Rev Cliff Ashe1001

Rev. Cliff Ashe, founder and president pastor of Mighty Men of Valor.

The Mighty Men of Valor held their annual, two-day national conference at First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, Md. on Nov. 7-8.

The group’s mission is to build up men to serve Christ.  Their goal is to raise gold men who serve their families, communities and churches.  This conference brings together men as enthusiastic role models to share their experiences with other Christian men and to train the young men in discipleship and leadership skills.  This year’s conference theme was ‘Wake Up Mighty Man: The Sleeper Must Awaken.’

“Our speakers will serve in the same way alarm clocks serve as a means of waking us up out of our sleep,” said Rev. Cliff Ashe, founder and president pastor. “Their purpose is to train, strengthen and remind you to wake up.  Most men hear the warnings, but aren’t ready to get up.  They hit the snooze button and find out later what I’ve come to believe in my own life.”

The first day of the conference started with hundreds of men filling up the church’s sanctuary, greeting familiar and new faces.  They then transitioned into praise and worship with First Baptist Church’s minister of music Minister Stephen Hurd.

Following praise and worship, the first speaker of the conference, Rev. Jeffrey A. Johnson, Sr., came to the podium to a standing ovation.  Rev. Johnson is currently senior pastor of Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis, Ind. He is also the author of three books and previously served as the assistant chaplain for the Indiana Pacers.  He is married with four sons.  Johnson’s title for his message was ‘The Making of a King.’  He spoke about how to raise sons and men to be kings.

“Jesus was the only one born a king,” Johnson told the crowd of men who had their eyes glued to him.  “Everybody else was made a king.  Jesus was king when he arrived while he was here on Earth and will be king now and forevermore.”

Johnson also discussed how not having a father figure in his life made him who he is today.  “When your responsibility is greater then your level of maturity, don’t give up, grow up,” Johnson said.  “I was focusing more on the absence of my father more then the presence of my mother.  I was focusing more on the negativity of the father then the love of my mother.”

On day two Rev. Keith Battle, pastor of Zion Church in Landover, Md. discussed how to stay strong when it comes to women.  “People use to wear rubber bands around their wrists because that was the style and it was fashionable to wear,” he said.  “But I used mine for a different reason.  When you pull a rubber band and let it go while it’s on your wrist, it hurts and brings pain.  So every time you feel the temptation to do something that is not right, use the rubber band.  This has got me through a lot of difficult times.”

Tony Perkins, president of the Washington D.C.-based Family Research Council, spoke about the general theme for the conference, ‘Men Waking Up.’ “We must awaken to the meaning of being the people of God,” Perkins said with enthusiasm as he spoke to the crowd of men.  “We were not asked to die for Jesus, we’re asked to live for him.  Men, it’s time to wake up and be the men of God and stop hitting the snooze button.”

After Perkins, the men broke into workshops where different speakers spoke on different topics.  Some of the topics included ‘The Secret to a Great Man,’ ‘Saving Our Sons,’ Making War with Sexual Sin’ and Marriage as a Man’s Mirror.

“This is not a sermon,” ESPN Sports Journalist Stephen A. Smith told the group of men.  “This is a conversation.  I leave the sermons to Pastor Jenkins and those who are qualified to do so.”

Smith gave advice and tips the men could take with them once they left the church. “I cover multi-million dollar athletes and they have the same complaints as you,” Smith said.  “Without God I have nothing, but with him I have everything.  When you’re about something, its contagious.  People not only want to be around you, but they also want to help you out…I’m brilliant.  You want to know why I’m brilliant?  Because I know I’m not.”

Next year’s conference will address the theme “Getting Your Second Wind.”