The Alberta Cattlemen’s and Alberta Country Gospel Opry will be hosting a Pancake Breakfast and Cowboy Church Service at the Ponoka Stampede grounds, Sunday, July 2, featuring the “Over Jordan” band with special guest Pastor John Watton. Breakfast begins at 7:30 am with the Cowboy Church Service to follow in the Stagecoach Saloon.
The Alberta Country Gospel Opry was established with the help of Glen Thompson, a Christian cowboy from southern Alberta, and a group of local musicians. Glen had established other Cowboy Church organizations in southern Alberta and was eager to get a cowboy outreach ministry going in Central Alberta. In 1995, the Alberta Country Gospel Opry was formed as a charity so that tax receipts could be given for donations received.
Cowboy Church isn’t just for working cowboys. It’s for armchair enthusiasts, farm folks, those “stuck in the city” urban cowboys, rodeo fans, city slickers and anyone “country at heart.” It’s for anyone for an affinity for the western lifestyle. What better place than Ponoka!
The Cowboy Church movement is a non-denominational and distinctively western heritage and is cowboy culture in character. Since its inception in 1995, in this area thousands of cowboys and cowgirls, as well as many visitors and locals, come to the breakfast to be fed physically and spiritually.
Everyone is welcome. Our main goal is to share the “good news” of the gospel and see people come to a saving knowledge of Christ. The message of God’s love for you remains the same. We’re committed to solid evangelical Christian beliefs. It’s just the atmosphere and music that are different.
“Over Jordan” is a newly formed band based out of Alberta’s beautiful west country. The members all come from diverse musical backgrounds with many years of experience between them.
Brian “Cactus” Johnston – front man
“I’m very proud to say our grandkids are seventh generation Albertans. I left home at the age of nine, or was it my folks that left and didn’t tell me. Anyways, I wandered an aimless life filled with sin until I met the King of the universe. I bring some humor to the group and will engage the audience with my wit and storytelling.”
Ed Tedzlaff – bass player
“Born shortly after Moses, Ed was raised in Saskatchewan on the farm, ranching and working the oilfields. He played saxophone at an early age and spent a few years in Calgary, eventually settling down on a farm at Stauffer, Alberta in the heart of “God’s country.” Ed loves to share his gift of music.
Marydell McBride – guitar and vocals
Grandmother of nine including the three bears, Marydell was raised in the Raven River area by a school of Brown Trout. She attended church at a very young age. She sings and harmonizes like an angel with a tilted halo and always keeps one foot on the floor while dancing.
Dwain Sands – keyboards and vocals
Dwain’s roots are planted in traditional and country rock n roll music. He travelled with his father’s weekend dance band at age 12 and by 16 had his own band that travelled throughout north central Alberta. He is a keyboardist, singer/songwriter, recording engineer and music producer. He brings handsome to the group.
Pastor John Watton – pastor, poet and musician
John serves as the local pastor of the Caroline Church of the Nazarene. He serves as the Regional Co-ordinator for Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in the Asia Pacific region as well. John is passionate about discipleship and is keen on learning and trading ideas of how to lead people of all ages on their journey of faith. He thinks music is a grand way to praise the Lord. Singer/songwriter, guitar, banjo, mandolin and penny whistle.
You’ll enjoy this group as they engage with the audience. They’ll bring a smile to your face with some oldies and original tunes or they may bring a tear to your eye. Come and be blessed!