Skip to content

 New Pastor at Cowboy Country Church Chapel 

By Emily Bontrager 

The Cowboy Country Church Chapel has selected Pastor Shelby Whitney as their new full-time pastor. 

The Cowboy Country Church Chapel was formerly known as the Wayland United Methodist Church for many years. A few weeks ago, the congregation voted to leave the United Methodist Church and to merge with the Cowboy Country Church of Wayland, Missouri. 

Pastor Shelby, 35, grew up in rural New York. He was homeschooled and he graduated from college at the age of 19 with a major in Historic Preservation. 

After graduating, he decided to attend the New Tribes Bible Institute in Waukesha, Wisconsin. This is where he met his wife Heidi. 

Pastor Shelby did not always want to be a pastor and over the years, he has worked in construction and maintenance because he likes to fix things. 

When he was 22, Pastor Shelby started preaching in a Grace Bible Church in Wisconsin. 

“I started mentoring under a pastor there. From there God moved us down to lower Missouri and from there up here,” Pastor Shelby said. 

Pastor Shelby has been a full-time pastor for the last three years at the Cowboy Country Church in Wayland, Missouri. 

According to Pastor Shelby, the Cowboy Country Church first met in a barn and was organized by a group of people from the Cornerstone Church in Keokuk, Iowa. 

“The pastor there, a very wise man named Jed Linebaugh, sat with them and encouraged them and said ‘Well, here are some things we need to do. We need to bring somebody up to work with the Cowboy Church and help pastor it,’” Pastor Shelby said. 

“He called me up and he said, ‘We need someone who knows farming, knows cowboys, knows agriculture, and can work with a small community.’” 

Pastor Shelby at first said no to the proposition, but God pulled at his heart and he and his wife moved to the area. 

The Cowboy Church began meeting in the barn during May of 2016. The congregation decided that they needed to find a place to meet during the cold winter months, so they ended up purchasing a building in Wayland, Missouri. 

“That was seven years ago, and we never dreamed it would be what it is today,” Pastor Shelby said. 

Recently, the Wayland United Methodist Church voted to leave the UMC. They also decided to hire Pastor Shelby as their new full-time pastor. 

“They voted a couple of weeks ago to disaffiliate from the Methodist organization. That was one decision they made. The second decision they made was to merge with Cowboy Church because for one, they didn’t have a pastor here and they didn’t have someone to do full time care of the people,” Pastor Shelby said. 

“Cowboy Church has right now, three full-time staff that are ordained ministers and three other staff that help support us in other areas, roles, and responsibilities. So Cowboy Church had the ability to say, ‘Hey, we can help with the pastoring and we would love to join with you guys in a Sunday morning service.’” 

As the new full-time pastor, Pastor Shelby’s job is to overshadow the congregation at the church. 

“My personal belief of pastoring is caring for the flock, hospital visits, funerals, weddings, visitations of those who are homebound, and helping those in the community. James 1:27 says to help the widows and orphans, which we are in the process of helping two widow ladies in our church with some storm repairs from the storm,” Pastor Shelby said. 

Pastor Shelby is always willing to help others and he is excited to be the new pastor at the new Cowboy Country Church Chapel. 

“Our desire is to have a youth program here. There are classrooms all downstairs and our desire is to start using them for kids’ classes. Our desire is to do more ministry here to bless the community,” Pastor Shelby said. 

“We want to grow the youth program and we want to continue disciplining and growing with each other in Christ.” 

Pastor Shelby enjoys being able to share the love of Christ with others and being able to share the story of the Bible. 

“I’m very passionate about history. I’m very passionate about the Old Testament and bringing the history of the Old Testament to life,” Pastor Shelby said. 

The Cowboy Country Church Chapel will hold services at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. The services will be more traditional than the services at the Cowboy Country Church, which are more laid back. The Cowboy Country Church meets on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. 

The Cowboy Country Church Chapel is located on Hagerman Street in Wayland, Missouri. If anyone has any questions, they can message the Cowboy Country Church of Wayland’s Facebook page or call Pastor Shelby at 660-341-2231. 

“We welcome everyone in the doors and we never turn anyone away. We feel everyone needs Jesus just as much as the next person,” Pastor Shelby said.