Men’s Event Draws 250,000 in South Africa

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Adrienne S. Gaines

A Christian conference challenging men to become mighty men
of God drew at least 250,000 men and boys to Greytown, South Africa, last

Hosted by farmer turned evangelist Angus Buchan, the Mighty Men
Conference was the largest gathering at his farm, known as Shalom Ministries,
since he launched the event seven years ago. Some estimate the attendance was
as high as 300,000 during the meetings, which began Friday and ended Sunday.

“I have farmed maize. I’ve seen a lot of mielies [corn],
but I’ve never seen a crop of people as big as this,” said Buchan, whose
autobiography, Faith Like Potatoes, was popularized in a 2006 film that
released in the U.S. last year.

Through three days of evangelistic meetings often marked by
signs and wonders, Buchan challenged men to become godly leaders in their homes
and to rid themselves of such sins as adultery, fornication and hatred.

event was centered on the theme “watchmen of the house,” drawn from Ezekiel
3:17, which says, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of
Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me.”

“Angus preaches a simple faith,” said South African
businessman Bruce Winship told the national Sunday Tribune newspaper. “Potentially it
lacks some detail, but the reality of Christianity is that it is a simple
message to follow… it’s about being down-to-earth, living an honest,
wholesome life and correcting your priorities. I have seen the change that
Angus has made in many lives, including my own.”

A Zambian farmer of Scottish descent, Buchan moved to South
Africa in 1977 and became a Christian two years later. In 1980, he and his
wife, Jill, established Shalom
, based on the farm, with a vision to help fulfill the Great
Commission, take care of widows and orphans and train Christians to reach the
world around them.

Since he started the annual Mighty Men Conference in 2004,
attendance has grown steadily from 240 men to 7,400 in 2007 to 60,000 in 2008.
That year, the Sunday Tribune noted that to draw more than 60,000 men to
a non-sporting, Christian event “is not just an achievement, it could be
deemed a miracle.”

This year’s event had 60,000 participants registered before
the gathering began.

Buchan said 2010 would be the last hosted at Shalom. But the
events would continue to be held elsewhere, both in and outside of South
Africa, with various leaders organizing the meetings.

“Jesus took 12 men and changed the world. I see
hundreds of thousands of men in this place,” Buchan said. “We need to seize the
moment. The future of South Africa, indeed the world, lies in the believer, in
your hands and my hands. God is asking you ‘what are you going to do about

Next year’s conference could be held in Soweto. Buchan also has
announced plans to begin a television broadcast, The Mercury

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