Paul Stephenson is a Cowboy – sort of. He does own three pair of boots and a Resistol straw hat. He and his family attend the Lone Star Cowboy Church in Red Oak. He even sings in the band. But don’t expect to see this cowboy on a horse. Paul Stephenson rides a bike.
Call him a cowboy cyclist – or a maverick on wheels. Since the mid ‘80s, Stephenson has cycled more than 100,000 miles in training, competitions and other charity rides. Ask him why, he’ll give you a list of reasons.
Stephenson is also an advocate for blood donation. For that – he doesn’t ride, but he does give. “My dad was a surgeon and my mom was a nurse, so I’ve always understood the need for donated blood.” Stephenson has also had family members who have battled cancer, leukemia and diabetes. When it comes to blood donation – he gets it.
What’s a City Boy Doing in a Cowboy Church? As an elder at the Lone Star Cowboy Church in Red Oak, Stephenson began encouraging members to find events and activities that would involve them in the community. “I knew about blood donation and the need it serves, but I wasn’t sure if others understood,” he says. “I thought that hosting blood drives would be one of the best ways to educate people about this need.”
So far, the response has been great. For the last two years the 300-member church has hosted four successful blood drives a year. “I try to push people in fun ways,” Stephenson admits. He’s proud to see enthusiasm for the mission build. “This is a different culture, but we’re still committed to giving back. Blood donation is the perfect way to do that.”