By Jennifer Hooks
Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) has been a vibrant ministry in Mississippi for many years. This ministry provides a Christian context in which women develop life and job skills. In 2008, Mississippi’s first Christian Men’s Job Corps (CMJC) was developed by the Rankin Baptist Association. Both CWJC and CMJC are ministries of the Woman’s Missionary Union, an auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention.
CMJC in Mississippi was started to help men in need with a hand up, not a hand out.
“We are so excited to have a CMJC in Mississippi now. It brings different challenges, but we are excited to see Godly men step up to work with us,” said Tammy Anderson, who serves as a missions consultant for Mississippi WMU.
Jerry Mowdy from Briar Baptist Church in Florence serves as the director of this site and is assisted by a prayer team, a class instructor, and a three-man development team.
“It is the goal of CMJC, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, to change the lives of men and families spiritually, emotionally, physically, economically, and socially. In other words, we want to minister to the whole person. CMJC seeks to provide a Christian environment in which men in need are equipped and encouraged to find a new life in Jesus Christ, and where they gain life skills in order to enhance their lives,” Mowdy said.
There are unique aspects to the Men’s Job Corp and, as a result, various approaches are taken to reach the men who attend. Mowdy sent a mail-out to 500 homes promoting the classes and only received a response from one man.
“Class room curriculum generally does not work well with men. When dealing with men we need to think outside the box in a totally different way from women,” said Mowdy.
The goal of both the CWJC and CMJC is to provide a Christian context in which men and women in need are equipped for life and employment in a mission context in which women help women and men help men.
“Many elements are the same for the men as they are for the women, but men seem to want more of the hands on skills rather than the classroom skills,” Anderson said.
As a CMJC Site Coordinator, Mowdy is responsible for developing and leading the CMJC site under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, so the lives of men and their families may be changed. Mowdy serves as a Mission Service Corps missionary and has worked with the Crown Financial Ministries for 12 years and with Rankin County Benevolence for a year and a half.
“It may sound like too much, but these ministries work well together and allow me to minister to all areas of need in a man’s life and the life of his family,” Mowdy said.
Allen Stephens, executive director of the Rankin County Baptist Assoc., provides an office at the Rankin Baptist building for both CWJC and CMJC to work from. “The CWJC/CMJC network of site coordinators meets twice a year for continuing education, problem solving, motivation, spiritual rejuvenation, and fellowshipping. The Margaret Lackey state missions offering makes these network meetings possible as well as purchases some of our curriculum. However, each CWJC and CMJC site is individually operated and funded by donations,” Anderson said.
Grace Baptist Church in Richland provides the building to work from. The curriculum used is the Bible and Jobs for Life, a nationally recognized program for men.
“It is my desire that every man, no matter what their need in life, would have a chance to hear the Gospel, and to change their life spiritually, along with their circumstance,” Mowdy said.
For more information on CMJC, contact Anderson at 800-748-1651.