Preacher makes use of parables
going to die before this day is over with. And I said you’ve just got to pray one more time, but she said she had done all she could do for me. I was devastated and I got a little angry so I asked what she expected me to do?”
Her advice was to go to church and let the congregation pray for him.
“I pulled up in the parking lot, and before I ever got out of the truck, I began to just ball like a baby,” Partlow said. “And I tried to leave, but I couldn’t get the truck started. I finally managed to gain my composure back and went inside the door. So I was fighting back the tears, and they had a prayer line, and I went up there not knowing really what would happen, and the preacher just reached out to touch me and I fell to the floor and began to cry like a baby. I just talked to the Lord and asked God to do whatever he needed to do with my life. I didn’t want to be the same anymore.”
Partlow meet his future wife that night at church, and few days later he found a job. He was no longer sick, and after leaving the church, he said he ate like a pig and slept like a baby.
“It hasn’t been an easy road, but it has been a good road,” Partlow said.
That road has led Partlow from his home in Indiana to the pulpit in Newton County — a place where others feel he has a real gift.
“I don’t say this boastfully, but instead humbly, I’ve been told I have a way of relating to people personally when I preach,” Partlow said. “I preach on their level. I don’t try to preach over their heads. When people come in, they are all at different levels of salvation. You don’t really know where they are at, so you just have to bring it around where everybody can get a little something out of it.”
Partlow credits the Holy Spirit with much of his success. He might always start his sermon from behind the pulpit, but once the spirit takes over, he feels he needs to walk around and make a real connection with his congregation.
“I like to make eye contact with people so that they don’t think I am just preaching at the rafters,” Partlow said. “To me it is just more personal. There are times a person might go into church and person might feel like they are not really a part of it, so I like to make contact with people. I just want people to feel welcome.”
For his ministry, Partlow just tries to follow one example. Since Jesus preached in parables, Partlow figures using allegories is the best way to get the message across.
“This last Sunday, we were talking about how important the presence of the Lord was and kind of stirring it up and letting people know and letting the devil know about it,” Partlow said. “And I likened that to the cowhand who worked all week long and come Saturday was payday and so he headed into town to party. And he comes into town and is making some ruckus and drawing attention and he went in and bellied up to the bar and got a little bit loose in there and went outside and started shooting up and hooting and a hollering. And I likened that to us coming to church and we’re kind of tight and tired, but we belly up to the Holy Ghost bar and get a jug of that new wine and get full of the spirit and just start getting a little rowdy.”
The Trails for Christ Cowboy Church holds services every Sunday at 3 p.m. and Wednesday night at 7 p.m.