Reaching out Ranching Community

( [email protected] ) Oct 30, 2003 09:20 AM EST

Mike McGough, preaching professor at Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, is reaching out to Christian ranchers with the gospel through the Alberta Cattlemen’s Fellowship.

McGough is a chaplain for the Alberta Cattlemen's Fellowship, which is organized by a group of Christian ranchers, cattle buyers, farmers and rodeo performers with the purpose of delivering the Gospel within the ranching industry.

"The ranching community is tough to reach," McGough said. "These people are out on ranches that aren't anywhere near a church."

As part of his duties with the ACF, McGough has taken a number of initiatives to reach an increased number of ranchers.

One of them is the production of a Gospel tract series featuring six members of the ACF, ranging from cattle buyers to rodeo queens, who share their testimonies and their walks with God.

"We've had a good response to the tracts," McGough said. "People have been very receptive, especially since the people featured in them are local people that they know."

ACF members passed out some 500 tracts during the Calgary Stampede and other such ranch-related events. Churches affiliated with the ACF have passed out another 200 or so when inviting people to similar events. Red Deer River Ranches near Sundre, Alberta, make the tracts available in their guest ranching facilities, where visitors have access to them.

"We're hoping they'll be even more widely distributed," McGough said.

ACF also conducts two pancake breakfasts during the Calgary Stampede each July. McGough said the breakfasts have brought as many as 1,400 people together, where they've heard the Gospel presented through music and personal testimony.

The group also has invited Paul Daly, a Christian horse whisperer, to give demonstrations during Stampede time. He blends his horse-taming techniques with his faith in the gospel to captive onlookers. Eight people have accepted Christ during the demonstrations.

This hands-on ministry reaching out to the ranchers has allowed him to go beyond his usual preaching place from seminary campus into the community and experience the Holy Spirit working in a different way.

"Being part of this organization has allowed me to meet people I never would have met had I stayed on the seminary campus," McGough said