God and gunsmoke: Revival with pop coming to Prineville
He's a pastor.
No he's a mounted shooting champion.
Stop, you're both right.
Grace Baptist Church will be hosting the Prineville Cowboy Revival next week at the Crook County Fairgrounds Indoor Arena, featuring Gerald McKelroy.
"He is a two-time world champion Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association winner," said Skip Hinton, Grace Baptist's pastor. "He is coming up from Waco, Texas with a crew of people."
The church-sponsored free event, scheduled Wednesday through Friday, July 24-26, is characterized by Hinton as "a gift to the community."
"It is a family event," he said. "There are going to be things for kids to do (such as a candy scramble and sheep scramble) and there are going to be things for the adults."
Visitors will also be entered in a raffle to win a free Fender guitar, Hinton said. The raffle tickets are free and given to each person who shows up each evening.
The Prineville Cowboy Revival will feature a McKelroy mounted shooting demonstration each evening.
"You will get to see him and you will get to see his horses. His horses are the big show, he is just the guy on the back of them," Hinton remarked.
In addition, he will join his daughter to compete in a little mock run.
"They will do that every night," Hinton said.
In addition to the Wild West-inspired entertainment, McKelroy and other musicians will play bluegrass music for the crowd. And, since he is a pastor and the event is church-sponsored, McKelroy will be speaking on horseback.
"It is a church-sponsored event, so it is going to be an evangelical event as well," Hinton said.
While that is the case, he stresses that it is meant to be a fun and entertaining event.
"It is going to be informal. It's not going to be like everybody come to church and kneel in your spots," he said. "It will be entertaining, it will be fun, but at the same time, there will be some encouragement to seek the Lord in it too."
The idea for the Prineville Cowboy Revival was spurred by a recent chance visit McKelroy made to Prineville. Hinton said he had traveled from Texas to Salem to lead a church service for a congregation celebrating their 30th anniversary.
While in Oregon, he paid a visit to Prineville to make a purchase at Painted Hills Custom Leather, and Hinton started talking to McKelroy about holding a local event. The two concluded that given the community's rich Western history, "Prineville just made sense."
Hinton credited another man, Prineville Police Chief Dale Cummins, with making the event possible. He explained that Cummins needed to sign off on the shooting event, even though all of the people involved will be shooting blanks.
"I just want to give a big thanks to our chief of police," he said.
Hinton is hoping to see people take his church up on their gift to the community next week and enjoy a full family event.
"This is a one-of-a-kind event," he said.
The Prineville Cowboy Revival will be held at the Crook County Fairgrounds Indoor Arena. The free to attend event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. each evening Wednesday, July 24 through Friday, July 26.
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