At least 1,000 men to attend area Promise Keepers rally

Saturday, April 28, 2007

At least a thousand men have confirmed they will attend the Promise Keepers event tonight at the Show Me Center.

The event is locally sponsored, so there is no admission charge; anyone who comes will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis.

"We're prepared to fill it up," said Marc Harris, one of the event organizers.

The Heartland Promise Keepers, the local group hosting the event, hopes that having Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner as keynote speaker will be a drawing card that brings in thousands of men from across the area.

Warner is only part of the event that includes music and other guest speakers.

Southeast Missouri State University men's basketball coach Scott Edgar will deliver the welcoming message.

"He is a Christian man," Harris said. "It's his first year here, and we wanted to lift him up in front of the community."

Another speaker will be Don Ford, president of Kanakuk Ministries. Kanakuk Ministries is a national organization that focuses on teens of high school and college age.

One of its programs, After Dark, is a college outreach program that has reached more than 65,000 college students since 2000. Pure Excitement is a program through Kanakuk Ministries that promotes sexual purity among high school students.

Kanakuk Ministries, which began originally in 1926 in Branson and has grown worldwide, also runs Christian camps during the summer, encouraging participants to focus on their favorite sport.

Chuck Schneider, national men's director of Promise Keepers, will round out the speaker lineup at today's event. He will outline for the participants what the goals and activities are on a national level, Harris said.

Rather than having various musicians perform, this year an eight-member group representing various churches from the area will sing, joined by the Teen Challenge Choir.

"It's incredible how good they are," Harris said, adding "Anyone who hears them will be blown away. I just know the men are going to be blessed."

335-6611, extension 160

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