Make Your Mark men’s event expected to be among largest men’s weekends in denomination

Final registration going on now for Feb. 19-21 retreat

By Jessica Brodie

MYTRLE BEACH—Just weeks remain until what men’s ministry leaders expect will be among the largest men’s weekends not only in South Carolina but the entire denomination.

Registration is entering the final phase now for the United Methodist Men’s Mark Your Mark spiritual retreat, set for Feb. 19-21, 2016, at Christ United Methodist Church, Myrtle Beach.

Organizers are expecting 1,500 attendees—10 times the attendees they had in 2013 and the largest gathering of conference men in the UMC.

“But it is not about the numbers at the beach,” said Herman Lightsey, president of the South Carolina Conference UMMen. “It is about getting pastors and men to come and be invigorated with the Holy Spirit and to return to their local churches and communities as men that God can use to build His church.”

Right now is a spirit-filled time for men’s ministry across South Carolina, Lightsey said. More pastors and laity are talking about the difference men are making, not only in their churches and families, but in their communities, as well.

“I want them to come and see what God can do when a bunch of pastors and men show up. God is an awesome God,” Lightsey said. “Most of all I want us to encourage the South Carolina Conference to pray for God to direct us and use us to change the church—one man at a time.”

L.W. Smith, event coordinator, said the event will include dynamic speakers who will come together to share how God has made His mark on their life and how they are trying to leave a legacy of a godly man so others will know Jesus Christ.

“If your church needs to strengthen the participation of its men or strengthen its men’s ministry, this is the best investment for the future,” Smith said.

The weekend will feature as keynote Dr. Zan Holmes Jr., pastor emeritus of St. Luke Community UMC in Dallas and author who started the Disciple Bible Study program for the UMC; Bishop Jonathan Holston; Christ UMC pastor the Rev. Jeff Dunn. University of South Carolina football team head chaplain Adrian Despres will return, and joining him will be Jeremy Kingsley, nationally known motivational speaker; Robert Noland, small group author; and Andre Davis, former professional football player. Nationally acclaimed Robert McMichael will serve as song leader on Friday and Saturday, with the Christ UMC Praise Team leading Saturday evening. A variety of music, from contemporary to traditional, and a host of free time options will round out the weekend.

Twelve workshops will be offered on a variety of topics, from diversity to small groups to mentoring and more. Workshop leaders include Despres, Noland, McMichael, Jim Boesch,

Trevor Miller, the Rev. Jeffery Salley, the Rev. Jason Everson and the Rev. Telley Gadson.

Dennis Sullen will lead the Upper Room Prayer Line.

F3 Nation (Fellowship, Faith and Fitness) will be participating Saturday morning between 6-7 a.m., and at 2 p.m. there will be a 5K Run for Christ.

Event registration is online at or Cost is $90/man ($20/wife). Women are welcome. Clergy registration is $40.

Three hotels will serve as host hotels, though they are filling fast. These host hotels have special rates for double occupancy: Clarion Hotel, Staybridge Suites and Country Inn and Suites. A nearby oceanfront hotel, Springmaid, also has a special rate of $99/night for double occupancy. For information: or

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