What Others Are Saying

"If Phil Downer had lived at the time of King David, he would have been the leader of David's thirty Mighty Men. This soldier's consuming passion is to walk with integrity before his Lord. He is a rock-solid, straight-shooting example we can follow. I have witnessed his brokenness and growth over the years, especially recently. It is a privilege to call him my friend."

          -Patrick Morley, Chairman, Man in the Mirror Ministries, Orlando,
           Florida, Chairman of DNA Ministry Endorsement Committee

"Phil and Susy have been so greatly used by God over the last twenty years and I believe because of the way they have walked with brokenness and humility, they will experience in the years ahead greater heights in ministry than they could ever have imagined."

          -Dr. Howard Hendricks, Distinguished Professor, Chairman, Center
           for Christian Leadership, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas,
           DNA Ministry Endorser

"As I note these comments, I've just participated in a retreat with a group of men from my church. Phil Downer has been our speaker. What a great experience! Phil's down-to-earth stories, personal vulnerability, biblical content and practical applications have touched us all!"

          -Gene Getz, Former Sr Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church North, Director,
           Center for Church Renewal, Plano, Texas, DNA Ministry Reference

"I thought this might be the last opportunity for some of the 800+ people coming to the Omaha Leadership Prayer Breakfast, to hear about Jesus Christ and I wanted to take my best shot. We asked Phil to speak and he delivered the goods--a clear and compelling message of the gospel of Jesus. God's unique anointing is on Phil Downer."

          -Ken Korkow, CBMC Metro Director, Omaha, Nebraska,
           DNA Advisory Board

"In Brave, Strong, & Tender, Phil Downer has created a wonderful resource for men. His stories will touch your heart, while his principles rock your soul. A great book by a great man..."

          -Bruce Wilkinson, President and CEO, Global Vision Resources

"If you could spend an evening with Phil Downer and his family, play games with his children, dine with them in their home, or sit and talk with them in their rooms as I have, you would not only purchase A Father's Reward, you'd make it your mission to get it in the hands of every parent you know. I want every family in America - in the world - to read A Father's Reward. There is a way to turn our nation around, and it begins in the home. Not only will this book give you a vision, it will show you how that vision can become a reality."

          -Kay Arthur, Executive Director, Precept Ministries

"Phil and Susy Downer have been friends of mine for years and I have watched them as they have faithfully followed our Lord's leading over the many years in such a way that they, without question, have a significant life story to share as they disciple other men and women. It is a joy to endorse them and their ministry."

          -Ron Blue, President, Kingdom Advisors, DNA Ministry Endorser

"A powerful, powerful speaker and message! God used Phil in all of our lives. Phil had stories, biblically based, that tied to key points in life-changing messages. He was forthright, transparent, motivating, vulnerable and encouraging to our men to follow God in all aspects of our lives. I recommend Phil without qualification for church and retreat settings."

          -Charlie Boyd, Senior Pastor, Southside Baptist Church, Greenville, 
           South Carolina, DNA Ministry Reference

"I am excited about DNA and convinced that God is using our friends, Phil and Susy, and in fact the whole family, to great Kingdom purposes. Phil and Susy live with the authenticity of a man and woman who have lived life to the hilt, with the humility and brokenness of people who have suffered with Christ and the joy and optimism of a couple who have experienced great growth and victory through their faith in our Lord. It's a pleasure for Ellen and me to serve on their DNA Advisory Board."

          -Bill & Ellen Armstrong, President, Colorado Christian University, and
           Homemaker, Denver, Colorado, Chairmen of the DNA Advisory Board

“One of the best conferences I have ever hosted or attended was led by Phil and Paul Downer. We conducted a Family Life Conference which touched on the most important issues families face today. Phil and Paul were outstanding in the messages they shared and the manner in which they shared. They were very captivating and clear. Their messages were Bible based, compelling, and convicting. My staff and I whole-heartedly recommend DNA Ministries.”

          -Dr. Ron Dillon, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Mt. Pleasant, NC

“It is my privilege to provide the highest recommendation for the ministry of Phil Downer. Our church hosted a special men’s event where Phil was our featured speaker. He also spoke during our multiple worship services on Sunday morning. I was deeply impressed with Phil’s sensitivity to the needs of our local church and his willingness to provide Biblical insight into those issues. Phil demonstrates a genuine heart for God and people as he speaks. His practical insight into the issues of life resonates with his audience. You won’t be disappointed.”

          -Robert Fetterhoff, Pastor, Grace Brethren Church,
           Wooster, OH

“Phil Downer is a man of integrity and purity and has a unique message to men by the transparency of his own personal struggles. No speaker has ever been more candid and yet also helpful as Phil when it comes to sex. His testimony draws men to the power of Christ to change lives. He speaks about his happy marriage and gives very practical advice to husbands. I highly recommend him to your ministry.”

          -Dr. Hayes Wicker, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church,
           Naples, FL

“Phil really connected with a bunch of guys on many levels.  Some of the men were really helped by the simple set of questions in the first session. Phil showed us how God connects generations of men. At the first session he planted a seed of willingness to spend an hour a week with men, and it was wonderful to see the harvest of that seed at the end of the last session when all the men said they would disciple one man.

His list of common intimacy needs was very helpful. He did an excellent job explaining the notion of transparency, especially when you are trying to relate to a guy struggling with things you haven’t dealt with. He piles on lots of ideas and resources for couples. 

The last talk had lots of the ‘Basic Training’ feel about it. ‘Trained men change the world,’ he told us. ‘They are the leaders of the church.’ Amen to that! I am looking forward to putting our follow-up in place. The one-to-one pairings at the breakout sessions helped give guys a flavor of this. To quote Phil’s conclusion: ‘You and your buddy [may be] the only thing that keeps this company from being overrun.’ May God raise up such men.”

          -Dr. David Brown, Minister of Discipleship
           Ward Presbyterian Church, Northville, MI

“I want to thank you again for your efforts this past weekend in ministering to the people of Mariposa. You and Paul make a dynamic and complimentary team that the Lord used to make an impact that will echo throughout eternity. The time you both spent speaking with the men, with the married couples, and our entire church family was powerful. Many responded to the gospel for the first time, recommitted their lives to Christ, and made a commitment to trust God for another man or women they can invest His life into in a discipleship relationship. The Lord is doing a special work through you and your son, Paul, and I cannot recommend enough your ministry to the local church.”

          -Ryan Whitson, Associate Pastor, Ponderosa Basin Chapel,
             Mariposa, CA

“Phil's challenge to men to be disciple makers has greatly benefited my ministry. More men are involved in the hard work of winning and discipling the marketplace to Christ because of Phil's encouragement to make an eternal impact.”

          -Mike Winter, CBMC Metro Director,
               Lansing, MI

“Phil Downer is a man I respect; a friend of several years with whom I co-authored a book. I have heard him speak a number of times and his testimony and messages on discipleship are awesome. Men will be challenged with the biblical and life principles that he brings out. Pastors should use Phil Downer for retreats, conferences and services with their men in their churches. I whole-heartedly endorse Phil speaking in Assemblies of God churches.”

          -Chuck Brewster, Director of Honor Bound Men’s Ministries,
              Assemblies of God, Springfield, MO

“There is a real need today for men to move past the fluff of events and move into true discipleship. That’s where Discipleship Network of America and Phil Downer can take a church, organization and local men’s ministry - on a deeper quest into God’s word; not just an event but a deeper path to evangelism and discipleship to perpetuate even after an event is over. Phil’s message will help your men in their relationships with God, wife, children, church, work, and community.  I recommend Phil for your church.”

          -Randy Jumper, Assistant Director, Honor Bound Men’s Ministries,
              Assemblies of God, Springfield, MO

“Phil Downer is a ‘man’s man.’  He blends the rare combination of military toughness with genuine tenderness.  He communicates through his books and speaking equally well.  His books are full of practicality and biblical principles, and are fun to read. People who hear him experience life changes. In a day calling for integrity, Phil fills the bill!

          -Dr. Bob Horner, Senior Pastor, Peachtree Corners Baptist
             Church, Atlanta, GA

“Investing in people is Phil Downer's passion. True life stories integrated with rich Biblical truth help produce discipled men… mature godly leadership. This is the need of the hour and what DNA is all about.”

          -Randy Weyeneth, Major USMC (Retired), The Navigators
             Military Ministry, Camp Pendleton, CA

“Phil Downer was the speaker at our church weekend retreat … on the subject of discipleship. I found the overall effectiveness of the program to be excellent.  Phil’s life stories were incredibly powerful, which allowed him to touch men where they walk and to connect with their lives. I found each of the four sessions to be excellent – one building on the next. The Lord gave me several reminders of how important my wife Kathy is to me, how powerful God is to change men’s lives, and to have weekly dates with the kids.  I would definitely recommend Phil and DNA Ministries to other pastors and churches.  God really used him in our midst.”

          -Rob Harrell, Senior Pastor, First Evangelical Free Church,
              Austin, TX

“The Lord greatly used Phil Downer to speak at our Ontario Promise Keeper event.  Men are still talking about it.  Thousands committed to disciple one man at the close of the event.  I highly recommend Phil as a speaker.”

          -David Sweet, President and CEO, Promise Keepers, Canada

“I praise God for men like Phil Downer, who recognize the need for men to fulfill their God-ordained call to be the spiritual leaders in the home and elsewhere. Phil’s willingness to be transparent, honest, and real served as a connecting point for me. The weekend retreat with Phil gave me the courage to stand up and have a 5-minute devotional with the men at our basketball games (many of whom are unchurched).”

          -Jason L. Stoecker, First Vice President, LaSalle Bank, Peoria, IL

“Phil's message to the students of the School of Infantry of the United States Marines was plainly understood. He spoke with competence and clearly communicated the gospel message with great illustrations bringing out the truths of the Scripture he shared. The audience hung on every word as he spoke. At the end of his message he gave an invitation to receive Christ and 17 Marines put their trust in Christ that evening.

Phil's speaking on discipleship at Camp Pendleton to the Navigators Military Ministry group encouraged them to live for Christ and reach out to disciple others. The Marines loved what Phil shared and fully related to his life story. The group was deeply challenged in the area of discipleship.

I have the utmost regard for Phil Downer's presentation of discipleship and the Gospel. Phil's use of his personal life and illustrations was key in communicating the gospel and discipleship. With his clear vision, he would enhance any ministry that would use his God-given talents of speaking.”

          -David Townsend, The Navigators Military Ministry,
             Camp Pendleton, CA

“Phil Downer is an extraordinary man. He struck right at the hearts and minds of the men who attended our conference. The way he talked about his love for his wife and children brought tears to my eyes. I also had the privilege of listening to him communicate by phone with his family and I can tell you he lives every word he speaks.  Any church or conference would be blessed by his presence.”

          -Don Collins, Men’s Ministry, Southview Baptist Church,
            Reston, VA; Assignment Editor/Sports, USA TODAY

“Phil Downer was the speaker at our weekend discipleship retreat. Phil is open, honest, straightforward and hard-hitting. Men appreciate his candor and his call to courageously follow Jesus. Phil helps men gain a clear vision for discipleship both in their home and their church. The Friday evening session provided a great opportunity to bring unsaved friends and Phil presented the Gospel in a clear and personal way through his testimony. I would recommend Phil to others who may be considering hosting or attending a conference or retreat in the future.”

          -Rev. Ritch Boerckel, Pastor, Bethany Baptist Church, Peoria, IL

“God used Phil Downer at the men’s retreat for McKinney Fellowship Bible Church. The impact was significant!  I heard the guys share about their desire to go back and live lives of purity and commitment to their wives and families. Phil gave them great encouragement and tools for spending time discipling their kids and other men.  Phil shared from the scripture, his own life and experiences including how God has poured out His grace on him through lots of mistakes and challenges.  Our men’s ministry has continued the spiritual walk that began during the retreat, at our Friday morning study through Phil’s book,Eternal Impact. Our men are beginning to understand discipleship.”

          -Bruce Miller, Senior Pastor, McKinney Fellowship Bible Church
           McKinney, TX

“Couples are still talking about the encouragement they received from our marriage weekend.  It included the most practical instruction possible, because it came from transparent hearts of people who were willing to admit their mistakes … publicly.  Phil and Susy Downer's life message is that God can resurrect even the most hopeless marriage.  They know first hand, because that's what He did with theirs.”

          -Joe Tower, Executive Director, Homeschool Building,
           Grand Rapids, MI

“I have had the opportunity of having Phil Downer speak to pastors and leaders in the Rocky Mountain District as well as at the National Pastor’s and Leader’s Conference. One of the things that we’ve learned over the years is that there is a great disconnect between the mind understanding biblically what discipleship might mean and what’s actually transpiring in the local church, especially as it relates to men. The reason we like Phil is that his understanding of one-on-one discipleship, as well as group discipleship and family discipleship, is all biblical and he leads us to a greater understanding of how that takes place. His teaching results in a pastor reaching his goals and God's mission. Phil sets a foundation for equipping our pastors and church leaders to develop men’s ministry.

We have been holding Leadership Summits with both pastors and lay leaders, in a retreat setting. What they’re hearing Phil say is how to put actual doable day-to-day discipleship into practice. That doesn’t seem like it would be something new, but it’s a revelation to some. Some have wanted Phil to come to their churches to speak to their congregations. They love the way Phil presents, his illustrations, and his testimony of being a husband and father with disciple-making as the root of his life. He is one of the premier communicators in the men’s movement.”

          -Chris Van Brocklin, Men With a Purpose, Baltimore, Maryland

“The Downers are so transparent. So many people attending said how the Downers were used by God, not only from the platform but one-on-one, to touch their hearts and their lives.  I would certainly recommend the Downers for church conferences and other retreats.  There is probably not a better model for how we are supposed to be raising our children God’s way than the Downer family.  The Downers taught on discipleship at a level that most of us can easily follow and easily understand. It’s a conference that is on peoples’ level—heart-to-heart.

          -Ralph Young, CBMC Cannon Beach Conference Director,
             Seattle, WA

"I met Phil Downer over 20 years ago. I was his law firm’s CPA. I was invited to hear him speak at a local meeting during a critical time in my life. A young businessman, I was impressed by the testimony of this dynamic Christian leader. He got me involved in a life changing small group and a one-on-one discipleship relationship with Dr. Jim Lyon. It is an honor to now work with him, Susy, and his family, in this life-changing ministry.”

          -David Deeter, CPA, Managing Partner, Frazier & Deeter, Atlanta,
            GA, Chairman of DNA Board of Directors & Treasurer

“Phil is a great model of Jesus’ own method of evangelism and discipleship. Phil positions himself as a servant, relates as a friend, accepts without performance conditions, and speaks with authority about the things of God.”

          -Mark Parry, A.I.A., Santa Rosa, CA

“Discipleship begins at home and Phil and Susy have been faithful to God in raising their six children. They have also been faithful to share their experiences, including their struggles, failures and hurts. Their practical insight in teaching and modeling spiritual truths to children has been a great encouragement to Anita and me as well as the other members of the “Family Matters” class at our church. We are thankful that through the ministry of DNA, others will be able to learn from Phil and Susy just as we have.”

          -John Zeiser, President and CEO, Southern Champion Tray Co.,
            Signal Mountain, TN, DNA Advisory Board Member

"Phil Downer spoke to about 105 of our men at a retreat. It was very successful. He was very challenging about the importance of discipling their wives and families and about making spiritual disciples in other men. He emphasized spending time with them one-on-one and going out into the world and reaching more people for Christ. I would recommend Phil without qualification for any future conferences or seminars that you might want to invite him to and would love to talk to you about it."

          -Mike Stewart, Assistant Pastor, Fellowship Bible Church, McKinney, TX

“The Unlimited Partnership Marriage seminar weekend was just outstanding for our couples. The feedback I received was that it was very helpful not only for those who were struggling, but for those who had strong marriages. I highly recommend this seminar to other churches. We are very selective in the conferences we offer, and this one really helped with specific issues, including anger, communication, and the biblical view of marriage.

I also appreciated the parenting seminar, Leaving a Legacy. It helped me as a father to focus on the importance of communicating with each of my children one-on-one, instead of just parenting “blanketly,” and has given me the specifics of how to do that. I appreciated the personal examples Phil and Susy used. They gave our couples some tools I was not able to give them. They brought lasting value to God’s work here as partners in ministry and we are very interested in ongoing ministry with Phil and Susy.”

      -Craig Webb, Pastor, Lahaina Baptist Church, Maui, HI