UPPER MARLBORO, Md – The Mighty Men of Valor national conference, held just outside of Washington, D.C., at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden, drew more than 2,500 men last year. The event returns to FBCG on Nov. 7-8 for the 2014 national conference, entitled “The Sleeper Must Awaken.” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is among the featured speakers.
“The MVM conferences provided me with an opportunity to learn from men who lived through battles and had scars to prove it,” says Steve Gangaram of Canada. “These men went through issues that I was going through and they laid out the battle plan on how to become a champion! The MVM Conference is for men who are in need of relevant advice, who need gas in the tank and who are desperate for God to do a new thing in their lives.”
Other announced speakers for this year’s lineup include Pastor Keith Battle of Zion Church in Landover, Md.; Pastor Jeffrey A. Johnson Sr. of Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis, Ind.; Pastor Paul E. Sheppard of Destiny Christian Fellowship in Fremont, Calif.; and Tony Perkins, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council.
Last year’s theme was “Battle-Tested” and the conference was headlined by current and future NFL Hall of Famers, Michael Irvin and Ray Lewis, respectively, as well as ESPN/ABC broadcaster Chris Broussard. Along with several other powerful speakers who led the breakout sessions, each man (and one woman) delivered a strong message from the Lord.
Lewis spoke on “Necessary Endings for New Beginnings,” encouraging men to cease and release things that are holding them back. Irvin told attendees to “Put Up Your Dukes,” bringing his message from 1 Samuel 30:1-8, where David strengthened himself in the Lord. Broussard outlined the “Arenas of Battle,” highlighting society’s increasing hostility toward Christians.
“All of us are in a fight of some kind,” MVM founder Pastor Clifford Ashe told the crowd on opening night. “And we have to do battle against whatever it is. You might be a champion in the featherweight class, but you might have a middleweight fight coming up. And we have the trainers, corner men and cut men – our conference speakers – to help you win.”
The “Battle Tested” theme was prevalent throughout the night, from the boxing ring and punching bags near the front entrance, to the videos of Roy Johnson on overhead monitors, to the pro boxers sparring and working out before the sanctuary opened.
Once inside, attendees saw another boxing ring on the pulpit, banners of fighters in different poses and the overhead lighting found at bouts in Las Vegas. An announcer came forward and a microphone was lowered from the rafters.
“In this corner,” said the announcer, as the lights dimmed and a spotlight beamed on a boxer entering the sanctuary from the rear, “fighting for fear, frustration, anger, adultery, jealousy, hatred, envy and pornography is the master of disaster, the enemy of us all!”
“And in this corner,” said the announcer, as another boxer approached the ring, “fighting for every man, every family and every future, is the undisputed, undefeated champion and representative of us all!”
The devil won the first round, knocking down the man. But the man got up and went into his corner. He got instructions and encouragement from his trainers, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. And then he went out and put the devil on the ropes, pummeling him until scoring a knockout.
He raised his hands in victory, which Pastor Ashe said is the goal for every man who attends..
“When I take a moment to think about what the Mighty Men of Valor Conference has meant to me over the years,” says Dr. James Hobley, of Shreveport, La., “one word comes to mind and that is ‘legacy.’ We have had the opportunity to have legends stand before us and share their souls with us regarding manhood. It has done more good for me than I can ever fully express, as I’ve been able to be around some of the most profound spiritual giants and other brothers as myself who are striving to become spiritual giants.
Discounts rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For additional information on speakers, registration hotels and more, visit the Mighty Men of Valor website.
It’s time for the sleepers to awaken and be about God’s business!
Grab some brothers and meet us in Washington, D.C., Nov. 7-8!