RUSSELLVILLE — Deer hunting and faith became a winning combination for Corticelli Baptist Church, Russellville, at its annual 3-D Pop-Up Bowshoot event on Aug. 28.
More than 61 contestants participated, with over 100 spectators who turned out to watch the daylong competition. Ben Schroer, a church deacon and avid deer hunter, suggested the event, backed by Brandon Young, owner and host of Back Outdoors TV (backoutdoorstv.com), a new hunting show aired nationally on the Sportsman Channel.
After the preliminary shooting round, deer biologist and management expert Grant Woods of growingdeer.tv spoke on deer management and shared his personal testimony about God’s work in his life.
“Corticelli always is looking for new and innovative ways to share Jesus with people we are not reaching through traditional evangelism efforts,” Pastor Ryan Stiffler said. “We have found that this bowshoot is doing just that. We are reaching men, women, teenagers and even children through this incredible event that we would not reach otherwise.”
Schroer stressed the work all members did. “We committed a lot of prayer to this event first of all,” he said. “Secondly, we have incredible men and women in our church who are willing to go above and beyond to do whatever it takes to reach people for Christ.”
Stiffler also credits the topic and the celebrities as a means to share the gospel. “I think having these big name guys coming in and partnering with us is a real advantage to us,” he said.
“Men see these guys from Back Outdoors TV on television every week and they want to meet them and hear their stories about the animals they hunted on their show.
“They read about Dr. Woods in hundreds of magazines, hear about him or see him on various hunting programs, watch his weekly program on the Internet and they want to hear his ideas for getting the bigger deer this year.
“However, ultimately, it comes down to the people’s passion for bow hunting that draws them in to the event.”
Corticelli decided to reach out to that passion. “But regardless of why they came, we definitely have one goal for them before they leave — to hear about the love of Jesus Christ,” Stiffler emphasized.