By Josh Beavers
The text came at 3:31 on an overcast Thursday afternoon.
It read simply: “Men of Courage starts tonight at 6 p.m.”
I really didn’t want to go. I’d been out every night this week, covering the news or at soccer practice with my youngest or this or that. I was drained and my better half was making spaghetti. She uses a little dab of brown sugar, and it is – in a word – delicious.
But I knew I needed to go to Men of Courage. So, at about 5:45, I pulled on my shoes and pulled myself from the couch and drove the 4.3 miles between my house and the Forestry Building in Minden.
I waited too long. Waited too long to arrive because the place was packed, and I missed out on the free hamburger. And waited too long to go to this monthly meeting of men because it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had in a long time.
According to the Webster Parish Men of Courage Facebook page, “Our mission is to encourage, equip, & empower the Men of God to become spiritual leaders in their home, local church, community, and workplace.” That’s a simple way to say the event serves as a way for men, no matter whether married or single, divorced or widowed or childless, black, or white, Baptist or Methodist or any other denomination, to come together to discuss how to better the world around them via a rededication to their faith, their family, and their common bonds of humanity, decency, and respect.
And that’s what I saw Thursday night. Familiar faces, foreign faces. Fathers and sons. Rich and poor. All equal in God’s eyes. All wanting to make a difference. Humanity. Decency. Faith. Family. God.
Chris Plants, one of the organizers of Men of Courage, called it “Christian deer camp” and an event where you can call or text a friend and say, “hey dude, come eat a burger and hang out with guys you like to talk to and have fellowship and talk about God and Jesus.”
And that’s what happened. Prayers were offered, calls for aid were made, songs were sung, testimony was given, and a message of hope was proffered by the Rev. James Hester of Social Springs Baptist Church in Ringgold.
I won’t go into the words shared because I wouldn’t do them justice. But just know that the words spoken by the men behind the microphone moved me to put my fingers to the keyboard and encourage others in the community to learn more about Webster Parish’s Men of Courage.
It’s new and growing and needs support and attendance. Search for them on Facebook. The next meeting is October 21st at 6 p.m.
I plan to be there.
And I hope you are as well.