Posted on Mon, Feb 27, 2017
Thirteen years ago, Dennis Baskin, a rancher from San Andreas California, began a small Bible study at a pizza parlor located in the neighboring rural town of Valley Springs.
Several people who were attending the study, lived a few miles away and Valley Springs seemed like a good compromise for a meeting place. A few months went by and the group rented a meeting room at a local church building for their Tuesday night study. Dennis seemed to have a knack for speaking the language of the local cowboys and cowgirls. He used his country speak or “Barnyard Theology” as he calls it, to teach
these tough ol’ cowboys the way to Heaven.
As word spread to country folks living and visiting the area, the study grew. The group began to say “We have church on Sunday, then again on Tuesday”. It soon became apparent to Dennis that the Lord was tugging him toward becoming a Pastor and starting a church. One afternoon after a short trail ride, Dennis mentioned the fact to several of his friends. The idea seemed great to them and they began to make plans. Soon, Dennis found himself standing in front of the congregation of Grace Fellowship Church of San Andreas, where he and his wife Susan had been attending for several years. The congregation gave him their blessing and with a flock of eleven, he opened the doors to Glory Bound Fellowship, otherwise known as the Jenny Lind Memorial Veterans Hall on January 7, 2007.
It seemed natural to Dennis that there should be a cowboy flavor to the service. One of the very talented men in the flock, crafted two wooden crosses, one small and one large, to decorate the hall and commemorate what Jesus did for us on that cross long ago. Susan decided to hang a pair of her father’s old Saddle Bags on the small cross, and it seemed natural that the tithes and offerings should be placed there. A small sign hangs on the very top of that little cross today with the words “Tithes and Offerings” written upon it. There is no offering plate passed and there is just something about watching these rough cowboy’s digging in their pockets and lovingly placing their offerings in those worn out leather bags that just warms your heart.
God certainly has been working in Dennis and Susan’s life for some time. He even saw to it that their property had a convenient river running through it, which now serves as the Glory Bound Fellowship Baptismal. In the Spring of 2008, the Clements Buckaroos decided to add cowboy church to their Sunday event schedule. They asked Dennis to serve as pastor for a short time. The Glory Bound Fellowship congregation helped out with music, set up and eating the blueberry pancake breakfast served every Sunday morning before service! It was soon apparent that this service would not end easily or quickly and it became a mission outreach for Glory Bound Fellowship that was very much enjoyed. The services lasted the entire summer and into the fall. Much longer than expected as it takes place outdoors under an oak tree. Dennis called it a “Full on Western Event” as pews were wooden tables and benches set up in the dirt. Cowboys on horseback occasionally strolled through the service and dogs were regular visitors, with some coming to rest upon the Pastor’s boots. Rodeo events with cattle bawling were the norm and rodeo announcers blared instructions as Dennis preached. “Barnyard Theology” was easy to come by and soon eggs were broken to explain the trinity and cattle were the subject of many sermons about human nature and man’s relationship with God. There was even a story about how a mother hen scoops her baby chicks under her wings in order to explain God’s love for his children. The outreach had to be suspended until next spring because the oak tree leaked when it rained.
In October of 2008, Glory Bound Fellowship did a community outreach project called Cowboy Poetry Night. This event featured many cowboy poets from several churches in the area. The poetry spoke of the relationship between the Cowboy and his Lord as well as the habits of men and their horses. The community was invited and there was a BBQ dinner complete with beans, bread and salads. What fun, even the local Sheriff enjoyed the event as he sat on the hood of his car while posted in the parking lot listening and laughing as the event rolled on.
In April of 2011, God answered prayers in providing a permanent building in Burson. As soon as the building was purchased, services began while the remodeling commenced and the Lord brought the increase.
Glory Bound Fellowship has grown tremendously since it's humble beginning. Sundays that began with regular attendance of around 15 to 20 has grown to over 200. In November of 2015, Rob Bline came on as Co Pastor. When anyone visits us they always say the same thing, “I just feel at home here, there is so much love and acceptance”. We feel this is the highest of compliments. The best way to understand Glory Bound Fellowship is to come for a visit. You will be blessed by the preaching, worship and fellowship.
The Tuesday night bible study? It’s still going strong along with many other weekly studies and activities. We warmly invite you to check out the monthly calendar to see all that is available and attend any and all that you are able to.
Dennis Baskin says to all who read this “Our vision is clear like lookin’ out over the prairie, Bring ‘em in, grow ‘em up and send ‘em out so they can bring ‘em in, grow ‘em up and send ‘em out”.
We look forward to seeing you soon at Glory Bound Fellowship!
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