Blessing of the Bows unites hunters

IDLEWILD — It was called the Blessing of the Bows and the recent mid-August event at God’s True Vine Church in Idlewild drew plenty of interest.

Events, including archery shooting, was conducted on the church grounds. Robert “Bear” McLeod of Idlewild was involved with the event and explained the key reason behind it.

“We’re trying to bring the community together in different events and this is one of the events we’re trying to bring them together with,” he said, “and that church is more than sitting in a pew singing songs. They can come out here enjoying the outdoors as well. We’re making it a family event so everybody can get involved.”

BULLSEYE: Clay Cooper watches as Mark Hickox of Idlewild tests his archery skills at the Blessing of the Bows. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

McLeod said it marked his third time with the event. The second one was two years ago in September at Assembly of God. The first one was in Battle Creek.

“It rained all day and we still had 57 people show up even,” McLeod said.

The archery shooting involved different age groups.

“And we’re teaching the younger ones how to shoot bows, ones that have never been here before,” said McLeod, referring to the sponsoring group, Men of Purpose, from the church. “When I first started doing Blessing of the Bows, I didn’t know how to use sights. One the experts that we have with us taught us. That’s our goal to teach people how to use bows. There’s different groups that have come in and have been a part of this. A whole bunch of people have sponsored us.”

Prizes were given to archery winners.

McLeod said the hope is for the “Blessing of the Bows” to be an annual event.

The name resembles Baldwin’s major Blessing of the Bikes event but McLeod said he picked up the title while in Battle Creek.

“I used to go to a church and we put it together down there,” he said.

Pastor Everett Bowen “blessed” the bows during the event.



Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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