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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Spokane

Promise Keepers convene

It was a guys’ weekend out, with more than 8,000 men yelling and cheering on a sunny autumn day.

But it wasn’t a sporting event that brought them to Spokane Arena on Saturday; it was Promise Keepers’ two-day conference.

Promise Keepers is an international Christian men’s organization. Since it was founded in 1990, more than 5.5 million men have attended conferences held throughout the United States. The organization’s mission is to “ignite and unite men to become passionate followers of Jesus Christ.”

This is Ken Warren’s seventh Promise Keepers conference. He and his 10-year-old son, Josh, came from Vancouver, Wash., to attend the organization’s first major conference in Eastern Washington.

What is it that brings Warren back year after year? “It always addresses relevant needs and how God works in our lives. It’s dynamic and applicable,” said Warren.

“I think it’s really good and really fun. I enjoy the speakers and the music,” said Josh, who is attending his first conference.

The theme for this year’s Promise Keepers event is “Unleashed: Releasing the Raw Power of Your Heart.” Spokane is one of 19 cities where a conference is being held this year.

The event includes motivational speakers, interactive sessions, music, dramatic skits and an altar call where hundreds of men come forward to pray together.

An estimated 600 to 800 local volunteers participated in the event Saturday, and attendees donated nonperishable food items for Union Gospel Mission.

Statistics indicate that men’s participation in American church life is declining and that women make up 61 percent of congregations.

According to Promise Keepers, the organization presents a program that gets men’s attention and points them in the direction of Christian faith and lifestyle, bringing them back to church.

The organization also produces resources, provides training and networks to help local churches and pastors “equip their men for passionate living and excellent service.”

Women aren’t prohibited from attending, and a few were there Saturday. But the organization believes that men are much freer and more open in expressing their emotions when women aren’t there.

This is Rich Deandre’s third Promise Keepers conference.

“Going to this event is a way to get back to basics of how to be the best husband and father and a better servant of God,” said Deandre.

Some accuse the group of promoting men as masters of the home. Deandre’s wife, April, thinks it’s the opposite.

“I encourage him to go. He comes home and asks me where he’s failed,” April Deandre said in a phone interview while her husband was at the conference. “It’s a very important event for men who are serious about being a Godly man, an honoring husband and a responsible father.”

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