This year the Grace Brethren Church of Clinton’s annual men’s retreat was held in a somewhat unusual venue—home. Instead of packing and traveling for the weekend, GBC’s men held a day-long conference at the church April 20.

From group sessions to playing basketball, GBC showed how much of a family they really are. The event reflected the spirit of GBC’s mission: To worship God’s Person; to learn more about God’s word; to enjoy being in God’s family and to reach out to God’s World.

GBC Senior Pastor Irving Clark II told the AFRO that the purpose of this conference was not a weekend road trip but a spiritual opportunity for “God to meet men where they are. I want them to meet God, and for Him to do whatever He wants to do.”

With people coming from different environments for one purpose–to learn more about their devotion to God– the stay-at-home retreat was a memorable experience, according to many of the participants. GBC Youth Minister Dayne Carraway said “It’s good to see people from different locations beside ours. This was a well-planned event.”

First Baptist Church of Glenarden associate pastor and author, the Rev. Johnny Parker Jr. was one of the many featured speakers at the conference. Parker, a highly regarded public speaker, told the men, “When a man promotes God’s agenda, God promotes the man…When a man promotes his own agenda, he is on his own.”

His remarks were inspiring for GBC’s men, Clark said. “I want them to move forward in their walk with the Lord …allowing God to speak to their hearts and being obedient,” Clark stated.

Clark added that he was pleased that the crowd included young men. “I was excited to see the young guys come out,” Clark said.

GBC began in 1962; its first service held at Forestville Elementary School. They moved to the current location on Surratts Road in 1996. They then celebrated the enfolding of Bethel Church on Jan. 14, 2001 becoming a multicultural congregation of brothers and sisters in Christ. Their motto is: “The Bible, The Whole Bible and Nothing but the Bible.” Their desire is to grow in grace.

For more information about Grace Brethren Church, go to


Courtney Jacobs

AFRO Staff Writer