The first Shamgar session in 1969.
The example of Shamgar in the Old Testament book of Judges 3:31, and after having attended a Navigators Conference in Dallas, Texas, this inspired Doug Snider, a Christian businessman, to begin Shamgar Inc., a ministry for training men in Christian discipleship in 1969. Doug attended the conference with four men: Charles Featherston, Clyde Powell and Lowell Hoyt. Having experience in working with men, these four men saw that the "Shamgar principle" was an answer to the personal defeat many Christian men were experiencing. Doug also saw an opportunity to reach out and meet the needs of unchurched men. In contrast to Shamgar's oxgoad as described in the Bible, he knew there were "mighty weapons of warfare" available to the child of God, yet he saw men lacking direction and living defeated lives.
Doug owned an 85-acre tract of East Texas woodland that included a cozy farmhouse shaded by giant oak trees, a beautiful pond nearby, and an incredible view of lush pastures. Having prayed for God to open doors for a men's discipleship ministry, he yielded himself and his property to the Lord Jesus Christ. He and his wife Betty donated the property to the ministry converting the farmhouse and acreage into a Christian retreat and named it Shamgar, Inc.
For many years, Shamgar Discipleship has proven to be effective in helping men to become "more than conquerors". Many Christian leaders in East Texas today went through Shamgar Discipleship Training when they were young men. Since its inception, Shamgar has hosted hundreds of men in the U.S., and in 6 foreign countries. Shamgar continues today to train Christian leaders for tomorrow. Navigator John Crawford came to Tyler to investigate Shamgar before being commissioned to his ministry in New Zealand.
In August 1998, Doug went to be with the Lord. Clyde Powell, a 1970 Shamgar graduate and Jim Little, a 2000 Shamgar graduate, picked up Doug's mantle and now lead the training workshops. The Shamgar ministry believes so intently in the training and benefits for men that there is no charge for attending a workshop. The ministry has been maintained by freewill, tax deductible offerings of the participants.