Called to the ministry at age 15, Wes Brown is as comfortable sitting on the back of a horse as he is standing behind the pulpit, which is a good thing since he pastor’s the Cowboy Church of Collin County in Princeton. “The best thing for the inside of a man is the outside of a horse. Will Rogers said that, and I have found it to be true,” said Brown.
The 62-year old Brown has pastored the Cowboy Church since it was planted 10 years ago. But, it’s not his first rodeo. Brown has served in the ministry for literally half his life and began his ministerial career as a youth pastor and Minister of Education.
Brown said a Christian businessman paid his way through college at Dallas Baptist University where he studied religion with a minor in history. “I will always be grateful to him for that,” said Brown. He subsequently earned a degree from Southwestern Seminary and a D.Min. from Louisiana Baptist University.
But, the Mesquite native didn’t always dream of working in the church. “As a child, I wanted to be a policeman, like my granddad,” Brown fondly remembers. “He used to let me talk to the dispatcher in his squad car.”
While most church members are used to seeing their pastor in jeans, boots, and a cowboy hat, he can also be seen in another uniform, this one with stripes. “I really enjoy sports,” said Brown, who is celebrating his 35th year as a High School football referee. He also umpires for girls’ softball and currently serves as the President of the Dallas Metroplex Softball Umpires Association. He has umpired four times for the UIL State Championship games.
“Looking back on my life, the thing that surprises me the most is how quickly time passes,” Brown said. “Life is truly like a vapor and we need to treasure each day.” Brown and his wife Becky have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandsons. His oldest son is an Iraqi war veteran. And his youngest son and his wife work with the youth at the Cowboy Church and sing in the praise band.
Brown is proud of his family heritage. His mother retired from Buckner Baptist Benevolences as the assistant to the Controller. His father served in the army for 14 years and was on active duty during the Kennedy administration where he served as a Staff Sergeant in the 49th Armored Division. He later retired from the United States Postal Service after 42 years. Becky’s father was wounded in Germany while serving in the Army during WWII. He was in five of the Major Campaigns and earned a Purple Heart.
Becky also attended DBU and was named Miss Congeniality in the Dallas Baptist University Pageant. “We were caught by a security guard as we were kissing goodnight in the parking lot,” recalls Brown. “He simply said, ‘Be where you’re supposed to be.’” Becky has spent the past 25 years working for the Baptist General Convention of Texas and currently serves as the Ministry Assistant to Texas Baptists Executive Director, David Hardage. “She is the best pastor’s wife,” said Brown. “She has the gift of mercy. And boy, have I needed her mercy!”
Brown says he tells his congregation lots of personal stories, so there is little they don’t know about him. Brown has traveled to Mali, West Africa, France, Canada, Jamaica, and Mexico. But In the future, he says he would like to visit the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.
Brown and the Cowboy Church of Collin County celebrated their 10-year anniversary earlier this year and will host the 133rd Annual Gathering of the Collin Baptist Association in October.