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Where We Come From

In 1998, family therapist Philip Loydpierson was asked to create a rite-of-passage experience into manhood for his own godson, Joshua. The nearly two-year study and preparation for this event stoked a fire originally started by ancestors centuries before, and it was soon apparent that such an experience would clearly benefit all young men living in a culture that has forgotten a crucial aspect of growing into a man. It wasn't until 2002 when the first public outing took place. Since those first offerings, JP expanded into four seasonal weekends for men and young men, always emphasizing the coming-of-age of the next generation.

In 2015, Philip decided, in concert with his advisory council, to restructure the Joshua Project, reforming it as a non-profit entity. We are a group of men from different backgrounds, with differing life experiences and outlooks, who share in the vision and commitment to providing young men the opportunity to be seen, heard, challenged, and accepted by their elders as they journey from boyhood into manhood in our culture. We serve the greater southeast, with most of our community coming from Charlotte, Boone, and Triangle regions of North Carolina, but welcome brothers from everywhere.

The Joshua Project is a NC non-profit corporation, operating as a 501 (c)(3) organization under Internal Revenue Code.

Who We Are

Eric Asch

I've been an active member of the Joshua Project since my oldest son started attending over 8 years ago, and a board member for the past 7. I recognize that my first time attending a JP event over 10 years ago was what jump-started my own spiritual journey of self-discovery and growth, and I'm proud to be part of this fantastic group of men doing such amazing work.

I've had the honor of being president of our board of directors for the last 3 years. I teach a graduate course on "Ethics in IT" part time at the University of NC in Charlotte, and in my day job I work in technology for a financial services company in Charlotte where I model heart-centered leadership in the corporate world. I love spending time with my family going to the movies, hiking, and traveling.

Jarod Brown

I was born and raised in Southern California by two Unitarian public school teachers. They encouraged me to integrate and value integrity, social consciousness, environmental awareness, racial/gender orientation/status inclusivity, and the importance of education in its varied forms.

My early adult life was spent wandering North America in a self-modified 1940 Ford gypsy truck. I have a deep interest in men’s group work, ethnobotany, origami, metal sculpture, fire keeping, storytelling, and creating private and public art.

I am enjoying a seventeen-year marriage to Justine who shares her teaching skills and mentors me in my current and third career as a high school auto shop teacher/mentor. So far, my greatest calling and joy has been fathering a bright young man named Jaden. My commitment to fully fathering him led me to The Joshua Project.

One JP retreat inspired me to become involved in this work, and I have found a home tribe with the other equally inspired men in this organization. Peace.

Derrick Hines

Derrick J. Hines does not remember his home planet but has enjoyed his time on this one. His experiences in human form have landed him in many bands, dance groups, a few plays, one commercial, and as an extra on two films and one television show.

He is currently the father of a teenage son greatly benefiting from the Joshua Project. Derrick has been an active member since he and his son participated in their first King weekend almost four years ago. The Hines family believes the Joshua Project is a much-needed organization and will continue to do all they can to keep it going.

Brian Jenkins

I was born and raised in Missouri near the geodesic center of the United States. In my youth, I was intrigued by the growth that starts from within but needed to be honed by interaction with life’s compassionate and selfless mentors. Whether this be growth of the mind, body, or spirit, I was eager to learn how to use these tools to navigate my world.

Having read the book ‘Blue Highways’ as a young man, I was further inspired to then travel and discover the world around me. Through these travels, I came to witness the commonalities and differences we all share. When we are able to honor both, we can become something so much greater than ourselves.

My hope as a part of this community is to become a piece of the circle that fosters this type of growth in both my son and the others that attend. I can personally attest to the transformative effects experienced by the young and elder men after attending a JP gathering. These are both amazing and humbling. Time and time again I am reminded how much our world needs this community.

Philip Loydpierson, MSW

Philip Loydpierson is happily married to Sandy Loydpierson and, with her, the proud parent of twins, Isaac and Amelia, who are now living amazing lives out in the big world. He is also godfather to two beautiful adult men: Luke McCollum, a JP alumni, and Joshua Dulken, for whom the program was originally created and named over 20 years ago.

Philip works as a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice and has been counseling folks in and around Charlotte for over 35 years.

Scotty McKnight

I grew up playing in the woods and waters of Virginia. Majoring in Anthropology, I came to learn of the importance of rites de passage - honoring and remembering childhood, but acknowledging the healthy transition into adolescence (then, adulthood, and, hopefully, elderhood…). Just look around today, and you’ll (sadly) see folks in their 80s still acting with the emotional maturity of 3rd graders. Sometimes, these folks are even elected to political offices. So, I believe that this work is important, not only for our young men, but for society as a whole.

During my summers while in college, I served as a counselor, life guard, rock climbing and whitewater resource for UMC Camp Tekoa in beautiful Flat Rock, NC. Living and working in a wilderness camp environment felt like heaven to me. I am proud that my son has a deep love for this place, and that I get the opportunity to volunteer and support this great camp. After college, I worked for a wilderness-based youth treatment program before moving to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, where I did everything from wash dishes to serve as an ACA Certified Whitewater Kayak Instructor.

It was such a blessing to me to watch my son go through the full JP cycle, and to witness the maturity, strength, and confidence that he gained through the process. I’m passionate about eco depth therapy (see Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin), and am deeply honored to serve with such a fine group of men. Aho!

Stephen McStravick

I spent the first part of my life growing up in rural Ireland, where I learned the values of hard work, integrity, and the need for community. After leaving Ireland, I spent several years living and traveling in various countries around the world learning about cultures and engaging with them. In 2005 I landed in Charlotte where I currently reside.

After my first JP, I knew this had to be part of my journey as I saw the value of healthy male connections.

When my son is of age, I hope he will join us around the fire as we as elders and community welcome him into adulthood. Aho!

Marcos Roberts

Married, one daughter in college, one son in high school, and caregiver to a second young man in high school (both young men initiated in the Joshua Project program for two years.) Raised in Puerto Rico until age 10 (fluent in Spanish). Lived in NYC during adolescence. Charlotte resident since 1977. B.A. from UNCC, J.D. from Washington College of Law at American University.

Founder of a men’s group and involved in men’s work since 1989. A participant with the Joshua Project since 2012 and a board member since 2016. I am committed to helping men distinguish the (mature) masculine in its fullness as well as the (immature) “shadow” masculine and to help connect men with their (emotions) “heart.”

Charles Thomas

I've been attending The Joshua Project since 2003. I first participated in my early 30s when I was questing to better understand myself, rites of passage, and manhood. Since then, my three sons have all participated in and completed the program. I have served as a board member for 4 years.

I work in philanthropy for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as the Charlotte Program Director. I lead a program of work focused on fostering and supporting equitable resident-led development in the Historic West End district.

I'm also a professional photographer and co-published a book of photography and stories with author Valaida Fullwood titled “Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists.”

I live in Charlotte with my beautiful wife Ayo, and our three sons.

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