First Baptist Gulfport hosts second annual ‘Man Church’ event

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:15 PM CST
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Members at First Baptist Gulfport didn’t hesitate to join the Man Church service, especially since the event was canceled last year due to COVID-19.

The head of the men’s ministry, Andy Ratcliffe, said it’s a chance to take a break and to learn what it means to be a good example.

“It goes hand in hand with the goal of our ministry team. Which is, in essence, to grow men to be leaders, not just in the community but in our home and in the church,” said Ratcliffe.

Robert Newman traveled to the event to support because he appreciates that the church sets aside time to give men the word while encouraging them to be more of a leader in their everyday life.

“Christ is the head of the church. We are Christ-like and we’re looking to lead our families. We need more men like that. We need more leaders in society that can be there for their families. That’s why I’m excited to be here,” said Newman.

Men of all ages across the coast filled the church’s pews and their stomachs. Ratcliffe explained that folks were excited to taste the flavors from celebrity grillers with smoked pork.

“We have a whole hog being barbecued, it was smoked last night by Jamie Bates and Marcio Borguezan from hog addiction barbecue. He’s a competitive guy so it adds more to the event,” said Ratcliffe.

After folks ate, people went into the sanctuary to listen to the word from veteran pro baseball coach Steve Smith and former pro baseball player Barry Lyons.

“It’s important to speak to them and want them to hear the message. It’s an opportunity to encourage others,” said Lyons.

Smith explained that the pressures of being a man can take a toll sometimes, which is why it’s refreshing for them to be acknowledged.

“We don’t have a bunch of guy friends we talk to and share our hearts with. Maybe we can get a little transparent and find out problems they’re having isn’t just unique to them,” said Smith.

Organizers said the church wants to remind us that it’s a safe space for everyone, from all walks of life.

“Whatever we can do to just fellowship and grow with each other, throughout the local community, and help. We’re here for everybody,” said Ratcliffe.

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