There’s a new Idaho Falls church where cowboy boots and Stetson hats are far more common than shirts and ties.
“He spent his time with the common folks, with the shepherds,” said pastor Dave Kite, speaking about Jesus Christ.
Kite is the pastor of the Idaho Falls Cowboy Church. The 2:30 p.m. service on Sunday was the church’s first.
“He was a carpenter,” explained Kite. “It was those folks he reached out to, and it’s those folks we’re reaching out to.”
Kite is kind of known around eastern Idaho as the cowboy pastor.
“Let’s just lay down some ground rules, okay?” said Kite during his sermon on Sunday. “Number 1, Jesus Christ is the head of this church.”
The church services are held on a little ranch in Bonneville County.
“Folks who come to the cowboy church may never walk through the door of a traditional church,” said Kite.
The goal is to reach the farming and ranching community, with a place to gather and worship.
It may not be warm or fancy.
“Twenty degrees has not been a real discouragement to them,” said Kite.
It’s the promise of togetherness and a come-as-you-are policy that brings his cowboy congregations in off the fields and out of the corrals, and into folding-chair pews.
“Reaching the cowboy culture with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said.
Opening the Idaho Falls church this afternoon wasn’t the only stop for the cowboy preacher Sunday.
“Today we were in Blackfoot at 11 o’clock, here at 2:30 and pocatello tonight at 6:00,” he said.
Kite travels the Snake River Valley on the weekends, preaching to anyone and everyone who can stop in to one of his services.
“Yes it’s cold and a little uncomfortable,” he said. “But for the folks who come here, it’s not.”
The Idaho Falls Cowboy Church will hold regular services on Sundays at 2:30 p.m. at 288 E 97 N in Idaho Falls.