Ty Shafer grew up on several ranches in the west. From Colorado, Northern California, Nebraska, and Montana, Ty and his brothers were raised and molded by their father, a single dad managing the working operations of one of the country’s largest Angus ranches.
That unique upbringing had a profound influence on the person Ty would become. He was fiercely independent, confident (to a fault at times), proud, opinionated, and hard-headed. Ty had a solid upbringing in church. His father hauled him and his brothers to church nearly every Sunday morning. In spite of all this, Ty couldn’t find his place. After leaving home, he made it a point to stay away from “church” and “religion” for nearly 15 years.
After high school a stint in the Army as a helicopter mechanic didn’t fill the void. A move to Texas in 1987 to become a professional bull rider was great, for a season. The success he enjoyed in the PRCA over 11 years was just enough to sustain him and his desires but ultimately led to the end of a brief marriage. “I was supremely confident and supremely ignorant at the same time. I thought there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish and I didn’t need anything or anybody to help. I could not have been more wrong.”
Coming to terms with being a single father of two boys brought reality crashing down on him. All the effort and time spent pursuing his own dreams, taking all the credit for his success and failures, and never reaching out to others had uncovered a serious flaw in his life. There was something missing. God has always been present in Ty’s life. “Looking back, I can see now where God had been active in my life, even when I wasn’t aware of it.” He had sent and positioned some Godly men and women in Ty’s life to plant the seeds He needed. During those darkest times, it was the people God sent that helped him back to the path his earthly father had set him on so many years before.
In 1999 he met his wife Anna. She was exactly who God needed her to be. She was someone that could put up with Ty while God was working on him. “At the time, I’m not sure she ever knew how much influence she would have in my life and how much I need and rely on her, even to this day.” Their blended family, with 3 boys and 1 girl became the foundation he needed to build a life in Christ.
In 2005 Ty discovered the Cowboy Church movement in Texas, still the TFCC back then. It was in a small cowboy church that Ty realized what God had been preparing in his heart for all these years. There was little doubt as to what God had planned for Ty’s life. Every door placed in front of him was leading him towards the ministry. Arena teams, youth teams, rodeo ministries, and a traveling rodeo production ministry prepared Ty to accept his calling, to Pastor a Cowboy Church. “Once I understood God’s calling on my life, I thought, what crazy bunch of cowboys would ever agree to let me be their Pastor?” In February 2016, God placed that church in front of him. A dedicated, inspired, group of believers wanted to start a Cowboy Church in Caldwell County. With God’s blessing, AFCC support, prayer and petition, the Caldwell County Cowboy Church was founded in June, 2016.
“Saddle up and come see us.” Ty said. “You may want to put that night-latch on your saddle; this bronc will likely buck a bit but don’t worry. This church is for people just like you.”