Last Sunday afternoon, Cowboy Church of Ellis County baptized 64 new converts at Lake Waxahachie.

Pastor Gary Morgan administered the baptisms, assisted by several lay pastors from the church.

Several hundred of the church’s more than 1,500 members crowded the banks of the lake, cheering and clapping as each of the 64 was immersed in the lake.

Morgan said the lake baptism was the idea of Mrs. Dennis Brearley, who asked in February that she be baptized in the lake.

“I asked her to put it off until the summer, so the water would be warm and we could see if others might like to be baptized there, too,” Morgan said. “I thought maybe 10 or 12 might want to be baptized in the lake, but obviously the demand far exceeded my expectations.”

Most of those baptized were adults, Morgan said, and with the 55 already baptized this year in a horse trough at the church, brings the total number of baptisms for the year to 119.

“We may have learned something here,” said Morgan of the baptismal service at the lake. “This was a culturally relevant, western heritage event and, considering the response, many of our other cowboy churches may want to take note of it. Western heritage people respond to going outside.”

Cowboy Church of Ellis County, established in 2000, is the largest of some 100 cowboy churches affiliated with the Texas Fellowship of Cowboy Churches, which has offices at 108 N. College St. in Waxahachie.

The TFCC is affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

TFCC coordinator Ron Nolen lauded the baptismal service.

“This was a wonderful event,” he said. “Our prayer is that it might be duplicated in cowboy churches all across Texas.”

Toby Druin is editor of Cowboy Times.