Searching for the Truth in the King James Bible;
Finding it, and passing it on to you.

Steve Van Nattan


Branded for Christ Baptist Church--
Sunsites, Arizona

  Read his testimony.


You can turn off the sound here

Eschol 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.  

It 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.

Eschol 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.

This 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.  


From his book, Branded For Christ, which is also the name of Brother Cosby's radio program

In 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.

Then 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 real pioneer.

Well, 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".

We 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 trip.

From 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 a summer.

Once, 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.

This is Eschol Cosby's Cowboy Band in Los Angeles in the days
when he was going to the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.

He 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 first shot.

That 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.

Well, 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?

We 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.

During 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 with us.

A 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 working over.

Well, 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.

It 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.

In 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.


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.

Papa 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 One!

They 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?

We 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 Pallet".

Mr. 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 that!

As 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 follow

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 this experience.

You will need to turn off the embedded music at the top of the page
before playing the following Real Audio files.

Listen to Eschol Cosby singing the song he wrote about his salvation
[ Real Audio]

In 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

Congratulations to Eschol and Joan Cosby!
50 years of marriage - June 1999!

Ecclesiastes 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 the sun.



2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Sept. 12, 1998--  
"Desert Rat" gets born again and the change is startling everyone.

Here 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 desert.

Well, 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."

That 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 in Christ.












background by mary van nattan