Blast & Cast Men’s Ministries (BCMM) started out in 1999 as a men’s duck hunting retreat in Rockport, TX that was based out of a local church in Baytown, TX. In order to accommodate a group of 15-20 church members and keep costs low, local duck hunters were recruited to join the retreat, bring their boats, and in effect serve as volunteer “guides.” Over the next few years, a consistent group of volunteer boat owners started showing up at the retreat to help out. These dyed in the wool duck hunters were not your typical men’s retreat attendees, since most them were not members of a local church and many of them were not even Christians. But, that didn’t stop them from participating in the annual event, volunteering their gear and effort, and being right there next to the church members listening to a pastor speak in the evenings.
In 2005, the focus of the event was changed in order to capitalize on this unique opportunity. With a new focus on missions and outreach that remains to this day, we started inviting other duck hunters to the event using web forums and social media rather than through a church bulletin. This enabled us to begin reaching outdoorsmen that were being overlooked and unreached by local churches and sharing the Gospel with them in a relatable and effective way using the shared interest of the outdoors.
At the 2005 Rockport event, about 30 people attended. They came from all parts of Texas and neighboring states, and several had never before seen saltwater much less hunted over it! As a result of the success of the event, the 2006 Rockport event grew to more than 50 and a waiting list was created in order to manage the size the of the event. In 2007 the waiting list for openings at the event was as long as the list of men that could be lodged, with the vast majority of those on the waiting list being non-Christians. In 2008, we hosted more than 60 at the event and the waiting list for openings contained more than 120 names! With demand for the event at an all time high, BCMM was incorporated as a non-profit organization and plans were made to duplicate the efforts and start hosting new events. A summer fishing trip was initiated along with a second January duck hunt. Special events at Fayette County Reservoir, Choke Canyon Reservoir, and Lake Conroe were held with smaller, more targeted audiences. The events and interest in the organization has continued to grow to this day.
More important than the numbers, the success of the events was found in what made up the numbers. While the events are supported by a healthy contingent of Christians that volunteer to help facilitate the goings on, the majority of event attendees were not Christians and/or not members of a local church body. Attracted by a high quality event at a low cost, these participants were willing to travel in order to do something that they love… namely, to spend time in the great outdoors. In doing so they found themselves a part of morning devotions and evening messages presented by keynote speakers and surrounded by Christian outdoorsmen that modeled Christianity in a way that many had never seen or been exposed to before. Myths about Christianity and Christians were debunked, relationships were formed, and, over the years, men began to respond to the call of Jesus on their lives. Numerous decisions have been made, some during the meetings and some at the oddest of hours on fishing boats or in duck blinds. We now regularly see public baptisms occurring at our events as outdoorsmen respond to the Gospel.
2015 marked another landmark change in the history of BCMM. After growing to the point that volunteer efforts were stretched to the max and becoming a very serious burden for many, the very prayerful decision was made to apply for 501(c)(3) status and pursue a full time staff member so that the BCMM ministry could continue to expand and meet the needs of outdoorsmen. Brodie Cooper responded to God’s call to serve as our Executive Director and became our first full time staff member on January 1, 2015. With a fresh start and excitement over new possibilities, the ministry flourished in ways that we couldn’t imagine.
In 2015, we launched our fishing tournament outreach efforts that have become a large part of what we do. This has allowed us to reach a large number of outdoorsmen in one place without a lot of administrative burden while simultaneously exposing new crowds of fishermen to our weekend events and community outreach efforts. We now support a strong missions efforts at coastal redfish tournaments and are growing our numbers of competitive bass anglers as well. In 2018, we hosted our first ministry event in Louisiana and are now actively reaching into a state with a rich history in the outdoors and a real need for Gospel-oriented outreach. As the ministry has continued to flourish, Rob Purdy was hired as our Volunteer Development Director in 2019 to help build up and train our volunteer ranks so that our evangelism efforts can continue to expand.
Now that you know our history, we hope and pray that you’ll consider joining us at an event and partnering with us as we make new history in our mission to reach outdoorsmen!