Life Enrichment Presentation Explores Lives of Early Kansas Clergymen | Butler Community College

Life Enrichment Presentation Explores Lives of Early Kansas Clergymen

John Burchill
Published: Monday, March 28th, 2016

Butler Community College’s Life Enrichment program will host Cowboys and Clerics in early April.

The presentation and discussion by John K. Burchill, will be held Tuesday, April 5, at 10 a.m. in the Clifford/Stone Community Room at the Hubbard Welcome Center on the El Dorado campus. Members of the community are invited to attend the free program. The program is made possible by the Kansas Humanities Council.

In the days when Wild Bill Hickok might ride his horse into your church service (it happened in Junction City), the life of a minister was a rowdy affair. This presentation looks into the early years of Kansas clergy and the colorful characters that made up our early faith communities, including gunmen, abolitionists, and temperance movement leaders.

John Burchill is an author and criminal justice historian who teaches at Kansas Wesleyan University. He is the author of Bullets, Badges, and Bridles: Horse Thieves and the Societies that Pursued Them.

“The center of most early towns in Kansas could be identified by the steeple of the church,” said Burchill. “This geographical prominence also implied the cultural significance of the church and its pastors who, like the Colt .45, helped tame the west.”
“Cowboys and Clerics” is part of the Kansas Humanities Council’s Kansas Stories Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and discussions that examine our shared human experience—our innovations, culture, heritage, and conflicts.

The Kansas Humanities Council conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life of their communities. For more information about KHC programs contact the Kansas Humanities Council at 785-357-0359 or visit

For more information about Cowboys and Clerics contact Trisha Walls, Butler Community College Life
Enrichment, at 316-218-6355 or email