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Most of the members attend Johnson Ferry Baptist, but about five other area churches are also represented. Men with no church membership also attend. Members range in age from young men beginning their careers to retirees. Those who have attended meetings for a while are sometimes trained as table leaders to lead the small group discussions.
"It has been a very gratifying thing for me," he said. "My desire is to see us reach out much broader in our community."
resident Bill Castleberry of Links Ministries Inc. It meets early Monday morning each week at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in east Cobb. All men are welcomed to attend, regardless of their religious affiliation. No registration is required.
"Women are much better at relating to each other than men; we tend to keep things to ourselves and internalize everything," said east Cobb resident Harry Hammond, a vice president of Keller Williams Properties.
Independent Christian group offers spiritual rest stop
For such times, the East Cobb Men's Fellowship offers a spiritual rest stop for men who need a time to stop and reflect upon their lives and gain insight into where they are called to be.
"Some of the issues we've been dealing with over the last six months has been, a couple of guys who have daughters either in or just out of college that are just kind of struggling to get on with life," said Castleberry, who is a small group leader.
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"We're trying to help men understand God's word so that they can be the spiritual leaders of their homes, businesses, communities and, of course, their churches," said Castleberry, 71.
"This group gives you an opportunity, as you get to know each other, to bear your soul and share some of the things that you just would not share with other people. Things you may not even want to talk to your wife about or your kids. It's a safe haven."
No matter the topic, the confidentiality of discussions is stressed by the organization.
it with life circumstances," said Hammond, 69. "It's an opportunity to meet with men who are mutually committed to having the Lord work in their lives."
EAST COBB Life can become stressful and sometimes seem overwhelming in these days of economic uncertainty and other challenges.
"One guy said I've got a daughter that seems to have no sense of direction or motivation, and willing to sit on the couch all day long."
off their shoulders."
In the past year, the East Cobb Men's Fellowship has grown by about 20 percent, according to its leadership.
Castleberry, who retired from manufacturing management, said his life was profoundly changed when he was invited to a Bible study as a young man. Since that experience, his interests have been focused on getting other men together to become closer to God.
Jim Roberts, 63, of east Cobb, an original member who owns a computer services company, said he has seen many men grow and become blessed during their time as members of the group.
Hammond is a regular devotional leader, but the group sometimes has guest speakers. Bryant Wright, senior pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist, addressed members this past Monday.
In October 1998, a small group of men from Johnson Ferry Baptist who had been meeting for Bible study formed the East Cobb Men's Fellowship. They initially met at a Houlihan's restaurant until early 2010, when they needed more space and began meeting at Johnson Ferry Baptist.
"A lot of times there is no easy solution in their earthly walk," said Roberts. "It's a burden that they can share, not Nike Roshe Run Breeze White only with us, but spiritually with the Lord, and it lifts some of that burden Roshe Run Print
In the past four or five years, the leading topic of discussion among the men has been "the economy, economy, economy," said Hammond. But family issues, health problems and work decisions have also been on the minds of members.
There are 50 to 60 men who actively participate in the group. Monday in the church's fellowship hall at 955 Johnson Ferry Road. for 15 minutes. Then, the men form smaller groups at individual tables, where they participate in other studies and discussions.
It's an independent Christian group founded by east Cobb Roshe Run Men Black And Red
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