SANTA ANNA — In the mid-1960s, not too long after his life-changing decision to convert to Christianity, George Havens started the Little George Havens’ Cowboy Camp in Coleman County.

Ongoing this week is the 43rd annual Little George Havens’ Cowboy Camp Meeting, which started on Friday, June 19, and will continue through this Sunday. There will also be an Hispanic Camp, held Wednesday, July 1, through Sunday, July 5.

The traditional camp began as a way to reflect on the days of the Old West in which cowboys and their families would come together for worship and fellowship under the stars. It aims to carry on the spirit and tradition of evangelism and blazing trails as cowboys did so many years ago. After the Hollywood stuntman’s death in 1988, his wife Lucy, along with some volunteers continued to hold onto the reins and kept the camp going. Today, the camp is successfully being run by the Texas/American Fellow-ship of Cowboy Churches. Havens’ wife said that she trusts the organization to her late husband’s life work.

“We feel that their emphasis on evangelism and building up (maturing) of the individuals was exactly what George believed in,” Havens said.

One of the most exciting events for the camp occurred last Sunday. A life-size bronze statue of Little George Havens was placed and dedicated on the grounds. Following the dedication there was a cobbler cook off.

There are also several main events coming this week, which include a jackpot roping at a cost of $20 for three runs on Thursday. Cowboys can also take a run at the full rodeo for a fee of $50 on Saturday.

Other events include a daily chuckwagon breakfast starting at 7 a.m., several Bible study and worship times throughout the day, concessions, a daily free supper time at 5 p.m. and even a Cowboy Band concert every evening at 6:30 p.m. Following supper is a worship service with a different cowboy preacher leading every night and several other activities to fill the rest of the evening.

Children and youth can also get involved with daily activities including Bible studies and prayer times led by Jeromy Connell, pastor of Heart of Texas Cowboy Church in Waco.

New additions this year include 32 additional RV hookups with space for horse corral panels. There is a new septic system “dump station” for the entire park to use which was recently installed. The park has been improving roads and bringing in more tents as well.

For more information on the camp, call (325) 348-3686.