Building burned, Flying W church gets new home at Norris-Penrose

       A church that had started at the Flying W Ranch four years ago has found a new home at the Norris-Penrose Event Center.

A recent service by the Church on the Ranch: the sermon and music are on the flatbed; the congregation in the Norris-Penrose bleachers
Courtesy of Jeff Plowman and Church on the Ranch

       The Church on the Ranch lost its meeting site - the Flying W's chuckwagon hall - June 26 when the Waldo Canyon Fire swept through part of northwest Colorado Springs and destroyed the ranch and 346 houses. Also burned to the ground was the Flying W chapel where the group had met for its first year before outgrowing that space, according to Jeff Plowman, a board member of the Church on the Ranch and its worship team coordinator.
       The Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation, which owns Norris-Penrose, invited the church to hold its services there indefinitely at no charge.”
       So far, this summer, the church has been meeting at the northwest side of the center's open-air stadium, with the congregation in the bleachers and the pastor, musicians and any other presenters facing them on a flatbed trailer pulled in by a pickup truck. As the weather gets cooler, the center's Indoor Arena will be made available, said event center general manager Johnny Walker.
       They're just people who want to worship and be together on Sunday,” he said. And with the center's help, “they landed on their feet, they really did.”
       “It's like a dream come true,” Plowman said. “Everyone loves being in that stadium. It's pretty doggone western, I can tell you.”
       He described the church as “western-flavored,” but not a “cowboy church. We've got people in flip-flops, doctors, lawyers and dentists.”
       The Church on the Ranch pastor is Scotty Vaughn, a former member of the Flying W Wranglers music group.

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