St. Marys church to host conference

ST. MARYS – First Baptist Church of St. Marys, 425 Barkwill St., will host its first STAND Men’s Conference Oct. 12.

The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to all males ages 13 and older. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon.

The registration fee is $20, which includes lunch. Checks should be made payable to First Baptist Church. Sponsorships are available for any who wish to attend but are unable to pay.

Call First Baptist Church at 304-684-2873 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. for information. Deadline for registration is Sept. 30.

Barry Brown will be the morning speaker. He and his wife of 53 years are lifelong residents of Parkersburg where they have raised four sons. Brown, a cancer survivor, is a longtime member of Logan Memorial United Methodist Church where he serves as a lay minister.

Tim Higgins, a lifetime Parkersburg resident, will speak in the afternoon. He graduated from PHS and won a state wrestling championship in 1995. Higgins, who participated in a missionary trip to Honduras, will talk about how becoming a Christian caused his life to change.

He describes himself as the “most selfish person you ever met,” before he fell, “madly in love with Jesus.” He added that he is also madly in love with his wife.

The afternoon program will include Dan and Mark Witt, who tell a story of how their lives were changed after a tragic event. In 1974, while they were deer hunting in Pennsylvania, their father, a lay minister and teacher/coach, was accidentally shot and killed by another hunter.

The boys were 12 and 14 years old. After years of grief, anger, and pain they found peace, forgiveness, and redemption, they said.

They first spoke publicly about their father’s death in 2004 at their family church. The talk was so moving that word spread and they soon were asked to speak at other churches and events. The brothers still enjoy hunting and have been speakers for outdoors conventions.

Their story was detailed in a December 2011 article in Field and Stream magazine.

During First Baptist’s Sunday morning service at 10:45 Oct. 13, the Witts will share the message upon which their father was working at the time of his death. More about their ministry can be found at

Last year, the brothers spoke to 6,000 people in nine states and they are booked into 2015.