Cowboys and Christianity

Jack White bows his head in prayer during the prayer meeting at the Mesa Redondo Cowboy Camp held in June 2001 at Ned Houk Park.

By Gary Mitchell

Steaming chuckwagon meals, campfire singing and old-time preaching will highlight the 26th annual Mesa Redondo Cowboy Camp Meeting.
The four-day event will take place Wednesday through Saturday.
The setting for the old-fashioned camp meeting will be in the pavilion area of Ned Houk Memorial Park, about eight miles north of Clovis on State Road 209.
The camp meeting format features Bible study, worship services, prayer meetings, gospel music and other activities. Although the camp is supported by donations, there is no charge for any of the meals or other activities.
The camp begins with a prayer meeting at 5 p.m. each day. Supper will be served at 6 p.m., followed by special music and singing at 7 p.m. and the evening worship service immediately afterward.
Russell Downey, one of the event coordinators, said he hoped for milder weather than last year’s rainstorm and high winds.
“That was kind of a rough deal,” he said. “We had 55-mile-an-hour winds out there. It’s anybody’s guess what it will be like this year. We hope the weather’s good.”
“Anytime you schedule a rodeo or Gospel meeting outdoors, watch the weather,” said Wilma Fulgham, one of the event organizers. “If we get rain, let it come. We need it. We can’t knock it. Last year, we had winds blowing 50-60 miles per hour. It was fierce. People were having to hold down the tent to keep it from blowing away.”
Camp pastor this year will be David Burk of First Baptist Church in Sterling City, Texas. Burk is in full-time evangelism serving through the ministry of T.S.E.A. (Total Surrender Evangelism Association). He will be returning to the camp as pastor for the third time during the camp meeting’s 26-year history.
Kelly Ashcraft of Clovis will coordinate the music for the camp. He and his wife, Jackie, are active with the youth at First Baptist Church in Texico. They’re also active in the Cowboy Church ministry meeting weekly at the Clovis Livestock Auction.
Chuck Tipton of Clovis will serve as the camp song leader. He’s active in the music ministry at Central Baptist Church in Clovis and is the choir director at Clovis High School. Tipton has taught music in all three levels of the local school system during his 20-year career.
Eileen Massey of Portales will direct the children’s activities at 5 p.m. each day although no nursery will be provided.
Mesa Redondo camp was organized 26 years ago near Tucumcari and still retains its name adopted from the picturesque Mesa Redondo Canyon where it was first located.
For information, contact Russell Downey at 762-0987; Wilma Fulgham at 763-6231; Dicky Massey at 359-1403 in Portales; or J.D. Kelley at 389-5317 in Pleasant Hill.