Cowboy Church Calling
My name is William “Tim” Carlisle, and I have a Cowboy Church calling on my life. I am from the small town of Hazlehurst, Mississippi, USA. As the youngest of four children, I had a relatively normal childhood for those who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. Living in a rural area, I grew up working hard on the hundreds of acres my father farmed, which was his secondary job. My father often had me working with him doing carpentry work and driving dump trucks and other equipment to build roads which were his primary jobs.
I learned about God from church, family, and school. Attending a Baptist church growing up, I professed my faith in Jesus and was baptized as a young teenager. Like many teenagers, I faced the temptation of drugs, alcohol, premarital sex, and other choices. For the most part, I resisted them. When I finished high school, I was a journeyman carpenter.
Having failed to land an athletic scholarship to play football at my favorite university, I foolishly turned down athletic scholarships from two other universities. Instead, I went to work full-time. Eventually, I worked for Halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. I also competed professionally part-time in rodeos as a bull rider and saddle bronc rider. My work schedule included many hours spent on offshore drilling rigs, and I missed attending church many times.
My second child, a son, was born profoundly handicapped. Therefore, the doctors predicted he would lead a short life with a poor quality of life. My son outlived all the doctors’ timelines for his death and is currently 33. My son is loved, not just by me and others, but first and foremost, God loves him. God has a reason why He has not yet called my son home. God became quite real to me as not only did my son struggle with multiple health issues, but I suffered injuries offshore and in rodeo. By God’s grace, my son and I survived.
After my son’s birth, my life became busier. To provide for my wife and children, I studied for and received my real estate license. I kept my full-time job with Halliburton, my first part-time job, and added realtor as my second part-time job. With all the time I spent working three jobs, I was not able to attend church as often or as regularly as I would have liked. However, my faith was steadfast.
Marriage and Ministry Journey
My first marriage ended in divorce, but I was blessed to find a wonderful woman who loves the Lord. We married and have a happy marriage. She and I live in the United States; part-time in Tennessee and part-time in Mississippi. I attend church with her.
Most, if not all of the ministers, typically called preachers in the region of the US where I live, receive traditional seminary or Bible College training. Many laypeople minister in various roles in their churches in my community. My spiritual dream is to help others and to walk with Christ as I answer God’s Cowboy Church calling. I want to demonstrate my love for God by reflecting what is in my heart in my words and deeds.
God’s Cowboy Church Calling and Free Ministry Training
For many years, I have felt a calling to minister in a more formal way. However, traditional training is not an option for me, not even now that I am retired from all three of my jobs. I encounter many who are lost or who have fallen away from God.
While I can witness to these people, share my knowledge with them, and encourage them to attend church, I feel it has been put upon my heart to do more. I have the time and the desire to follow through on where I feel led. Planting a non-denominational ministry is what I feel called to do, a Cowboy Church calling.
The free online training offered by the Christian Leaders Institute is paramount in my journey. I could not afford traditional seminary training, nor do I have the desire to be a full-time student at the age of 59. After doing a lot of research, I found the Christian Leaders Institute. The online learning, coupled with a local mentor, will enable me to gain formal training to meet my goals and perhaps even surpass them. The scholarship aspect is a huge blessing in my life.
Learn about minister ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance.