Promise Keepers, the all-male Christian organization, hosted its annual conference last week, from July 16-17th, 2021. The group, founded in 1991 by former coach Bill McCotney, has a mission to build up Godly men for a better tomorrow. This year’s conference was held at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Several influential figures in the Christian faith were in attendance like Rev. A.R. Bernard, Tauren Wells, Jonathan Evans, Carter Conlon, Robert Morris, and Nick Vuijic to name a few.
In preparation for the event, Bernard, pastor of the 40,000 member Christian Cultural Center church in Brooklyn, New York, and speaker at this year’s conference, discussed the influence that the Promise Keepers has had in America with the Christian Post.
He revealed that Promise Keepers almost convinced President Bill Clinton to apologize for slavery, something that an American President has never done before.
“In the 1990s there was this spirit of reconciliation, repentance, confession, redemption that Promise Keepers reflected in the global culture,” Bernard stated. “We had during that time the Prime Minister of Australia apologizing to the Aboriginals for its historical treatment of the Aboriginals. We had the Prime Minister of the U.K. apologizing to the Irish for that fiasco. And we had Bill Clinton ready to apologize for slavery in America.”
Unfortunately, Clinton’s advisors counseled against it, and the apology never came to fruition. Still, Clinton praised the Promise Keepers in a presidential radio address on October 4, 1997, for helping men lead their families responsibly and he promoted an event Promise Keepers were having in Washington, D.C. “Their presence here is yet another example of the nation’s understanding and attention to the need to strengthen our families. There is nothing more important,” Clinton stated at the time.
After his address, more than 1 million Christian men who committed to seven promises encompassing a commitment to family, faith, integrity, and racial reconciliation, gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. with Promise Keepers.
Bernard also believes that churches can do better at male outreach by “reasserting a biblical model of manhood.”
“I think that what Promise Keepers is doing and what the Church should do is reassert a biblical model of manhood. I say that carefully because even in the Church there’s a dozen different models. I think that we have to understand that when we treat the man as foundational to the family and the family as foundational to society, we will try to empower that man; shape his thinking about himself and about his relationship with his family and with the culture at large,” he explained.
The megachurch pastor also spoke about how the feminist movement has impacted society’s understanding of manhood.
“Look, the feminist movement put men in confusion. We didn’t know whether we were too hard, too soft and culture tends to respond not by a thoughtful median but the extremes. So it’s always an extreme reaction one way or the other. I think it’s time that we deal with this confusion and restore men to an identity that is biblical and not extreme. That is balance, not extreme. I think this is a great opportunity for the Church,” he concluded.
Promise Keepers hosted over 80,000 men at this year’s conference. Since Friday, they have released footage showcasing the impact it is having on men. On Instagram Promise Keepers posted pictures of men hugging, praying, and worshiping Jesus were shown. “Last Night🙌🙌🙌 This is what it is all about,” reads the caption. “Fathers, Sons, and Brothers in the altars surrendering their lives to Christ and creating a new legacy for their families. Can’t wait to see what God is going to do today!”