Bob Maindelle Guide Lines May 16

Terry Spidell, right, of Harker Heights, shown here on Belton Lake with his son, Tyler, volunteers monthly to prepare a meal for the local chapter of Legacy Outfitters, which meets near Temple Lake Park on Belton Lake. The organization seeks to help men with an interest in the outdoors be better husbands and fathers.

I was standing in my boat on the boat ramp at Roger’s Park on Belton Lake back in March tidying up after a morning fishing trip when my phone rang. It was a number I did not recognize coming from the Gatesville area.

I answered, and on the other end of the line was Bryan Rugh, the leader of the Temple/Belton chapter of Legacy Outfitters. He invited me to speak at the Legacy Outfitters’ May gathering on May 11; and I accepted his invitation.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday evening. Inside the Central Texas Sportsmen’s Club building at the end of Central Texas Sportsmen’s Club Road off of West Adams Avenue in Belton, and just uphill from Belton Lake’s Temple Lake Park, I was greeted by about 25 men of all ages gathering to share a meal which began at 6:30 p.m.

I was greeted warmly and invited to share dinner with those in attendance.

I had done a little homework prior to my arrival so I would know a bit about the audience I would be speaking to.

Legacy Outfitters was founded in 2002 by its current president, Jeff Fritscher, of Waco who was present on this night.

Legacy’s mission is to outfit men to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, thus helping them become better fathers and husbands, and reach their full potential. The organization is not affiliated with any religious denomination and is a 501(c) (3) non-profit entity.

Legacy Outfitters has 12 chapters, 10 of which are located in Texas.

Once each month, the entire chapter comes together for a meeting like the one I spoke at this week.

Additionally, each chapter has focus groups made up of members with common outdoor interests (like shooting firearms, fishing or archery). These sub-groups gather once each month, as well.

Over the course of the year, the chapters sponsor events, normally held on weekends, including father-son and father-daughter campouts, archery tournaments, wild game hunts, family retreats and couples’ retreats, fishing trips and tournaments, wild game dinners and skeet shooting tournaments.

Legacy Outfitters does not charge dues or membership fees, rather, they operate by doing their own fundraising, and through member donations.

On the organization’s website, Fritscher states, “Our meetings and events are designed to provide an environment where our Legacy brothers can confidently invite men to be encouraged and challenged by stories of changed lives and restored families. We believe that ‘Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another,’ (Proverbs 27:17), so most of our meetings and events are intended for adult men, age 16 and up. We do have occasional family and couples events, but our mission and vision is to draw together all men, whether married, alone, or alone again.”

He continues, “Plenty of men focus on building a career, a reputation, and a stable financial future, but they find they have little to offer in the way of character or Christian commitment. At Legacy Outfitters, we believe that a man bears a leadership responsibility for his family, not just to provide for their needs.

Our personal legacy starts when we give ourselves as a servant to those who look to us for guidance.

We long to inspire generations of men who will leave a legacy worth continuing ... a legacy of faith in Jesus Christ, and of responsibility as a man.”

After about 45 minutes set aside for dinner, I got up to speak for another 45 minutes. I shared how, several years ago, the Lord had impressed upon me during a time of prayer that I take good care of my equipment — my truck, my boat, my rods, reels, and tackle which support my business — but He led me to consider if that level of preventive maintenance was being carried over into my marriage, as well.

This drove me to research a marriage conference for my wife and I to attend, which we did, back in the summer of 2018. That event, put on by FamilyLife, was called “A Weekend to Remember.” Participation in the event brought about positive, long-lasting changes in our marriage.

As a result of the conference, my wife and I, both semi-retired, now spend one dedicated day of the week with one another each Friday, which we call ‘marriage maintenance day.’ We also began formally sharing with younger couples some of the things we had learned at the conference so they, too, could benefit.

I left a few minutes at the end of my talk for questions, and noted how after all of the planned events of the evening had run their course, men stuck around to talk with one another. It was evident they enjoyed one another’s company.

I asked both Fritscher and Rugh what motivates them to put in the effort required to see this organization continue to stay on course.

Fritscher responded, “I am so blessed to get to hear and see the stories of the men who experience such positive life changes in their relationships with their wives, their families, and their faith in Jesus. For men who are already Jesus followers, I am encouraged when they embrace Legacy Outfitters as a personal ministry platform by inviting their friends to attend, where those friends might not be willing to accept an invitation to church just yet.”

Rugh said, “It’s just that moment that you see a man’s life change. In every ministry, you go through those times when you wonder if you are making a difference. Then, the Lord encourages and confirms what you are doing by giving you a glimpse of the ministry’s impact. For me that has been men coming up to me after a meeting and saying how much they enjoyed the speaker or a man acknowledging that what they have heard and learned from their Legacy brothers helped save their marriage. I believe in the mission and the purpose of this organization because I have seen it work, and that keeps me going.”

The Temple-Belton chapter of Legacy Outfitters meets on the second Tuesday of each month. Its shooting focus group meets on the third Tuesday of the month.

Those interested may contact Rugh at 254-223-1422, or the chapter’s co-leader, Larry Thompson, at 254-760-7801.

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