Monty Rieck
Monty Rieck

Local author Monty Rieck will be at Chaucer’s Books for a talk and signing of his book “I Am Eli: Chasing the World While Being Chased: The Monty Rieck Story,” 6 p.m. Thursday, March 9 at 3321 State St., Santa Barbara.

Nicknamed the Cowboy Preacher, Rieck, knows trouble. Before becoming a minister of Christ, he chased all the world had to offer, leaving him desperate for answers, he said. Little did he know, he was the one being pursued.

Despite suffering financial loss, emotional heartbreak and physical pain, he finally found what he was looking for, which changed everything, including his identity.

“I’m a cowboy, fourth-generation plumbing contractor, former building inspector and construction superintendent,” Rieck said. “My life is marked by extremes — working hard, playing harder, tragedy and suffering followed with true joy.

“My dream was to become a professional rodeo calf roper. But God had other plans. I can only give God the credit for my survival, and for showing me his love.

“Later in life, I hung up my spurs, began recovering from numerous injuries and became a minister of Christ. Along the way, I’ve seen the absolute healing power of God as I prayed for those God put in my path.”