Blast & Cast Men’s Ministries (BCMM) started out in 1999 as a men’s retreat that was organized by a member of a local church body, Tim Alford, that wanted to see men from his church have the opportunity to fellowship together over a weekend duck hunt in Rockport, Tx. In order to accommodate this group of 15-20 church members and keep costs low, local duck hunters were recruited to join the retreat, bring their boats, and in effect serve as volunteer “guides.” The effort was successful and various local pastors were brought in to serve as speakers for the event.
Notably, a consistent group of volunteer boat owners started showing up at the retreat to help out. These dyed in the wool duck hunters were not your typical men’s retreat attendees though. Most of them were not members of a church, and many of them were not even believers. But, here they were, participating in the event and even volunteering their gear and effort, and right there next to the church members listening to a pastor speak in the evenings. In 2005, a conflict in church scheduling threatened to cancel the annual event. Chris Lucas and Brodie Cooper stepped into leadership roles in order to see the effort continue and the events were began to reflect the outreach and missions oriented focus that remains to this day. With most church members ruled out due to the scheduling conflict, signups were run through a web forum frequented by duck hunters, www.txwaterfowler.com/forum.
At the 2005 Rockport event, about 30 people attended. The participants hailed from all parts of Texas, a few even came from Arkansas, and several had never before seen saltwater much less hunted over it! As a result of the success of the event, the 2006 Rockport event grew to more than 50 and a waiting list was implanted to manage the size the of the event. In 2007 the waiting list was as long as the list of men that could be lodged. In 2008, more than 60 attended the event and the waiting list for openings was significantly longer than the list that attended! With demand for the event at an all time high, BCMM was incorporated as a non-profit organization and plans were made to duplicate the efforts and start hosting new events. A summer fishing trip was initiated along with a second January duck hunt. At one point the two January duck hunts were each hosting 50-75 people and both had waiting lists for openings. Special events at Fayette County Reservoir, Choke Canyon Reservoir, and Lake Conroe were held with smaller, more targeted audiences. The events and interest in the organization has continued to grow.
More important than the numbers, the success of the events was found in what made up the numbers. While the events are supported by a healthy contingent of believers that volunteer to help facilitate the goings on, the majority of event attendees were not Christians and/or not members of a local church body. Attracted by a high quality event at a low cost, these participants were willing to travel in order to do something that they love… namely, to spend time in the great outdoors. In doing so they found themselves a part of morning devotions and evening messages presented by keynote speakers and surrounded by Christian outdoorsmen that modeled Christianity in a way that many had never seen or been exposed to before. Myths about Christianity and Christians were debunked, relationships were formed, and, over the years, men began to respond to the call of Jesus on their lives. Numerous decisions have been made, some during the meetings and some at the oddest of hours on fishing boats or in duck blinds. At one event, 6 men were responded to the challenge and were baptized in a hot tub at the resort. Outdoorsmen were (and are!) being pointed to the cross and they were responding!
2015 marks another landmark change in the life of BCMM. After growing to the point that volunteer efforts were stretched to the max and becoming a very serious burden for many, the very prayerful decision was made to apply for 501(c)(3) status and pursue a full time staff member so that the BCMM ministry could continue to expand and meet the needs of outdoorsmen. Brodie Cooper responded to God’s call to serve as our Executive Director and became our first full time staff member on January 1, 2015. With a fresh start and excitement over new possibilities, the 2015 January event in Rockport hosted the largest BCMM group ever with a 103 men, complete with a baptism in the hot tub and a waiting list for openings.
Now that you know our history, we hope and pray that you’ll consider joining us at an event and partnering with us as we make new history in our mission to reach outdoorsmen!