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The Man Up Story

How Man Up, a Spiritual Oasis for Men, Evolved

Man Up began as an Adult Bible Fellowship, that is, a Sunday School class, at Sugar Land Baptist Church in Sugar Land, Texas. Known then as Tool Time, it was taught by John Cates, the renowned Christian therapist and founder of Lifeway International. 


In 2012, Cates faced surgery and Bill Cox offered to take over the class. A former pig farmer from Dowagiac, Mich., no doubt aware he was filling the shoes of a popular Baptist personality, Bill borrowed a mirror from his wife, determined to give that first lesson even if the only person there was the reflection in the mirror. As it turned out, Michael Cropper, who would become a Man Up regular, showed up. Day 1.


Names are important. Bill felt that way about this class. To honor John Cates, who has a comforting spirit, an incredible story, and is an even better guy, the name Tool Time was retired.


The name change also reflected Bill’s own talents as a producer, actor, DJ and speaker. Man Up’s focus was on ways men could use their Christian faith to drive their goals, leadership and action. Man Up, “a spiritual oasis for men,” was born.  Are you a man?  Want a challenge?  Man Up! Sunday mornings would never be the same.


We feel the faith muscle needs regular exercise. Your wife/girlfriend/significant other is not here. If you’re awesome, say it.  But if you’re hurting, you can say that too.  The body is like a barrel.  The outside is your education, money and health. The inside is your faith and soul. Barrels that are full don’t crack when tested.


By 2017, Man Up had grown. Eager to take their study beyond the walls of their church classroom, Bill and four Man Up regulars, Kyle Trahan, Steven Titch, Robert Cocheu and Michael Cropper, started a weekly podcast. Along with Bill, each brings a unique talent and background to the show. 


We’re not pastors, just regular guys. On the Man Up podcast, you don’t get the “church answers.”  We bring different points of view to a scripture lesson and hash them out in a panel discussion. We strive for authenticity in representing what Christian men are thinking.


And now, The Man Up Spiritual Oasis for Men podcast is available on iTunes, Soundcloud (for archived tracks), Facebook (Man-Up) and YouTube.  The lead dog needs to be fed. That’s what we do at Man Up.

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