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Cowboy church makes its way to the Carson City Rendezvous

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Contributed photo Paul Hirdler with Bigfoot, will present a 10 a.m. Sunday service at the annual Carson City Rendezvous on June 15 at Mills Park. Hirdler is an ordained minister and prefers the lifestyle of the "earlier days" of cowboy living.
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His style of preaching is just what his lifestyle is like – easy going, insightful and follows the Christian calendar.

The Rev. Paul Hirdler will offer Cowboy Church to the public and participants of the annual Carson City Rendezvous at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 15.

“The ability to interact with people is what I like most about preaching,” said Hirdler. “A real ministry is about how you can help people, like Jesus did.

“And I think Jesus has a lot of credibility.”

Hirdler, 60, is from Ojai, Calif. The message he’ll bring on June 15 may be one from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus or Romans.

“That Sunday will be the fifth Sunday of Pentecost,” he said. “It will also be Father’s Day.

“These days, people feel annoyances, stressed, part of the credit crunch – and they may feel or yearn for things less complicated. I will talk about what’s going on today and get people to think about being Christians and why it’s important.

“My whole ministry is about what you can do, and sometimes, you have to start with yourself.”

Though he doesn’t preach from the saddle, Hirdler has been fond of the Old West way of life since he was a young boy growing up in Dakota, Minn. His childhood hero was Hopalong Cassidy, with his horse Topper.

Yearning to be a cowboy himself, Hirdler spent a couple of years cowboying in the early ’70s. His respect and love of horses is exceeded only by his love for his family. He has raised a son and daughter with his wife in California.

Hirdler is also a member of the National Pony Express Association, Single Action Shooters’ Society and Cowboy Mounted Shooter’s Association. He will participate with the Nevada chapter of the NPEA as they perform re-enactments during the Rendezvous.

Dressing in 1860s attire, Hirdler also officiates at weddings, including ones with cowboys, and funerals (including equine, canine or bovine), and provides pastoral care to human and beast alike.

“Whatever you need, I can handle it,” he said.

“Sunday will be about you, how you live your life and how to make it better.”

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

If you go

WHO: Rev. Paul Hirdler

WHAT: Cowboy Church during annual Carson City Rendezvous

WHEN: 10 a.m. Sunday, June 15

WHERE: Mills Park, main stage

COST: Free

CALL: 687-7410