Home » Departments » In Motion

Blazing a new trail

by Devin C. Manzullo-Thomas

Though modern forms of transportation have replaced the Chisholm Trail, a 19th-century cattle-herding route, its iconic status in cowboy mythology lives on in central Kansas. Pamphlets introducing the New Trail Fellowship BIC church plant in Abilene draw upon the Chisholm Trail’s legacy by announcing that “God’s Trail Begins Where Yours Ends.”

“I want to use language that the cowboy culture will understand,” explains Stan Norman, New Trail’s church planter and pastor.

At the church’s kick-off service in early September, Stan illustrated the meaning of Jesus’ interactions with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) for the 135 attendees by sharing about his struggle to break in a stubborn heifer. “I was trying to lead the heifer to water, to give her what she needed,” says Stan, relating the story. “Just like Jesus, who was trying to lead the Samaritan woman to living water.”

New Trail Fellowship, which has emerged out of a Bible study group, welcomes “country music lovers, cowboys, and country folk,” some of whom journey up to 50 miles to worship in the barn-turned-church.

“We’re getting back to the basics,” says Stan, who formerly served as the pastor of Abilene BIC. “Cowboy people want the basics.”

This article originally appeared in the winter 2007 issue of In Part magazine.
Tags:

More "In Motion"

FOCUS

Fulfilling an extraordinary call

The Search for (Eternally) Meaningful Work

Statistics regarding meaning and calling

Related articles

  • Christ’s call to limitless love of God and neighbor

  • Unexpected lessons learned from the family of faith in El Salvador

  • Pastors Ken Smith, Jeff T. McKinnon, and John Pletcher weigh in on what holiness means in the 21st century.

Comments

There are currently no comments for this story. Be the first!

Post new comment

Your email will not be made public.
Tip: You may use <strong> and <em> HTML tags if you want.
By clicking "save," I affirm that I have expressed my thoughts with civility, courtesy, and respect. I understand that while thoughtful disagreement is fine, personal attacks, prejudicial assumptions, and insensitive language are unacceptable and will not be published.