After praying for two months, Danny said the Lord told him to “go upstream” and reach 20-year-olds — teaching them clear and practical Biblical insights on God’s design for manhood — before they become husbands and fathers.
Danny’s daughter, Emily (Allen) Warren ’12, had graduated from UMHB, and he felt led to bring the program here. In January 2017, with administration’s blessing, Danny, who lived in Georgetown at the time, drove to campus every morning for six weeks to introduce himself to students during breakfast and share his idea to create a men’s ministry on campus based on “33 The Series.” After six weeks, he had nine students prepared to serve as a test group for the proposed ministry.
“At the end of the first section, the students met with administration and said it was the best thing they had ever seen, and administration let us kick off the following semester,” he said.
With the help of Rick Turk, Danny set out to introduce UMHB33 to the entire campus. For the first two years, the duo teamed up to make themselves available for any student who needed help or advice at any time — night or day.
“You have to meet the student where they are at first; then you build an awareness on campus,” Danny said. Almost three years later, the program had grown enough that it transitioned into a student-led ministry with 10 student leaders and an additional 13 leaders being interviewed to help lead this fall.
Danny says he is thrilled to see God moving but is quick to point out that success is not defined in the steadily growing numbers the group has witnessed over the last five years. He defines success as the “life changes” taking place in students.
“What kind of life-change is happening? That’s the only question that matters,” he said. “Everywhere Jesus went, the crowds gathered because lives were changed — not because there were big numbers.”
This is one of the reasons UMHB33 breaks into small groups at each of its weekly meetings which helps promote “real connections,” Danny added. “Because Eric got off his couch and went and met John at his request, the Holy Spirit moved, and John got saved. This ministry flourishes because students care about students.”