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    More than 500,000 expected for PK’s ‘Stand in the Gap’ Hundreds from San Diego heading for Washington, D.C.; local satellite-fed rallies planned at five sites on Oct. 4

    More than 500,000 men are expected to participate in Promise Keepers’s “Stand in the Gap,” a one-day prayer, repentance and reconciliation event planned Oct. 4 by the evangelical men’s movement.

    Hundreds of men from San Diego are expected to attend, some by chartered planes, others by train, bus or car.

    The event may be one of the largest ever held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Sam Jordan, director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness in Washington, D.C., told the Washington Post, “This has the potential of being one of the biggest marches in the city’s history.”

    Promise Keepers has drawn more than 2.6-million men to athletic stadiums across the nation for 61 two-day conferences designed to equip men to be more devoted husbands, fathers, and churchgoers. The six-hour rally begins at noon, and will feature a number of speakers and musicians, but no politicians. Promise Keepers leaders have emphasized that the rally is not a political event, and went so far as to reschedule it from 1996 to 1997 to avoid the appearance of election-year politicking.

    Racial diversity is an emphasis of Promise Keepers. Over one-third of its national staff workers are members of minority ethnic groups, and the organization has donated $700,000 toward the rebuilding of African-American churches victimized by arson. At this year’s stadium events, men were challenged to come to “Stand in the Gap” with a man of another race.

    “We are calling men out of their comfort zones,” said Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney. “We’re calling on men to make a difference in their communities and in the inner cities. We’re calling on them to get involved in other people’s lives.”

    In response to that challenge, some 5,000 men have volunteered to come to Stand in the Gap a day early to work on repairing 147 inner-city schools in Washington, D.C. Promise Keepers sponsored a similar activity on June 13, in which 1,200 men worked in 47 D.C. schools.

    “I believe the nearest and dearest thing to the heart of God is reconciliation, first with Him and then with our neighbors, including those who are racially different,” said Raleigh Washington, Promise Keepers’ vice president of reconciliation. “At Stand in the Gap, we are going to see an amazing display of unity from men of all walks of life.”

    Members of perhaps 100 American Indian tribes are expected to attend Stand in the Gap. Huron Claus, a member of the Kiowa/Mohawk tribe and part of the Promise Keepers board, will issue a welcome during the event. “We, as the first people of this nation, want to acknowledge and come alongside the men of all colors who will be gathering together to seek God at Stand in the Gap,” he said.

    – Staff and E.P. News

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