The Early Years
The Men’s Gathering began as a group of a few men getting together for a guy’s weekend in the late 2000’s. This was a weekend of camping with just the boys where we would gather to catch up, drink a few beers, smoke a few cigars, and just enjoy a weekend away from our busy lives. Every year we added a few more cousins, uncles, and friends and we created some great memories.
After several years of enjoyment, we decided we wanted to turn the weekend into a public event and allow other men to join in on the fun. We launched the Men’s Rendezvous, our first official event that was held in 2013 at Lakeview Villages. Pastor Keineth discussed Conflict Mediation and taught us about how to biblically handle conflict in our churches and homes. We had about 30 men attend our first gathering.
In 2014 Pastor Dan Lepley reviewed his book On Our Origins and we explored both scientific and scriptural narratives of creation.
The Middle Years
After receiving feedback about our “promiscuous” name, we held the first Men’s Gathering in 2015. This year also brought our 1st Hog Roast which has become a tradition for lunch on Saturday. We also created our Facebook page to promote the event where Dr. Robert Bennet’s topic was: They are Afraid: American Spirituality. We learned about demon possession and spiritual warfare.
In 2016 we welcomed Professor Ben Haupt. The theme for the weekend was Confessing Christ and Living His Mission in the Early Church and Today. Men were encouraged to learn from the early Christian Church and to both stand strong in our confession and fully support Christ’s mission.
The Medieval Challenge was launched in 2017 and became a flagship event for the weekend. Pastor Henderson invited us to build on the Rock of Refuge that we have in Jesus Christ. We were shown how to build a bridge for generations after us to rise above our culture. The weekend was titled Man of God.
The Men’s Gathering Today
The event really began to grow in 2018. We launched a website which allowed attendees to register online. We also heavily focused on promoting the event to get the word out. Dr. Joel Biermann from the St. Louis seminary came to discuss Woman and Man According to God’s Plan. We learned about God’s natural law, the order he has built into creation, and how this applies to all areas of our life. We also allowed attendees to arrive on Thursday to participate in our newly created 3G activities which included a golf outing, shooting guns on the range, or giving back to camp. We also introduced Brews and Ques on Saturday night, an opportunity for attendees to question the main speaker while enjoying a few refreshments.
2019 was our largest gathering yet with close to 130 attendees! Pastor Jeffrey Hemmer, author of Man Up! The Quest for Masculinity joined us as the main speaker. Men were left with The Battle Plan to daily remind them to Pray, Love, Give, and Fight.
After taking a hiatus for 2020 in response to the pandemic, we eased back in with an informal gathering in 2021 and a full-blown gathering in 2022 – welcoming from states near and far, as Rev. Dr. Adam Koontz taught on Tyranny and Resistance. 2022 also saw us introduce a second gathering in the fall. This allowed additional men to attend one of these great weekends and was aimed at being an informal generational gathering allowing fathers to bring their sons.
We’re expecting the Men’s Gathering of 2023 to again max out the capacity of the facilities at Lakeview Villages as we welcome Rev. Jonathan Fisk.
Thank you to all the past attendees, volunteers, and speakers for your role in making the Men’s Gathering what it is today!