Steve Dyer's love for horses has merged with his call to the ministry. He is the founder of SBH Stables, or Sermons by Horseback. Submitted Photo.
Submitted Photo

Steve Dyer’s love for horses has merged with his call to the ministry

ZENA, OKLA. – Much like the American circuit riders who spread the gospel throughout the frontier areas of the United States during its formative years, Steve Dyer is using horses to share the gospel with hurting people.

Steve’s career path includes television sports anchor, church planter, pastor, high school and college teacher, and missionary with stints in Saudi Arabia the Navajo Reservation in Utah.

Steve’s passion for horses began early in life. He has been riding horses since he was 10-years-old and training horses at 12-years old.

A Shetland pony was Steve’s first horse.

“He was probably the meanest pony who ever lived,” Steve said. “He bucked, kicked and bit me every day. My parents thought I would lose interest because he was so awful, but it only made me more determined to ride.”

Throughout his adult years, while there was always a horse in the background, it wasn’t until he returned to Oklahoma where he established SBH Stables, a horse riding and training business in Delaware County.

As a young married couple Steve and his wife Cindi had the opportunity to purchase a piece of property that would have been ideal for horses. Everything lined up – but the young couple didn’t have a peace about it the situation.

The gut-wrenching tug at Dyer’s heart prompted the couple to walk away from their dream.

“We always knew obedience to God was the key to contentment and blessings,” Steve said. 

Many years later SBH Stables, or Sermons by Horseback was born.

“I call it my semi-retirement dream job,” Steve said.

The 7-acre farm is home to six horses that belong to the Dyers and two or three more horses in training. 

“These days I train mostly wild mustangs,” Steve said. 

“I realized some of the techniques I use to train the horses were similar to the way God deals with me.”

— Steve Dyer

In 2017, Steve entered the Extreme Mustang Makeover where trainers have 100 days to tame a wild horse and then compete in a show. The process was documented on YouTube and since then he’s had a steady stream of people asking him to train mustangs.

“I also train domestic horses, mostly Quarter Horses and Paints,” Steve said. “Our goal is to introduce people to horses and help them live their dreams of riding and interacting with these noble animals.” 

Steve is known for bringing his horses to different church settings and underneath the branches of a tall oak tree Steve is perched on top of his brown and white paint horse named Runner preaching the gospel. The missionary and former pastor uses horse sermons to teach and illustrate Biblical principles.

“I used to come in the house from training horses and tell my wife about things the Holy Spirit had shown me while I was working with the horses,” Steve said. “I realized some of the techniques I use to train the horses were similar to the way God deals with me. I pressure the horse with a stick or rope until he does what I ask. God has pressured me many times until I did as He asked.”

Standing next to Silver, a pale Buckskin, and gently brushing him, Steve starts off one of his most popular sermons saying people need boundaries – just like Silver. 

Steve talks about as a young man he thought God didn’t want him or anyone else to have fun because of all the rules his parents, church, school and society had laid down. But as Steve grew in his walk with God and he started a family he realized those were not harsh, archaic rules but boundaries set up by a loving Father.

As Steve began to train horses, he began to realize the horse would like nothing more than to break free from the halter, jump the fence and run away and be free. Problem was the horse would injure himself or being fatally wounded, he said.

The connection clicked.

In 2014, Steve started recoding these Biblical insights for his YouTube channel. He often uses the “Boundaries” sermon when speaking to children and teenagers.

Surrounded by horses has created other means to connect with people and allowed Steve to relate the gospel in unusual means.

While living in Saudi Arabia, Steve was teaching a young lady how to do some training exercise with horses.

“She noticed the cross on the side of my spurs,” Steve said. “She asked me about it, and I began to share with her that the cross represents forgiveness of sins that we Christians have as a result of Christ’s sacrifice.”

She began to cry as the Spirit of God touched her heart, he said.

Steve is no stranger to using unconventional means to preach God’s word. While pastoring Newsong Church in Grove, Okla., one Sunday morning he handed to each adult an envelope containing $100, while the children received $50.

The Great Trust Adventure was a sermon series based on the parable of the landowner and his three servants. Before leaving for a trip, he leaves the servants with different sums of money or talents. Two servants invested their money while the third servant hides his money out of fear of losing the money.

Steve told the congregation they could do with whatever they wanted to do with the money, except gambling or buying lottery tickets, and asked them to return the $100 and any profits they made after six weeks.

One Oklahoma City couple read about Dyer’s adventure in a state newspaper and drove three hours to attend the church service and donate $1,000.

Approximately $12,700 was given out, and not only was the original amount returned but close to $13,000 in profits was also received.

The church used the money for missionary efforts in Asia.

“Those issues – boundaries and trust – are often the issues most people struggle with,” Steve said.


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