by Lisa Tome
If the men who are huddling up for God need proof that their Training Camp works, they need only to look at their sons.
"It was nice being in the area with all the men praising God. I liked the messages. They were very powerful," said Zack Billingham, 17.
Billingham's father, Rob, who is representing host church, Janes United Methodist, and others from area churches organized the first ever local Training Camp for Christian men last year. The event is returning Saturday, September 13 for a second time, with an expanded format and new and returning keynote speakers.
Training Camp 2014 - Going Deep will be held at Janes United Methodist Church, Rising Sun from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Featured speakers are Pastor Ted Winsley the Chaplain of the Philadelphia Eagles, Pastor Eric Butler the Senior Pastor at True Vine Christian Center, and Worship Leader Brett Rush, pastor at Shiloh Tabernacle in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.
New this year are breakout sessions featuring Dr. Derrick Campbell of The Promised Land Ministry, Darrell "Coach D" Andrews, America's Passion Coach, and Pierre Campbell, who will focus on ministering to youths.
The concept for holding the training program came from Rob Billingham and Steve Basht who attended a similar national program in 2010. The goal of the event is to reach men from all denominations and to "equip and inspire them to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus." Other goals are to make God more "visible and available", reaching men who are earnestly seeking God, equipping men to live as disciples, and inspiring men to make disciples in order to strengthen the kingdom of God.
Rob Billingham said that last year's event drew 150 men from Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, D.C., and New Jersey. He expects this year to be even better with the addition of the breakout sessions and the new speakers.
Hallice Jones is one of the organizers and also attended last year. "I took away the fellowship of men. We can reach out to others through our relationship of being one with Christ," said Jones.
Jones' son, Cedric, 14, also attended last year. "I thought it was amazing - seeing all the men come together to praise God," he said.
Fred Dollenger lives in Rising Sun. He is representing Grace Bible Chapel and attended the Training Camp last year. "I thought it was awesome to see other men from this community and other communities coming together for one God," said Dollenger. "The goal of this is to give us more tools to have a closer relationship with our Lord and savior."
This event is free to all men ages 13 and above. A full breakfast will be provided. Registration is required and is limited to the first 300 men. Register by calling 410-658-0765 or email TrainingCampMD@gmail.com.
There will be a variety of vendors at the event. There will also be a silent auction featuring signed photos, a mini-helmet, and signed football from Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. There will likely be additional items on the auction block.