Pictured above from lft to rt: Dr. Jeffery Singletary, Pastor Reggie Joseph, Cindy Dowdy and her husband, Dr. Myles Dowdy
Strengthening men and strengthening marriage were the focuses of the recent USVI Men’s Conference and Marriage Seminar, both held March 22-24 at Cruz Bay Baptist Church in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Men’s Conference theme was ‘The Challenges from Boyhood to Manhood’, from a Biblical perspective. Topics were issues men are struggling with including Toxic Masculinity and the enemy within me. An encouraging message from God’s word came from Psalm 103:17 “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness into children’s children.”
Leading the Men’s Conference was Dr. Jeffery Singletary, Regional Catalyst for the Central Region of the Florida Baptist Convention. “From boys to men they are struggling to navigate the ever-shifting landscapes of an emerging culture that views traditional manhood as toxic masculinity,” Singletary said. “From boys to men they are bleeding inside profusely and weeping in silence. Perhaps Albert Schweitzer said it best, ‘The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives’.”
Present at the conference was an 88-year-old man who shared of a wound that occurred in his teens as if it had happened yesterday. “The pain was still real; he was still bleeding. The tragedy was no one had noticed, and it appeared no one cared,” recalled Singletary.
An adolescent boy is often faced with painful challenges where, rather than being validated and guided, he’s abandoned to struggle alone to find a solution or pave a new path without resolving the challenge. The teachings at the conference stemmed from the belief system that “Every coach needs a coach and every man needs a mentor. Your wife is designed to complete you, but it takes a man of wisdom and understanding to help you understand you!”
A man’s experiences in adolescence follow him through adulthood and into marriage. Singletary further explained, “It’s important that he finds healing from the woundedness of his childhood so he may enter manhood healthy, mature and well-grounded in life and living. He can now be the man, husband and father he has been called and ordained to be for his family.”
Dr. Myles Dowdy, Missions and Ministries – Lead Catalyst of the Florida Baptist Convention, lead the Marriage Seminar with his wife Cindy. “Cindy and I had the joy of sharing the amazing truths taught in the Word of God on how God desires and designs for us to be successful in the relationships of our lives,” Dowdy said. “The sweet fellowship and environment provided an incredible time of teaching and dialogue with our family of believers on the island of St. John in the Virgin Islands.”
Separately, Cindy Dowdy shared, “I was so blessed to be able to connect with and encourage sisters in Christ. The people of the Virgin Islands have been through so much and are still recovering from the hurricanes, but their faith is inspiring.”