Men of Courage was established in February 2010 in Columbus, Ohio via inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We began humbly by meeting at a Golden Corral restaurant on Saturday mornings. The format was very unstructured and consisted of a few men, simply talking about the Lord and how He delivered us from the cares/trials of the world. There were times when there would be only one man present. Those informal discussions eventually grew into a group of men and a more structured format.
Near the end of 2010 we began using an “ice-breaker” development workbook that focused on men taking an honest “look in the mirror” at themselves and recognizing that a change was needed to take place in our spiritual lives. As the group began to grow in attendance, we also grew in terms of graduating from the original development tool, to a more advanced curriculum of self-development.
In 2011 we decided to seek other spiritual development tools and were introduced to the “Majoring in Men” Curriculum written by Dr. Edwin Louis Cole, Sr. The curriculum focuses on men with the thought that “so goes the man … so goes his family, the community and the nation”.
As the organization continued to grow, we began to attract men from various “entry points” and began to establish roots throughout the city. We worked with men who were seeking resources from a number of social service agencies, men from different churches, men who were referred to the group and men who visited our meetings via street-evangelism efforts.
We also began hosting major fundraising events to assist our Men’s Development Series. Those events included our Annual Golf Classic and Kingdom Builders Recognition Banquets. We held said events for 3 consecutive years. We have continued to partner and support several organizations throughout Columbus including the Mentor Central Ohio, who have been instrumental in the design, implementation, growth and development of our “Youth Mentoring Series” in which we minister to and mentor the “at-risk” male youth demographic particularly in the age group of 11-18. Our YMS worked with boys and young men individually and in small groups, to assist in their growth and in terms of life choices and the consequences of said choices, not only for the individual, but for his family and those close to him as well.
In 2018 we officially moved our corporate headquarters from Columbus, OH to Lorain County, OH, although we still have a presence in Columbus. We currently mentor students in the following Ohio School Districts: Columbus City, Lorain City, Oberlin City, Elyria City, Clearview Local and Euclid (Cleveland) at Pinnacle Charter Academy. In 2019-2020, we also mentored students in the Brooklyn (OH) City School District. In 2018, we completed a short-term assignment (3 months) in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District at Lincoln West High School.
In the fall of 2021, we strategically decided to change our signature development series from our Men’s Development Series (MDS), to our Youth Mentoring Series (YMS). With that, we also decided as an organization to implement a female mentoring piece (ages 11-18) based on the need to offer support to girls in the community as well under the “Women of Courage” banner.
In May of 2022, we officially entered into a historic partnership with the Lorain County Domestic Relations Court (juvenile) in which we work with male and female youth in the Lorain County Detention Home weekly, as well as mentoring youth in the community via the Court’s Diversion Program. We mentor said youth in group sessions and individually.
As we move in 2023, we will continue with our plan of establishing meaningful, strategic and viable community partnerships as we continue to fulfill our mission to improve the lives of young people by providing guidance, support and resources that will assist them in developing the skill of “critical thinking” and becoming healthy, loving adults who thrive in serving their families and communities.