Yeehaw! A Cowboy Church on Woodpecker

Good News by way of a Cowboy Church has galloped in to the Beaver Hollow Farm, bringing hope and encouragement to people whose comfortable connection with the earth gives them a place to connect with God and not worry about what they wear or drive.

Under the leadership of Rev. R. J, (Rocky) Angone, Jr., the Beaver Hollow Farm Cowboy Church has been going strong each Thursday evening since the third week in September.

A Cowboy Church is a Christian church within the cowboy culture. The church may meet in a rural setting in a barn, metal building, or an arena and have its own rodeo arena and a country gospel band.  Beaver Hollow Farm Cowboy Church is in a rural area and meets in a converted two-car garage building among barns, horse arenas and outbuildings.

“About two months ago I received a call from a long-time friend, Susan Quinn,” said Rev. Angone. “She said that a couple wanted to start a Cowboy Church in Chesterfield County.” The couple was Wilbur and Cheryl Beavers, owners of an 11-acre farm located on Woodpecker Road.  “I met with Wilbur and Cheryl Beavers at Beaver Hollow Farm and was very impressed with this couples’ heart to serve the Lord. After a few prayers I said yes, let’s go. I had only one condition. They had to teach me how to ride a horse.”  Receiving lessons riding a big, black Tennessee Walker horse named Preacher, Angone is learning to ride and said, “After 67 years, I am fulfilling one of my childhood dreams, I’m going to be a cowboy.”

Wilbur Beavers first learned of a cowboy church while traveling to a horse sale in Archdale, North Carolina. “I kept reading about the Triad Cowboy Church and felt a cowboy church would be a good outreach for the farm,” he said. Several women friends, who board and lease horses at the farm, were thinking about starting a Bible Study at the farm. When Beavers approach them about the Cowboy Church, it seemed to be a good match. With having the church meet on a Thursday evening, Beavers said, “A lot of people don’t like to get up on Sundays and we don’t tithe and everything is donated.”  Beavers added that they serve coffee and pastries.

Beaver Hollow Farm Cowboy Church is a non-denominational church that has the backing of several other area churches. “We are casual, come as you are group,” said Angone. “I preach the Word of God as He gives it to me. I believe the Holy Scriptures are God inspired and are His infallible Word. When you come, expect to be changed, not by me, but by God’s Holy Spirit.”

Angone also plays bass with his praise and worship team. “Scripture says that ‘God inhabits the praise of His people.’ So worship is a very important part of any service. I believe that ‘praise and worship opens the doors to God’s heart.’”  Angone’s praise team includes a number of musicians, but his immediate team includes George Sorg, Lee Britt and Robert Huddleston.

Angone is a Vietnam veteran. He served with the Air Cavalry Troop of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse Regiment). He was a crew chief on “C” Model Huey Gunship.  “I hung out the door with an M-60 machine gun and blasted my way there and back,” he said. “I was very blessed and by the Grace of God.  I came home physically unscathed, but an emotional mess. I was a poster boy for PTSD and after 20 years of struggling with that, the Lord delivered me from this torment.”

Angone’s ministry began around 10 years ago when he joined an international veterans outreach call Pointman International Ministries. “This is a Christian veterans outreach to other vets,” he said. “I am still an Outpost Leader in the Richmond area.”

Angone was ordained at Cornerstone Assembly of God Church in 2006. For two-and-a-half years he held Sunday morning services for a ministry outreach to bikers in the South Richmond, now Steel Horse, Harley-Davidson store.

“I cannot begin to tell one how ‘Blessed of God’ I truly am to be a small part of what God is doing in Chesterfield County, “  he said.  Along with the Cowboy Church ministry, Angone is involved with Haven Mission, The Pregnancy Help Center of Chesterfield, Wreaths Across America and Pointman Ministries.

For more information about any of the above ministries, contact Angone at 804-586-5060 or email rjangone@yahoo.com.

Beaver Hollow Cowboy Church is located at 9501 Woodpecker Rd., Chesterfield, VA 23838 with services each Thursday at 7 p.m. For more information about the farm, visit www.beaverhollowfarm.com.

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