By BRAD KELLAR
What once been a bar and rodeo arena in Greenville is now home to a local church.
The Top Rail Cowboy Church is occupying the former Southwest Horseman’s Club and Arena. Instead of drinking, visitors go to learn how to save their soul.
But the facility will once again play host to roping and riding this weekend, as it hosts a Family Ranch Rodeo.
The rodeo is being held as a benefit for Junior Bullard and will take place Saturday at the church, at the intersection of FM 499 and Horseman’s Club Road. Books open at 9 a.m. and the rodeo starts at 10 a.m. and will feature sorting, mugging, doctoring, branding and a scoop shovel race. Calf scrambles are also planned for ages 8 to 12 and 13 to 17, with $50 to the winner.
The entry fee is $240 per four person team or $60 per person, with one person under 18 or one female on each team.
A saddle made by Sulphur River Saddlery will be awarded to the first place team.
There will also be a silent auction and a raffle for $1,000 in gift cards.
Concessions will be provided by B3C Authentic Chuckwagon Ministry.
Church Pastor Charlie Nassar said the church has been in operation for about two months, with about 50 people attending.
“We have turned that old beer drinking, dancing place where some of us used to go to a church for the unchurched,” Nassar said. “That is, reaching those that my not go to church now. In cowboy church, we try to take down barriers that keep people from coming to church in the first place.”
Those needing additional information about the rodeo can contact Walt Birney at 903-275-6095.
Those wanting to know more about the church can contact Nassar at 903-217-3778 or visit toprailcowboychurch.com.