Men Providing Love and Compassion Through Doing.

Men of Acts is making a difference one project at a time. Since 2006, this group of male volunteers led by founder Clyde Childers has completed over 180 projects that have not only affected the lives of the recipients, but also those volunteers who have stepped up to help.

As its name indicates, Men of Acts is an all-male group with volunteers coming from multiple professions, churches and civic organizations to make a difference in the lives of others.

After moving to the Franklin area in 2006 to be closer to children and grandchildren, founder Clyde Childers was revisited by the dream he’d had 10 years prior. “Ten years before the first project was even done, this dream was formed in my mind,” he says. “It was at that time that a declaration of sorts was written,” he adds.

Their mission included purposeful statements such as “Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself,” and “Defend the poor, the widows, the fatherless and do justice to the sick and needy” and “Constantly look for the needs of our fellowman,” and as the organization has grown, they continue to try and follow the original intent.

In the beginning, Childers found a deep interest in this local area for an organization of this type and Men of Acts was born. Gateway Church of Franklin is the home base for Men of Acts and loves their mission.

Gateway pastor, Charlie Weir, is in full support. “By nature, men are doers,” he says. “Much of who men are is expressed in their deeds rather than their words. Simply put, the Men of Acts affords men an opportunity to express the love and compassion of Christ.”

Pastor Weir loves to see their vision in action. “As a pastor, I try to put the love and compassion of Christ into words and I try to do that each week, but a majority of men see what I do as out of their reach. However, building a handicap ramp, repairing a roof or cleaning up a yard is right in their “love and compassion wheelhouse,” he says.

“It’s a joy for Gateway Franklin to serve as a hub for the Men of Acts, and it’s rewarding to see men come alive in their faith when they work alongside one another. With Clyde and the Board of Directors heading the helm with visionary leadership, the organization is open to any man desiring to lend a hand in saying, “Jesus loves you,” he adds.

Their first project was completed in 2007 at the Franklin home of a young man stricken with Parkinson’s disease. The original vision has only expanded from there. Now they strive to do two projects a month. The men typically work on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. noon. “Preplanning allows us to accomplish the task quickly,” Childers says. “We have actually painted the entire exterior of a home and made repairs in four hours. A reporter from The Tennessean could not believe it even though he was present when it happened,” he chuckles.

No need to worry if you’re not a handyman though. MOA’s provides OTJT – “On the Job Training” and will put any volunteer with a heart to serve to work.

It is an experience many of them will not soon forget, and there are a few projects that have left a deep, lasting impression on them such as a place in Columbia, Tennessee called Fresh Start Daycare.

“It is a school and daycare for children of recovering addicts and parents who are serving time in jail,” Childers says. “We joined with them alongside Gateway to refurbish the classrooms and facility. Painting, new flooring, yard work, playground, and a new child gardening plot for the kids. The work provided for the needs of over 50 children.”

Then there was a mother and six children who were in dire need. Clyde remembers it well. “It was a terrible domestic abuse situation,” he recalls. It was obvious to Clyde and MOA’s that there had been violence in the home. “We were able to step in and help this mother and her children. She spoke broken English and it was a heartbreaking situation,” he recalls.

This particular home needed a lot of work.

“They lived in a home that was in shambles, holes in the walls, doors broken, plumbing, electrical problems and more.” Clyde said. He remembers how well mannered and helpful the children were. “We fell in love with them,” he says. “On the day of completion, we surprised the mom with an outside, old fashioned clothesline. The kids had given us that hint. As we were saying our goodbyes, the children began to sing to us in their native language. There was not a dry eye on any man. We will never be the same.”

The Men of Acts future is constantly evolving. Clyde’s dream is to wake up on any given Sunday and realize that a team of men are on their way to serve their community. “Just knowing that a Men of Acts trailer is arriving to assist those who are financially or physically unable to do the work brings my dream to reality,” he says.

“The vision remains the same. I believe that with the aid of friends, civic groups, churches and companies helping us, we will achieve our goals.”

For information on Men of Acts or to inquire about volunteering or requesting assistance, email men_of_acts@bellsouth.net with name, address and phone number and a MOA’s representative will contact you.

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