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Clyde Dowling

EncourageMen Member

Snellville, GA


I’ve been attending the EncourageMen men’s fellowship breakfast for about 2 years now. After being persistently “encouraged” attending the meetings by Leon Byrd on numerous occasions, I finally decided to attend. For me, 7:00 am on a Saturday morning was usually reserved for catching up on sleep after a long week. I figured that I could sacrifice 1 ½ hours to fellowship with men that are all after the heart of God.

My first visit was just to check things out to see what it was all about. It was great to see guys of different race, from different churches and from different social backgrounds come together to study God’s word and allow “iron to sharpen iron” as it says in Proverbs 27:17. Initially, I didn’t know what to expect as I’m a person that have to get used to my surroundings before I feel comfortable enough to open up. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an opportunity to “wait and see”. The format of the meeting was such that each guy was required to introduce himself, state where he was from; state whether he was married and how many kids he had, if any. I wasn’t expecting that, especially on my first visit. But, it turned out well. After the first visit, I found myself attending the breakfast meetings with more frequency. I began to realize how much I longed for a place where men could be men, a place where we didn’t always have to be the “man”. We could be vulnerable, defenseless, not having to put on a mask or a façade as most men do. It’s amazing now to see that my wife is encouraging me to attend, especially on the mornings when I tired and experiencing a bout of the “don’t feel like its”.

One of the things I like about EncourageMen is that each guy, if he so chooses, has an opportunity to lead the bible studies. This allows us to receive insight from different life experiences and biblical perspectives. I appreciate that because that we should be able to learn from each other. I’ve made several new friends and acquaintances while attending EncourageMen.  More importantly, I believe that I’ve grown closer to God because I am held accountable by my brothers. The bible study topics always challenges my faith and encourages me to be a better husband, father and servant of the Lord. To me, that’s what it’s all about; “growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ”.  I can’t wait to see where God is going to take “EncourageMen”.

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