With one church per every 84 people in Wilcox County, Bethsaida Baptist Church’s pastor Don Bell has determined a faith-based and moral approach to calling area men to join together for leadership is an urgent need.
If Wilcox County can do it, then maybe it could be a model for the rest of the state and eventually the nation, he said.
“We are hosting a men’s event for all denominations to bring men together to remind and declare what the role of a man is,” Bell said. “We are going to lose this nation if we don’t.”
Time to Lead Again event
Set for Aug. 26 at the church in Furman, the forum — Time to Lead Again — is for boys and men 13 and up. “It’s open to men of all faiths or men of no faith,” Bell said.
“A lot of men are troubled and frustrated. They see and experience daily the rapid decline of society,” he said. “They are frustrated because they know in their gut they should be leading: family, church, community and nation.
“It is a great concern that a lot of men don’t know how to carry themselves and don’t understand manhood,” Bell explained. “But there’s nothing in our society that couldn’t be fixed if men of faith, biblical men, stand together and lead.
“It’s time for men to lead again and older men to bring the younger men up.”
Fatherlessness an issue
Fatherlessness is part of the problem, said John J. Smithbaker, author of “Man Enough to Forgive.”
“Pastors universally acknowledge that their churches are being overwhelmed with the symptoms of fatherlessness both among boys and men,” he stated.
“The wounds and consequences of a father’s absence is holding many men back from pursuing their God-given purpose as a spiritual leader within the family and in the Church.”
“This is a clarion call to action, as the largest protestant denomination in America, our Southern Baptist churches are well positioned to lead the way, to fill the void.”
Bell’s 4-year-old Belgian Malinois, Eli, will be on hand to assist with the presentations Aug. 26. “Eli is trained in personal protection against forced aggression.
“He will showcase how to remain civil while having the ability to protect, when necessary,” Bell noted. “Men are looking for how to be masculine, but they have to return back to the purpose they were created for. They must live with civility but know they can be menacing. It’s like the lion. The lion has one job and that’s to protect the pride.
“We need to be of men of morals and protect and love at the same time. It’s being aware of our role without inciting violence,” Bell explained.
“It’s about living fully one’s created purpose, being Christ-centered and making a difference.”
Bell anticipates a packed crowd at the upcoming event.
“The more I talk about this, the more men and women quickly affirm the need, and the more I desire to expand the men’s event,” he shared with excitement.
“There’s a lot of interest and it’s grown beyond Wilcox County into Dallas, Butler and Monroe counties.”
Bell hopes to train other leaders across the state and nation so the effort can be duplicated and spread quickly.
Workshop-type classes will follow at another time. They will teach participants how men should greet people, how to act appropriately, build character, grasp responsibilities and understand their purpose as a man, Bell said, noting a man’s ultimate responsibility is to live Christ-centered lives.
For more information, call 251-362-5169.