Promise Keepers Conference Draws 9,600 Men in San Jose

Promise Keepers storms San Jose’s HP Pavilion bringing an uprising in some 9,600 men who promised to influence their communities for good, and for God.
( [email protected] ) Oct 11, 2004 08:29 PM EDT

SAN JOSE, Calif. - More than 9,600 Christian men attended the two-day Promise Keepers event in San Jose, CA on Oct 8-9. The two-day conference promoted a sensational atmosphere in San Jose’s HP Pavilion while the men vowed to Pursue Honor, Nobility, and Wisdom. As the conference ended, the men promised that they would join a revolution to influence their communities for good, and for God.

The stadium exploded in applause as Emcee Reggie Dabbs invited the men to be persistent in the quest for nobility.

Later on the same night, San Diego pastor Miles McPherson challenged the men to walk the path of Jesus Christ by leaving behind their worldly ambition and many physical desires. A huge crowd responded as they gathered at the front of the stage and praying “to be men on fire, ready for the battle against evil.”

Erwin McManus, whose book “Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul” is the foundation for this year's "Uprising" men's conference, challenged all the men at the weekend conference “to be a part of the uprising and to have a heart for God.”

McManus passionately told the crowd that thirty three percent of church attendant nowadays falls asleep in church. He emphasized that the concept of freedom must be understood in proper ways. “Jesus came not to put you in a cage, but to ignite an uprising to set you free,” McManus said.

In an interview with the Christian Post, McManus indicated that people nowadays look at Christianity as a religion instead think of it as a way of life that Jesus revealed to mankind two thousands years ago; therefore, he insisted that it is crucial to have an “uprising” to show them what it means to be Christians.

The Austin-based Latin worship band Salvador who opened the conference on Friday night with a full-tilt 30-minute jam of modern Christian hymns and praise choruses, including their current single “Heaven.”, also told the Christian Post that it was the “divine thing” that brought them to PK event.

Josh Gonzales, bass player for the band, explained that the group has established good friendship with Promise Keepers for the past 3 years and he hopes to return to 2005 PK to further spread the gospel.

One hour before the conference started Friday night, 122 motorcycles arrived en masse at HP Pavilion. Matt Vaughan and Phil “Corki” Fielder, both of San Jose, organized “Ride of the Risen.”

The purpose of this gathering is explained on the website, which says, “The ride of the risen is our way of seeking out the POW's and MIA's in the spiritual war that has been raging since the Garden of Eden. We are seeking those who are lost and hurting, coming along side and saying "come ride with me to Promise Keepers." Statistics show that when a teen-ager comes to know the Lord 20% of the time his family follows. When a woman gives her life to Jesus 50% of the time her family follows. But when a man gives his life to God 90% of the time his family follows. We are not just reaching men on motorcycles; we are impacting families and future generations.”

The name 'Promise Keepers' derives from the covenant that God fulfilled through Jesus Christ. In Christ, God kept all the promises that he made to mankind and we rely upon God as the original Promise Keeper to keep our promises.

Promise Keepers was founded in 1990 by Bill McCartney (born 1940), then the head coach of the University of Colorado football team. The stated goal of this "nondenominational," organization is to celebrate Biblical manhood and motivate men toward Christ-like masculinity. "To unite men through vital relationships to become godly influences in their world -- by making promises to Jesus Christ and to one another that last a lifetime," reads Promise Keepers' purpose statement.

Promise Keepers started out small in 1991 -- 4,200 men attended the first Boulder, Colorado Conference (held at the Coors' Event Center). In 1992, 22,000 men attended. In 1993, 50,000 men jammed University of Colorado's Folsom Stadium, and another 52,000 in 1994.

Most noticeably, on October 4, 1997, PK held its Stand in the Gap: A Sacred Assembly Of Men rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Attendance estimates ranged from 480,000 to 700,000.

For more information about Promise Keepers and the event, visit or call toll-free 1-800-888-7595.