When you meet Larry Menconi, you know from the first words out of his mouth that he isn’t from around here.
But the warmth in Menconi’s voice and his ready smile immediately draw you to him.
Menconi was born and raised in Chicago. In 1996, his son-in-law approached him about starting a business roasting coffee and selling automated espresso equipment. In 2001, his son-in-law sold the business to Krispy Kreme and because Larry stayed involved with the business they ended up moving to Winston-Salem, Krispy Kreme’s headquarters. Menconi’s wife, Annette, was thrilled to be close to their first grandchild and fell in love with Winston-Salem. Sixteen years later, the Menconi’s still love Winston-Salem and have no regrets about moving to North Carolina.
The path to NCS
Merconi found out about New Canaan Society in the unlikeliest of places - Starbucks! He saw a guy with a bible and commentaries sitting at a table at his local Starbucks. Over coffee, the stranger told Merconi about NCS, which had just started in Winston-Salem about a year before. He invited Merconi to visit. It took three months for Merconi to get up the courage to go, but once he did, he was impressed.
The group at River Birch Lodge was a lot more people than Menconi expected at 7 am in the morning, but his first impression was that it was an interesting group.
“It was the type of atmosphere where I was comfortable sitting with anyone. I was immediately drawn to it,” says Menconi.
Being a “starter”
While Merconi had been in the church since age 16, he had never had the type of Christian relationships he experienced in NCS. He wanted to share this with others - so Menconi went back to his roots in the Chicago area. Next, he went to Nashville along with Jay Helvey to meet with his wife’s brother and share the vision of what NCS could mean to the men in that area. Then, he came closer to home and helped get the Davie County chapter started.
Menconi hadn’t really thought much about starting a chapter within his own neighborhood, but in the midst of all the work helping others, God kept putting this idea on his heart. Finally, he felt he could no longer ignore what God was asking him to do. In the Fall of 2016, Menconi started the Brookberry Farm chapter.
How Brookberry Farm is both different and the same as other NCS chapters
Two ways that this new group is different than the other area chapters is that they meet
in the evenings and bi-monthly. Larry felt that many working men were unable to attend
early morning meetings. Currently, there are around 40 members with varying numbers attending each meeting date.
The meeting format is identical to other NCS chapters. The group meets for an hour, with the first 15 minutes for socializing and connecting. They do announcements, then have a different person lead a 10-minute devotional. Finally, they wrap with a speaker who shares a personal story, how God played a role in their life and a spiritual message. Speakers come from within the larger NCS local community.
Menconi finds being a leader a rewarding experience.
“I love when someone comes out and says that this is a unique group. I’m a people person, and I love getting to know people from different backgrounds,” he shares.
“When men get together, it’s a whole different dynamic. It’s unique. Men can share some things with other men that they can’t share with their wives. I love where we are going and hope to see continued growth and more folks showing up consistently. With God involved in the mix, I know we’ll get where he wants us to go.”