Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Union Men are Transformed at Maryland Conference

By R.H.Stewart

A series of transformations recently took place at the Mt. Aetna Camp and Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Md., during the third annual Maryland Men of Faith (MMOF) Conference. The one-day retreat not only revealed to Christian men the key elements to priesthood, but also challenged them to reprioritize and focus on the atmosphere in their homes and communities. 

Sponsored by the Personal Ministries departments of Chesapeake Conference’s Baltimore First and Atholton churches—located in Ellicott City and Columbia, Md., respectively—this year’s event consisted of six seminars and two presentations. More than 100 men from 25 churches within the Chesapeake, Potomac, Allegheny East, Allegheny West, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Northeastern conferences attended, representing a range of ages—14 to 90. 

Under the theme “Choose You This Day,” MMOF cofounder Tony Williams of Baltimore First felt this premise matched the burdens on his own heart. “So many of us are choosing other things. We need to be serious about the Lord today and make Him our choice,” he says. 

Keynote speaker Pastor Damien Johnson of Potomac Conference’s Pennsylvania Avenue church in Capitol Heights, Md., presented messages that opened many eyes and helped the brethren rethink their motives and objectives. “God brought us here today to change us,” explained Johnson. “My goal is for you to go home with a new desire to be a better husband, father, and minister.” 

Seminar speaker Marc Walwyn of the Hendersonville (Tenn.) church, stressed this thought: “We must focus on making sure our prayers get through to Him and that our devotions take us step-by-step to Christ.” 

Inspired Beginning 

Inspired by the Michigan Men of Faith Conference in 1998, Atholton church’s Arnold Moore became determined to not only enhance his own relationship with God, but also consider the reformation of all men who struggled with life’s battles. After eight years of being refined and purified, Moore received a word from the Lord to create a Maryland chapter, which he did in 2006. 

Accompanied by Williams and Bobby Smith, another Atholton member, these leaders firmly believed in the positive domino effect generated from this type of ministry. Marriages, prayer life, and mentoring are just a few of the areas they sought to revitalize. Later that year, the trio put together and executed the first MMOF Conference. A retreat filled with one-day’s worth of instruction and relief became an annual protocol. 

Today the MMOF Conference continues to recharge men while focusing on the teachings from the Word of God so that men continue to grow in His likeness and reflect a Christ-like behavior toward others.

A conference participant for the past two years, Geoff Greaves from the Pikesville (Md.) International church, says he was deeply impacted by this year’s respite. “We were reminded that we are not alone in the common challenges and situations that men face,” he said. “We found not only practical solutions but also solid support, good resources, and powerful tools.”

God is calling His sons to stand in the gap. Careful in keeping it the Lord’s ministry, the MMOF envisions a chapter in every state of this country and spreading overseas. For many, this conference was a life-changing experience. For all, salvation was the treasure received. 

For more information about the organization, visit

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