PASTOR ESCHOL COSBY
Branded for Christ Baptist Church--
Read his testimony.
You can turn off the sound
Cosby is unknown to many of you readers, but some of you heard his Christian Cowboys
singing group in past years on the West Coast of the USA. Also, Allan McGill
got his start with Eschol, and Eschol's testimony rubbed off here and there and
played a part in the salvation of Stewart Hamlin and Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
The blessing is this-- Eschol NEVER made the compromises necessary to stay
famous. So, he now pastors Branded for Christ Baptist Church in Sunsites,
Arizona. Of course, all the folks in Sunsites are real proud of Eschol because
he is a link to the days of real cowboys and wranglers who did their work with
no Hollywood image to prop them up.
is a blessing to know brother Cosby personally. We have loaded the CD we
sell with plenty of his preaching and singing. Eschol and Joan Cosby have
a big family also, and they are all serving the Lord and singing up a storm all
over the USA. Here are a few gems to bless you and let you enjoy the zeal
of this dear brother.
shares these later years of his life with his sweetheart, trail partner, and fellow
worker in Christ, Joan Cosby-- No other wife for brother Cosby-- They have been
the only ones for each other.
is Eschol a long long time ago. In Eschol's wrangling day, a cowboy wanted
to break his own horse. Eschol claims he can still show you the bush that
he landed on when this horse bucked him off.
HERE IS ESCHOL
COSBY'S ACCOUNT OF HIS EARLY DAYS:
his book, Branded For Christ, which is also the name of Brother Cosby's
the fall of 1917, Papa packed up his family and a few belongings, and headed for
Arizona. There were no motels then, and of course, no money for such things if
there had been. So we slept out on the ground and cooked on a campfire. We stopped
to see Grandpa and Grandma Cosby on the way.
I remember, we stopped at a beautiful apple orchard in Roswell, New Mexico,and
there was artisan water flowing by. The next night we went past Carrizozo, New
Mexico, to a place they called the Malpais. Anyway, there was no wood to make
a campfire, and we have often laughed about the fact that Papa cooked on a campfire,
using cow chips to burn. Papa said that even when he was in Montana, he never
saw a night so cold or so dark or wet that he could not make a fire. He was a
another thing that we remembered about the trip was, just out of St. John's, Mama
put glycerin on Cecil's and my hands. We were in a hurry to go out and play in
a sand wash, but in a few minutes we came back crying, 'Wash it off! Wash it off!
Our chapped hands were "on fire".
met Uncle Flint, Papa's brother in Holbrook and had a short visit with him. He
was working on a cow ranch near there. Then I remember, we went over to Fort Apache
to spend a night, and we heard the cannon shot the next morning from the Fort.
Also, some Indian squaws came by on burrows the next morning and it made them
mad because Papa took their pictures. Their pictures were real relics from the
there we went on to Springerville, and the next spring, Papa went to work for
a couple named Pat and Joe up in the White Mountains. We were right on the banks
of Black River, so we ate fish almost every day during the summer. Of course it
was illegal to catch them, so that made them taste better (ha ! That was quite
I remember, we were fishing up on Buffalo Creek, and I saw a wolf about a hundred
yards away. I ran back to where Mama and Cecil were, big-eyed and telling them
about it. I said, "But Mama, I've got Papa's knife." It was that summer that I
began riding horseback, and also learned to swing an axe and chop wood.
That fall, as we were leaving
the mountains, we were in our Model T Ford with our belongings in a wagon. It
came a real snowstorm that night, and we camped just short of the crest of the
mountain. Papa made a big bonfire and stretched up a tarp for us to sleep under.
Later on, Mama told me that Papa prayed all night as there was danger of our getting
snowed in. but the next morning, we got the Model T going, and before we knew
it, Mom and Cecil and I were on our way to Round Valley. Papa made it later on
with the wagon.
is Eschol Cosby's Cowboy Band in Los Angeles in the days
when he was going
to the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.
rented a house, and I started to school in Eager, then in Springerville. And I
remember, it was on Easter Sunday morning that Papa took me out rabbit hunting.
He had cut the stock off of a twenty-two rifle for me. It was a snowy morning,
but we found a rabbit and Papa showed me how to take aim and fire. I got him the
spring, we took our belongings in the wagon and made our way out east of town
to a lake called Becker's Reservoir. One of the highlights of that sojourn was
when Papa shot and killed a duck across the lake. The duck finally floated to
shore. and then began what has become almost a tradition with us -- Mom made duck
dumplings. To us, that was a real feast.
times were squally in those days, and yet, as I remember it, I never had a worry
in the world. I felt that Papa could take care of any situation that arose and
I always had something to eat, clothes to wear and a place to sleep. What more
could a boy ask?
only stayed at Becker's Reservoir for a week or so, and then went on to a place
called Cow Springs. We camped out on the mesa west of the draw that first night.
The wind was blowing a gale, and Papa set up our tent. He had a stove inside,
with a pipe going out through a hole that was made for that purpose. He must have
made too big a fire, for soon the blaze was going out the top of the stove pipe.
With the high wind you can imaging how squally it must have been. Soon, we contacted
a man named Cot Ansil, down in the draw, and he offered us his cabin to live in.
the summer, Uncle Lem and family came out to see us. We really enjoyed playing
with our cousins, Virgil, Arvol, and Belva. Arvol and Belva were twins. Well,
Cot Ansil became quite impressed with Cecil. He said. 'That's the best boy I ever
saw. I'm going to give him a horse." And he did. He gave Cecil a little two-year-old
pony we called Pilot. He had a perfect question mark his face, that was turned
backward. Later on, I got a lot of experience in bronc riding, as he got to pitching
few years later, Papa, Enos Pipkins and I had been out riding all day. We had
nothing to eat or drink all day, so we were hot and tired as we arrived home just
before sundown. Coming down the hill, old Pilot broke into a run and bucked all
the way down the hill. Papa yelled, "Stay with him! Stay with him!" It was really
touch-and-go for me, but I rode him. Papa then got on him and gave him a good
while Uncle Lem's family was out there, he and Papa went in together and bought
a ranch about twenty-five miles down the draw, north of Cow Springs that they
called the Cottonwood Ranch. Papa and I went down first, and spent the night there.
Of course, we just slept out on the ground and cooked on a campfire. The next
morning, it was a foggy spring morning, and I got up and went up on the hill for
a walk. I remember it was so refreshing there among the cedars and pinons.
We had the folks to come
down, and Uncle Lem's family went back to Clovis, New Mexico where he had a job
as a brakeman on the railroad. Anyway, we lived in a tent that summer, and then,
Papa took his wagon and team, went to the mountains about twenty miles away, cut
logs, and hauled them down to build a one-room log house for us to live in. I
would dare say that the entire house never cost over twenty five dollars. We even
had a lumber floor. Most people in that area just had a dirt floor in those days.
He also built a fireplace out of the native rock. It was adequate to keep us warm.
We measured the length of the wood with an axe handle.
seems we have a million memories of those days. We trail-herded cattle a hundred
miles to the railroad in the fall. One fall, Cecil went with the LN outfit. Their
shipping point was Holbrook, and they had to cross the Little Colorado River.
There was quicksand there and as the horses started to cross, they were about
to go under. Cecil said one horse got his leg over on his horse, Old Upset, and
was about to drown him. So Cecil jumped in with a double of a rope and started
warping the horses hot and heavy; got them to lunging, and finally got them out.
It was real touch-and-go for a while. My Uncle Lem and family lived in Holbrook
then, so I was there when Cecil rode up. He and his horse both were mud from one
end to the other. Cecil was bearded, busted and disgusted. Trailherding has been
replaced now with trucking.
those days, our branding was by roping and flanking. Now, they run them into a
branding chute. Then, we would take a bronc that was as wild as an antelope, break
him, train him and teach him to work cattle. Sleeping in a bedroll out on the
ground was standard procedure. I knew what it was to sleep under a leaky tarp
in an all-night rain. Also, I knew what it was to throw about six inches of snow
back with the tarp in getting up in the morning, and to cook breakfast on a campfire
out in the cold. So again, you see what I mean when I say, I got in on the last
of an era.
HERE IS ESCHOL'S TESTIMONY OF PERSONAL DEDICATION:
When I was a boy about four
or five years old, we moved to Sanco, Texas. We had relatives there. Three of
Papa's sisters had married Bird boys, and two families of 'Birds' lived there
in Sanco -- Aunt Julia and Uncle Smith Bird and their five children, and also
Aunt Maud and Uncle Ira and their two daughters, although Mary Jo was not born
until after we left.
bought Mr. Craddock' s blacksmith shop, and then built a new building. Well, about
the only buildings in the town were the store and post office, Papa's blacksmith
shop, a school, and two churches -- a Baptist and a Methodist. In those days,
there was very little difference between these two churches. Jokingly, someone
said once that the main difference was that the Baptists were in their church
on one corner singing, Will There Be Any Stars in My Crown? while the
Methodists were in their church on another corner singing, No Not One! No Not
had campmeetings in the summer in those days that would see crowds of up to five
hundred. And my, oh my! What preaching, praying and singing! I remember Uncle
Lem said once that there was a certain older lady there, who, if somebody got
saved that she'd been praying for, you'd just as well clear the aisle -- she'd
have to shout a little. I know that would be considered almost unthinkable now-a-days,
but I think I understand it better now. Couldn't those people be so overjoyed
over someone being saved that it might be expressed in this manner?
In Luke 15:7, Jesus said,
"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth.
more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."
If there's joy in heaven
when someone is saved, would it be out of order for this joy to be expressed among
the Lord's people here on earth when someone is saved?
never even considered missing church in those days. And many times, we would have
the preacher or someone else out for dinner. I remember, Mama taught me to pray:
'Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die
before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.' I also remember Mama and Papa
would kneel down beside their bed at night and have silent prayer for a long time.
I wondered what they could be praying about for such a long time.
There was an old saying
that may not be familiar to you. They had, what they called a "Baptist Pallet".
This was where they let the babies and small children sleep during the evening
church service. I've often said that it takes a good preacher to keep the big
ones awake, and put the little ones to sleep. Perhaps you've heard the story of
the preacher who was going to preach a sermon on the entire Bible. He started
in Genesis, and about an hour and eighty minutes later he said, And now we come
to Amos. Where shall we put Amos?" To this, one man said, "You can give him my
seat if you want to. I'm going home." Anyway. I was introduced to the "Baptist
Craddock was my Sunday School teacher. He usually had picture cards with a lesson
on the back side from which he would teach the Sunday' School lessons. Somehow,
although I could not have given you a theological definition of it, the Deity'
of Christ was something I took for granted. To me, Jesus was God, and that was
small as the town was, they had campmeetings in the summer that drew people from
as far away as Dallas and Fort Worth. People were baptized in a river, not in
a baptistry. On one occasion, my' mother (along with about a dozen others) was
being baptized, and they' were singing the old song. Where He Leads Me I will
To me, the question was personal. It was just as if the Lord was speaking tome
personally. and saying, "Will you follow me?" And I remember, I was not only willing,
but eager to say, "Yes." The question seemed to be repeated, as if the
Lord was saying. "Do you really mean it?" And there again, I was eager
to say, "Yes! Yes!"
Just a few years ago I wrote a song about
will need to turn off the embedded music at the top of the page
the following Real Audio files.
Listen to Eschol Cosby singing the song he wrote about his salvation
[ Real Audio]
his golden years, brother Cosby has written a song about the autumn of life. This
is not a well known song in the world at this time, but we have brother Cosby's
permission to put it up for you here.
When the Autumn Leaves of Life are Turned to Gold-- By Eschol Cosby
to Eschol and Joan Cosby!
50 years of marriage - June 1999!
9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy
vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for
that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under
Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept
"Desert Rat" gets born again and the change is startling
is a Good News item that blessed us all. Two weeks ago a man was visiting
Sunzonia which is about 30 miles south of Willcox, Arizona. The man was
vacationing there as he had many times before. He was at the local store
to buy things when an old fellow came riding up to the store on a bicycle. The
man was scruffy and raggedly. His hair was long and flying out in all directions,
and he showed all the signs of a desert rat who could not care less how he looked.
He was known locally as a recluse hermit who lived a wild existence in the
the vacationing man spoke to the old fellow and showed himself friendly, but that
was the end of the thing. The vacationer thought little more about it. This
last week the vacationer was again at the store buying supplies. And again
the same old man came riding up to the store on his bicycle. But there was
a startling difference. The vacationer told later how he looked and looked
at the old timer in amazement. At first the vacationer thought it was someone
else, but then he felt sure enough to speak to the old fellow.
The vacationer introduced
himself again and asked the old fellow if he was the same man he had spoken to
the week before. The old man said he was. The vacationer later said
he was bolled over by the difference in the old man. His hair had been cut--
he was very clean-- and he had new clothes on. His bearing was even
more genteel and friendly. The vacationer could not stand the suspense, and he
asked the old fellow why the great difference in his appearance. The old
man told the vacationer, "Well, I have been listening to Brother Eschol Cosby
on the radio for some time, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior last week."
explained it all. There was no one there from Hyles Anderson College to
explain the dress code to the old fellow. The Holy Ghost can do a fine job
of cleaning up anyone, once they are born again. The vacationer was kind
enough to call the Cosby's and tell them the story, and it has been a great source
of encouragement to them. But, now we have still got a real case of suspense--
We still do not know who the old man is. He needs fellowship and encouragement,
so pray that the Cosby's will be able to find him and rejoice together with him
KIND TRIBUTE TO EXCHOL AT AGE 96
YOU "BRANDED FOR CHRIST?"
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