First Baptist hosts men’s ‘Wild at Heart’ weekend

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, March 15, 2012

The men of First Baptist Church of Columbiana are looking forward to their upcoming mission trip. (Contributed)

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

First Baptist Church of Columbiana’s Minister to Students Andy Shelton is leading a group of young men on a “Wild at Heart” weekend.

The premise of the trip is based on John Eldredge’s book “Wild at Heart.”

The purpose of the trip is to challenge the young men attending to evaluate themselves and explore what a Christian man really is.

Shelton hopes to lead the young men in thinking about what really makes men tick – why they are the way they are and how God created them with masculine hearts that desire the elements of freedom, passion and adventure. It will be a time of what Eldredge’s book refers to as a “safari of the heart.”

Shelton has a team of older college students and fathers to lead the younger students in small group Bible studies and fellowship time.

“I’ve been leading in student ministry since I was 17 years old and I can see a growing need in the lives of our guys to realize that God made them to be real men. God wants them to be responsible and trustworthy men of character and integrity.

“I hope that this trip will point our young men in that direction and give them the tools and encouragement for the journey ahead,” he added.

They will be travelling through Kansas City to work in a homeless shelter.

From there they will go to the Badlands to volunteer on an Indian reservation followed by time in Yellowstone National Park and The Grand Tetons National Park.

They will spend time camping, hiking, rock climbing and enjoying nature all while learning about themselves and their relationship with God.

Their trip will conclude by passing through Oklahoma and stopping to see an exhibit of biblical artifacts.

Robert Justice, an Auburn student and alumni of FBCC Student Ministry said, “I’m excited to be in position now to go back as a leader and help give students the opportunity to enjoy and learn from an experience like this. As a Boy Scout, I had the opportunity to go out west and it was wonderful. I believe that this will be even better, having a chance to help students grow spiritually.”

The trip will be 11 days long and will involve approximately 25 men. There is a huge need for them to raise money and they have done that through a Valentine’s Day Dinner and other local activities.

There is still much more money that needs to be raised.

To donate to this mission trip, you can send your donation to First Baptist Church of Columbiana Youth Fund, 208 N. Main St., Columbiana, AL 35051.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at