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  •  FGBMFI Involvement

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    Doug's Involvement with FGBMFI

    (Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International)

    My very first exposure to the organization FGBMFI was at the 1990 North American Congress on the Holy Spirit and World Evangelization in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a young professional computer programmer, I desired to attend the dinner meeting sponsored by the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International. Unfortunately, by the time that I tried to purchase a meal ticket, all the tickets had been sold for this (obviously popular) dinner event and thus it would be another year before I would come in contact with the actual men in this organization.

    In early 1991, the Tampa chapter of FGBMFI invited Franco Gennaro to be their monthly speaker at their breakfast meeting. Franco was my pastor from 1984 to 1988 and then became a missionary to Latin America. Since Franco knew that I was a young professional who might enjoy the company of other professionals (and be a good support for him), he invited me to attend his speaking engagement. I thought it was "neat" to see other Christian business men and professionals meeting together to share their faith and testimonies in a public setting and fellowshipping around a meal at a hotel. Having filled out a guest card at the meeting, I was contacted faithfully every month by the secretary of the organization, Max Means. He informed me of the upcoming speaker and encouraged me to attend.

    The following month, I also knew their speaker Luis Capdevilla . He was the first charismatic preacher that I heard when I visited Franco's church for the first time. I wanted to see and hear him again, so I attended the next meeting. Little by little, I gained more and more of an interest in the fellowship and the vision of what FGBMFI was trying to accomplish. Though there were two months that I had to miss, Max was faithful to call me every month to remind me of the upcoming meeting. To see Spirit-filled men that were faithful to the Lord was an encouragement to me. I wanted to be in the midst of them and I soon signed up for membership and attended my first members-only meeting where the officers discussed the business of the fellowship and prayed for the upcoming meeting.

    The men asked if I would be their main speaker for November. I humbly accepted the opportunity to share my life story and testimony with the members and guests at the breakfast meeting held in a Ramada Inn off of I-275 and Bush Blvd. in Tampa, Florida. The entire presentation can be heard on my Audio Sermons Page. God has done many marvelous things in my life and has used me to be a witness for Jesus to many people. Elections came up later that month and several officers were moving to other cities, and thus there were some openings. The current president, Hank Furr, nominated me to be the new Vice President. Amazingly, the members then voted in favor of this nomination and I became Vice President of the Tampa FGBMFI chapter starting in January of 1992.

    As the youngest member of the FGBMFI in Tampa, many wonderful mature men nurtured me in the ways of FGBMFI. I had a part in planning and speaking at the monthly meetings as well as under-girding it in prayer.  It was a pleasure to see many of my acquaintances and friends be blessed by the meetings. We even saw a few salvation decisions along the way. As I attended countywide and statewide events with FGBMFI, the leadership at each of these levels took a liking to my youthful zeal, enthusiasm for the Lord, and accomplishments. Ed Tunkel, the

    Field Representative for the area, was one of those men who continually encouraged me in my growth and rejoiced with me each step of the way. He enthusiastically introduced me to many leaders within Florida, including Larry Tipton.

    Larry served as a National Director in our area and was a role model to me in many ways. When I first met him, he gave me his card and said that I could call him if I ever needed anything--he was a great friend. I remember Larry visiting my church for the first time and he treated my pastor and his entire family and me to a beautiful (and expensive) Sunday brunch. From Larry, I acquired a greater desire to be a blessing to others through nice meals and fellowship. John Baldwin , the state chairman, and other leaders in Florida asked me to work at the state-level as the treasurer for Florida. I helped account for all the monies that came in and went out, especially at our yearly Lake Yale Men's Advance that drew members and friends from all over Florida to the Leesburg area. It was a pleasure to serve in this way.

    Soon, I was introduced to the new state chairman, Charles Crisafulli , who took a liking to me as a person, my "mathematical genius", my youthful zeal and potential. We became good friends. He encouraged me in my spiritual growth and my involvement with FGBMFI. Charlie was in his mid-70s at the time and had gone through trials and triumphs as a businessman in the citrus industry and then in real estate development. He had accomplished much and had a great love and faith in the Lord. He was (and is) a wonderful role model for me.

    As I traveled with GTE (now Verizon) to countries such as

    Venezuela and Portugal from 1995 till 2000, the Lord led me to share the vision of FGBMFI with other successful Christian businessmen/professionals. After a while, I had a group of individuals who were interested so I invited them (at my expense) to a dinner/business meeting where I and another Director could share with the guests and birth a chapter in Caracas and Lisbon. These were exciting times and many wonderful things happened in both of these cities!

    As of January 2001, I am no longer traveling internationally with Verizon, but I served as a National Director in Tampa, Florida. I enjoyed attending our State Advances and the World Conventions and seeing and encouraging other men at these events. One of my favorite events to visit was the Georgia Men's Advance where over 1,000 men attend the weekend gatherings that are held during two weekends in January. For many years, Jimmy Rogers had invited me (and other Directors) as a special guest for the weekend. It is amazing to see so many people come into a relationship with Jesus by faith and to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at these meetings every year! These men then go back to their cities and usually become faithful servants in their church.

    In March of 2004, I was asked (and volunteered) to be the webmaster for the International web site at www.fgbmfi.org . They really needed the help, and I was glad that I could be of help and service to them and to the fellowship in this way. I also created web sites for FGBMFI for the

    Florida chapters and later for all the Southeast USA (www.fgbmfi-se-usa.org ). I think that it helps to knit all the chapters together and give us a bigger picture of how God is working in our midst. Little did I know that creating web sites (and developing web applications) would become a career profession for me and not just a hobby.

    Starting in 2009, after an exodus of some good men, I was appointed as an

    International Director for the USA and have served in that capacity ever since. It is a board of 70 individuals from around the world that report to the International President. I enjoyed interacting with the various directors from around the world and representing the fellowship to the chapters (and vice versa).

    In the beginning of 2014, the USA was restructured and I was asked to serve as the Southeast USA Regional director for the English chapters (and later for the Spanish chapters). I put my heart into serving the chapters and getting to know the many leaders and members throughout the region. I always desired to not only represent the International Office to the chapters but to represent the chapters to the International Office.

    After the passing of the International President, Richard Shakarian, and after the International Directors meeting on February 10, 2018 when Mario Garcia (from Mexico) was elected as International President, I was pleasantly surprised when Mario called me 4 days later and appointed me as the

    International Secretary for the world-wide Fellowship.

    I have had the privilege of sharing my testimony at dozens of chapters, conventions, and rallies throughout the United States and abroad. FGBMFI provides people who have been touched and changed by the Lord to have a platform from which to share with others the good things of God. Audiences also learn from the struggles that the speaker has gone through, as real life stories are shared, often within a spiritual context.

    (Dr. Steve Davis, a Ph.D. in psychology says, "People relate more to your failures than to your successes" in your life story)

    Position Held in FGBMFI Years served Significant accomplishments

    Member, Life-time member 1991 - present Brought many co-workers and friends to our chapter meetings

    Vice President of Tampa chapter 1992 - 1995 Brought many co-workers and friends to our chapter meetings

    State Treasurer (and Field Representative)

    for the State of Florida 1994 - 1999

    Produced detailed reports of all income and expenses for the directors in Florida; Helped with yearly Men's Advance in Florida

    International Director at Large 1999 - 2002

    Started FGBMFI chapters in Lisbon, Portugal and Caracas, Venezuela; Encouraged chapters in Germany, & Angola.

    National Director 2002 - 2013 Liaison between International HQ and those interested in FGBMFI

    Webmaster for the International FGBMFI 2004 - 2009 Create and maintain web pages for

    www.FGBMFI.org

    International Director 2009 - present

    One of 70 International Directors having a vote at World Conventions and serving internationally at FGBMFI events

    USA Southeast Regional Director

    (for English chapters) 2014 - present

    Liaison between International HQ and English-speaking chapters of FGBMFI in Southeast USA (FL, GA, NC, SC, AL, TN, MS, and 1 in VA)

    USA Southeast Regional Director

    (for Spanish chapters) 2017 - present

    Liaison between International HQ and Spanish-speaking chapters of FGBMFI in Southeast USA (FL, GA, NC)

    International Secretary



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