U.S. Congressman praises local church’s boot camp

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Congressman Paul Ryan stood and sung songs with more than 100 men and boys inside Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church. Ryan joined others inside for the church’s Men’s Boot Camp.

The camp is a ministry at the church. During a two week stretch the men and boys meet at 5:45 in the morning.

“That is evidence of a powerful commitment. I don’t know of anywhere else where this has been accomplished,” said Robert Woodson, founder of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise.  Woodson works out of Washington D.C., where he is known for his grassroots efforts in neighborhood organization.

The mission is to equip men to face life challenges. The camp offers mentoring, marriage counseling and employment training.

“That’s the story that needs to be told right here in our community. That is the answer to our problems,” said Ryan. The former Republican nominee for vice president wants to implement the boot camp in other cities.

“I’m trying to figure out how not to get in the way but help facilitate these stories so we have more of them throughout the country,” said Ryan.

The Rev. Dr. Darryl Webster started the boot camp several years ago. He conducts the teaching and leads various sessions. The men in attendance are from all walks of life.

24-Hour News 8 cameras were inside for one of those sessions. Cameras were rolling as a young man described how the boot camp saved his life and gave him an alternative out of crime.  Ryan believes that testimony is just one of many coming out of the Men’s Boot Camp.

“You see all these young men here teaching young people don’t make the mistakes that they made in life,” said Ryan.

For more information about the program and the church, click here.

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