A local cowboy pastor and musician will serenade viewers of cable channel RFD-TV with classic Western tunes next week.
Pastor Mark Baker will sing two old Stuart Hamblen favorites as a featured guest of the Shotgun Red Variety Show.
The host of the show, Steve Hall, found Baker through the pastor’s YouTube Channel and selected him to be one of 24 artists that will be featured on the show this year. Hall invited Baker to Nashville this winter for filming.
The Shotgun Red Show is named after a cowboy puppet who co-hosts the show and has been on the air for decades. It is a regular part of RFD-TV programing. The cable channel targets rural interests and features programming such as the U.S. Farm Report and the reruns of the Roy Rogers show.
A lifelong musician and a third-generation country-western singer, Baker said he was honored to be on channel.
“I grew up at my dad’s knee listening to cowboy music,” he said.
In college, he tried out classical music and sang opera before deciding that he was a Western singer. Later he went to seminary and became a Baptist pastor.
Baker came to the area about three-and-a-half years ago to pastor the The Baptist Chapel on Dolores Road. He also started the Southwest Cowboy Church.
“The vision of the cowboy church is to share the love of Jesus with affinity with or a love for the cowboy way,” he said.
The Cowboy Church is nondenominational and meets once a month at the Lewis-Arriola Community Center. It is part of a growing movement across the country that celebrates Christianity and a cowboy way of life, he said.
“From the very beginning, it was based in Christianity,” said Baker of his way of life.
He said that the Cowboy Church resonates strongly with family-oriented people that want to see the country come back to Christian values. The strong western culture in the Cortez area was also one of the reasons that the area appealed to him.
Since he took over The Baptist Chapel, it has quadrupled in size, and he’s planning renovations to the building.
“I credit the Lord and give him the glory,” he said.