Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Vehicle to Express Selves as Emotionally as at Jags Game

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Vehicle to Express Selves as Emotionally as at Jags Game

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Members of two Jacksonville churches

encountered a group of men from Ohio on a short subway ride

yesterday morning.

The groups had traveled a long way from opposite directions.

But each was headed to the same destination and for the same

reason. Buoyed by that common goal, the men joined together and

sang Lord I Lift Your Name on High .

A short time later, the Jacksonville and Toledo, Ohio, groups

were joined by hundreds of thousands of other Promise Keepers.

They stood together, they got on their knees -- even their

stomachs -- and prayed. They huddled in small groups to confess

and ask for forgiveness of their sins while tears rolled down

their faces.

For a day, the usual reservedness of church prayer was

replaced with loud applause, chanting and vocal proclamations:

"Hallelujah!" "Amen!" and "Praise God!"

"There is something incongruous about going to a Jaguars game

yelling until you're hoarse and then going to church feeling

something inside but not being able to express it," said Bill

Yeldell, pastor of the Mandarin Baptist Church. "The Promise

Keepers has been a vehicle for us to express ourselves as

emotionally as you would at a Jaguars game."

Yeldell was one of 160 who traveled to the nation's capitol

this weekend as part of a four-bus convoy sponsored by the

Jacksonville's Promise Keepers Task Force. Thousands of others

came from other Jacksonville churches.

Thirty-three of those on the bus convoy were from the First

Baptist Church of Mandarin and the Mandarin Baptist Church and

wore easily identifiable white T-shirts that proclaimed "B THE

MAN -- MEN OF MANDARIN."

All told, the men traveled more than 16 hours to get to

yesterday's rally on The Mall. The talk afterward, however,

wasn't of where they came from but where they were going. …

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