The Bar None Cowboy Church will have a new home here in Newton sometime in the spring. The new church home will be at the old International Wrestling Museum. Dave Rex, pastor of the church wants to set the record straight on how the church acquired their future place of worship.
“About four months ago I received a call from the man who owned the wrestling museum,” said Rex. “And he asked, ‘If we were interested in this building if it was given to us?’ And my response was, ‘We’ll have to discuss this and pray about it.’ Finally, I got back to him and said, ‘Yes, if you are inclined to give it to us we will take it.’”
Rex mentioned that he was a bit apprehensive on accepting the building at first. Having been a man of the clergy for over 30 years he knew the costs and responsibilities of maintaing a building. But after praying he put his faith in God’s hands.
“Up until December it was kind of up in the air,” said Rex. “There was no certainty on either part. And we weren’t going to be disappointed if we didn’t get it. We have a great home at the fairgrounds. We are really pleased and thankful to the fair board for all that they have done to make cowboy church possible.”
“But things got serious around the 1st of December,” he continued. “And by the 21st of December we closed, and we owned the building.”
The good news didn’t stop there for cowboy church. Pretty soon another person came out and made a donation to the church, which by the way never asks for donations.
“It’s funny, we didn’t ask nor did we pray for any of this,” said Rex a chuckle. “But we got another call about chairs, 200 banquet type chairs. That were given to Cowboy Church. They were some really nice chairs. It was kind of a confirmation that God was in on this. And I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t want a building. But it seemed like everything was coming together. And I thought, ‘If God can give us the building, he can help us take care of it.’”
Turning a former museum into a church seems like a pretty non-traditional move, but nothing the Bar None Cowboy Church does is traditional. They hold a “come-as-you-are” service, meaning wear whatever you want. They hang up a bucket in the back and if people feel like donating they can. Rex only mentions it one time during service for the “new folks.” The service is about 80 percent music and only 20 percent preaching. The music is live and comes from regional and national bluegrass, western and southern gospel acts. Rex also wants his church to be “fun and entertaining” and to eliminate the “traditional threatening aspects of church.” And by offering service one night of the week, Rex hopes to have as many visitors as possible at the Cowboy Church on Thursdays while also avoiding poaching members from other local churches.
The 12,000 square-foot building is still undergoing preparations to turn into the new church and isn’t expected to be ready until sometime in the spring. Until then, the church will still be held at the Jasper County Fairgrounds 4-H Building in Colfax. For more information visit the church’s website at www.barnonecowboychurchofiowa.com.
Daily News Staff Writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.