Manpower 2003: were AME's there? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

I returned Saturday from Atlanta,GA and Manpower2003. Manpower is the annual Conference for men given by TD Jakes Ministries. This year it was held at the Georgia Dome and drew a large number of Brothers from all over the country. I would guess that there were 20,000 or so there. Seven Brothers travelled down from my church. It was awesome to be at the airport and seeing so many Brothers, all ages, streaming off the planes. Folks trvaeled by bus, church vans and planes to press their way to Atlanta. Of all the church vans I saw outside the Dome and at the various parking lots I did not one van or bus marked as an AME Church. Plenty of Baptist and Pentacostal but no AME. What' up with that? The thousands of Brothers, on one accord, praising and worshipping the Lord was remarkable. The preaching was outstanding in spite of some theological issues that provided us some fodder for an impromptu Bible Study discussion afterwards. If anybody ever wanted to know what "cheerful giving" looked like it was there. However, as one of our brothers pointed out, if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing at home (tithing) , you don't have to feel guilty of not writing your check of $120 as requested. I agree. We made offerings but not to that extent. We bought tapes of some of the sermons and will be playing them and having discussions at Men's Fellowship. There were many breakthroughs at this meeting. Brothers were moved to another level. It was all positive so I would imagine the press never covered it. Rev Jackson wasn't there. Farrakhan wasn't there. Therefore, the news media form outside Atlanta was not there. We were across the street from CNN and I am not sure if they mentioned it. Maybe someone can let me know. 20,00 Men of Color involved with positive, Godly fellowship is not newsworthy. I would love to see 20,000 AME Brothers at a gathering like this. What would that do for the Spiritual Walk of Brothers in the church? Were there any AME's there? Let me know. If, in your opinion, they should not have been there, let the Board know that too. God Bless Bro. Bob

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003


Bro. Bob, I am a female and I attended the Woman Thou Art Loose and I feel you. But is awesome seeing so many men of color on a spiritual adventure. I attened the ManPower Conference in 2001 in St. Petersburg, FL and it made me feel so good to see all those men of color coming together for such a spiritual event. The media here as well as CNN covered this event well. Yes the AME men should have such a conference it would help them take their rightful place as leaders in the AME church, don't misunderstand me, women are good leaders but according to the Bible men are suppose to be the head.God bless you my brotherfor going to this eventto broaden your spiritual horizon, and I know you are fired up for Jesus and the work of the church.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

Bro. Bob could it be that A.M.E. men were not at the gathering because they did not know about it Since Bishop T.D Jakes is not A.M.E. how would our brothers know. It probably was not publicized in our denomination. If I had known I certainly would have made an announcement in my church. Keep us posted for the next event.

Here's a thought since there will be so many people at General Conference, perhaps the A.M.E. church can have an extra day before or after conference where men can have their own "Spiritual Breakthrough day. We have some dynamic men in this denomination and they could lead it. It shouldn't be too hard to organize. A conference room in a hotel for a day. Or use several of our A.M.E. churches in the area, have invited guests, for speakers. It would be fun!

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

For those of you who do not know. At our General Conference in 2000, the AME Church held a Men's Conference par excellence. Since Richard Allen suggested that July 4th was never intended to include black men, this conference was held on July 4th and served as a Christian alternative to the way we celebrate that day. The only cost was $10 entrance to defray the cost of the arena in which it was held.

I was not a delegate to the General Conference 2000 but Bishop Ming insisted that I should go and asked me to be certain to attend the Men's Conference on July 4th. Thus, he arranged for me to purchase an airfare ticket from Atlanta for $135 round trip.

This was an all day event and was awesome indeed. The array of speakers was fantastic. Talent from across the Connection was on display. If you missed the Liturgical Dances done by the young brothers in our church you really missed a treat. The brothers in our church have talent, which is second to none. Neither T. D. Jakes nor anyone else can surpass what we can do, still do and have done.

Perhaps we have also forgotten that it is reported that T. D. Jakes came out in strong criticism of our church when we decided it was time to elect a woman to the bishopric of our church. I for one did not appreciate his criticism and have since been put off by him.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

One thing I failed to mention is that the AME Christian Men's Conference was based on Galatians 5:1, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." This is a theme which I have since used in the work with the men in my own church.

We live in a day when black men are often in crisis and under attack both in the world and the church so we need to be constantly reminded that Christ has set us free. He said, "If the Son has set you free you will be free indeed." Thus, we would do well to remember that "no weapon formed against us shall prosper" since the Lord has set us free.

As some old preachers used to say, "Somebody ought to say Amen, SAY AMEN LIGHTS!"

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2003

thank you Sister Linda, Rev Rogers and Brother Robert for your quick response to my question. This year's Manpower was the 10th. I realize, Rev Rogers that the event has not been publized throughout the denomination. Basically, is there a reason or is it just a communication issue. It is advertized via many media including BET. There are many Christian conferences and events that are not AME so I keep a look out for ones of interest. Sister Linda, it was announced that There may be joint event called Holy Ghost Explosion next year with the Woman, thou are Loose, the woman's amd Manpower, the Men at the same time and same location but separate venue and program with a joint meeting. They are seeking votes via the website for the city. There is a potential of 50,000 attendees at this one.

Bro Robert, I agree with you we have so much talent within our denomination. I don't remember the Men's Conference at General Conference, mainly because I was so occupied with the Campaign. I preempted you and checked the Discipline so I am posting another question on Men's Fellowship. Thank you for the Scripture that was used. Very helpful, as usual. Thanks Bro Bob

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2003

Ebenezer A.M.E. in Fort Washington, Maryland, where the Rev. Grainger Browning and Dr. Joanne Browning are Pastors, has an awesome men's retreat every year around the third weekend in Nov. I highly recommend it.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2003

Envy has ugly head and i think is rearing itself in our zion. I was @ the manpower 2003 and it was great. I dont believe that T.D. Jakes was trying to step on anybody toes or zion. He came with a word from the Lord thats all. The most wonderful thing about whole conference was men color worshipping God and was not afraid to express it openly. I cannot say the same for our zion even in our local churchs. when was last time you saw one of our bishops openly express love for God in praise and worship. The only one i can say is bishop bryant, thank you bishop bryant for not being what the church says how bishops should be DEAD AND COLD TO THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD.

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2003

I read about Manpower 2003 while awaiting a connecting flight at the Hartsfield Atlanta Airport. I don't recall an announcement at either my Episcopal District Sons of Allen of my local church about the event. The no-shows or small AME turnout for an event such as this is even more noteworthy than the event itself since too many of our AME churches are attended by women who rarely if ever worship with their husbands, fiancees` or significant others. QED

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2003

Bro. Brown I must say that your words seems a bit harsh, Bishop Bryant is one of our Premier Preaching Bishops, but I have seen some of our other Bishops really let the Lord use them. I don't think we should be so much as comparing Bishops and conferences as we should discussing the things that was learned from these conferences.

-- Anonymous, August 06, 2003

Thank you Rev Phillips for your comments. While I don't think that it necessary to compare Bishops, it may be worth looking at ourselves. He was sharing what he learned, the power of Brothers getting together to worship. I suspect that there were a number of AME's in Atlanta but not in an identifiable group. There were lots of vans, t- shirts etc to know that other denominations were present. I posted my remarks in hope to get the Brothers around the connection to assess the Men's Fellowship at their churches. The Council of Bishops addressed the same issue and concern and assigned Bishop Talbott to head up the effort to stregthen the Son of Allen. There are strong Sons of Allen units in some districts but not in every district. What I learned at Manpower was that our AME Connectional needs to utilize our resources to bring more men to God, develop men as leaders within local churches, and provide a ministry for the men. As Bro Bill pointed out, there is a smaller percentage of men in the Church than women. A United Methodist study bears that out but I would guess that the statistic applies to most church denominations. There is work to do and I would hope that a Men's Fellowship like Sons of Allen will go a long way to increase to men in our churches. The preamble of the SOA says it all.

God Bless Bro Bob

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2003

The responses to this post are interesting and range from enthusiam among Manpower attendees to charges that some of our members are envious. I would think that we need to challenge ourselves by closely observing and intently listening to determine what is the theology of these various ministries, and then decide if those beliefs are in harmony with what we personally embrace. Many times we are so taken away with the shouting, dancing, prophesying, and tongue speaking that we place our ability to reason "on hold." And, mind you, there is nothing wrong with any of those things in a worship experience. [ I am a life-long member of the AMEC, and I don't have a problem pickin' 'em up and puttin' 'em down (dancin' for the Lord) and I believe that one needs to be SAVED, SANCTIFIED, AND BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY GHOST.]But we have to ask ourselves after the convention has closed and we have shouted and run 100 yard dashes around the auditorium, once our feet come back down are we on solid spiritual ground. Many of us are intrigued by the phenomenal growth rate of these ministries and think that we must mimick them to ensure growth in the AMEC. Stop, look, and listen closely!!! While we give all glory, laud and honor to these ministries, some of the leaders don't hesitate to take aim at us. Is there room for improvement? Of course. Let's further challenge ourselves to revisit Richard Allen's vision, which was Godly inspired and Biblically sound. Real vision stands the test of time and our Zion yet stands.

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2003

The Hymn Lover opines -

............"Let's further challenge ourselves to revisit Richard Allen's vision, which was Godly inspired and Biblically sound. Real vision stands the test of time and our Zion yet stands." I would like to know how a revisitation of Richard Allen's vision can bring men back to the AMEC? I am in full agreement that the AMEC doesn't have to mimic other denominations in the varying modes of worship. However, the conspicuous absence of men in our sanctuaries and ministries is quite real. I have known many fine and outstanding women over the years yet it is remarkable how I have never seen their spouses participating in worship. Even if I was not Christian and an active church goer I would at least care enough for my spouse to share in her worship experience. Correcting the problem of male absenteeism requires a reasoned plan of action. Many men perceive the church as unattentive to their needs or representing other-wordly citadels managed by ego-maniacal clergymen. The results are alienation within the nuclear family. QED

-- Anonymous, August 07, 2003






-- Anonymous, September 03, 2003

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