A pastor from a cowboy church in Big Sandy, Texas has voluntarily decided to brave the cold for nearly two weeks in an effort to raise awareness for a food and toy drive that will benefit local families in need this holiday season.
Pastor Chad Lee from Sit'em Down Cowboy Church decided to sacrifice the comfort of his warm home to camp out in a tent on the side of his town's highway as a way to help others who have less than him.
"There are people who go through this every day and I'm just doing it for 13 days, said Lee to the Christian Post. "It's not about Chad Lee, it's about what the Lord can do when people allow Him in their lives and what He can do to change them, no matter what situation they're in."
His church has partnered with Agape House, an organization that assists needy families. So far, Lee says the outpouring from the community has made his effort to withstand freezing temperatures worthwhile.
"The community has come by with food and toys, it's amazing what the Lord has put in their heart to keep supporting this," said Lee.
Ever since he began camping out on December 1, Lee has endured wet, cold weather day and night. Initially, staying in his tent for the first three days "was pretty nice" then he moved to his truck for one night after not being able to withstand the cold. Between then and now, he says church members have come by to keep him company and regardless of the weather still to come, Lee plans to stay in his tent until Friday.
Lee, who admits Sit'em Down Cowboy Church is an unconventional congregation, says he began to pastor the church a few months ago and currently has 40 like-minded, faithful members gathering each week to worship.
"The cowboy church is come as you are," said Lee. "Our main goal is to preach to the lost. We prefer to have the drug heads, the drinkers and the bad people in there to hear the word of God because that's what it's all about."
A part of their foundation is rooted in the church's five pillars of faith that include helping the less fortunate, realizing that they, too, might be in need of assistance themselves someday. Their new congregation is also one of many independent churches that have spread throughout Texas and other southern states that embrace the cowboy culture and promote an unpretentious worship lifestyle.