The group that mixes worship with hunting and fishing has held three sessions since its kickoff in August, and leaders are looking to host a fishing and hunting expo in the future.
Leaders of Camo Church, an organization that aims to promote spiritual growth outside traditional church walls, have established the second Monday of each month as the day for such sessions.
“Usually what we’ll do is we’ll have a topic on either fishing or hunting or something outdoors, and I will give kind of a ... seminar ... basically. I hit what we call action points, just teaching them some new things hopefully, whether it be tracking a deer or some kind of new gear that’s out,” Stanley said. “And then we tie it in with when James does the second part, and we kind of stay with the same theme and tie it into spiritual matters.”
Since the 3D archery shoot in August, which was the first gathering for Winchester’s Camo Church, Stanley said between five and nine people have been showing up to the sessions. He said the groups have included people from Clark, Bath and Breathitt counties. They have had sessions at Blackfish Golf and Hunt Club, Wesley Woods and Sportsman’s Warehouse in Lexington.
Stanley said several people have come who are not regular church people, and he and Jaeger received positive feedback.
“I think the whole premise is a place where they can feel comfortable, don’t feel like they gotta’ put on their Sunday best and dress up, maybe look a certain way or talk a certain way, or what have you,” he said. “It’s not an intimidating environment.”
Once turkey season begins in the spring, Stanley said, Hendrick, who hosts the TV show Camo Church Adventures on the Pursuit Channel, is coming to Winchester to shoot footage for his show. Since he is not familiar with hunting in Kentucky, Stanley said, members of the Camo Church here will go out hunting with him.
Stanley also said he and Jaeger hope to organize a fishing and hunting expo in place of the archery tournament, and they hope to get big name hunting people to come to help draw crowds to Winchester.
For now, Stanley said, the group hopes to draw in “as many as God will send us” for the regular sessions.
“If they feel comfortable on the lake in a boat with some fishing buddies or at a deer camp sitting around a table telling hunting stories, then they would feel comfortable at Camo Church,” he said.
“We take things that they’re used to talking about and like to talk about, such as deer hunting or turkey hunting or fishing ... and then kind of roll that and tie that into spiritual matters and try to bring them into a relationship with God.”
The next Camo Church session will be Monday, Jan. 9.
Those interested can find details of the next gathering on the website, www.camochurch-winchester.com/index.html. reservations are not necessary.
Contact Katie Perkowski at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter, @TheSunKatie.