. "She got to watch that journey of us building this church and watch it grow before she passed away in 2009 from brain tumor and cancer."

Adkins says that event took a lot out of him, but the legacy she left on others with her faith has kept him going.

"What keeps me excited is the fact I wake up everyday and that God has a purpose," Adkins said. "God has a plan and god is in control of all of our circumstances."

Adkins is not just a pastor. He also serves as a deputy with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office as a chaplain for the law enforcement agency.

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