Anyone who has been around NCS for a while knows that our group of brothers loves nicknames, or monikers. The longer you are with us, the greater the likelihood you, too, will be given one! Here’s a quick story about how some of our brothers got their special nicknames and what they mean to our organization today.
“Coach" – Bill McClain
Coaching basketball is part of McClain’s background and he was successful at it having coached at various high schools universities. Coaching is about so many things but is based upon teaching, developing and challenging people to a different view of themselves. McClain uses his skills to infuse those he "coaches" with the encouraging news of the love of God.
"The Guru" - John Mark Fuller
While the exact origin is unclear, it doesn’t take a person long in a conversation with Fuller to realize that he is well-read and has a deep knowledge base. He is passionate about language uses it to provoke folks in most any interaction. Many times in a group conversation he is the one to bring clarity or the one to whom people ask, "John Mark, what do you think?"
“Italian Stallion” - Larry Menconi
Menconi is, in fact, Italian, but he also carries the aura of a stallion. Menconi exhibits some traits of the stallion mentioned in Job:39:19-25, and has a holy “feistiness” that’s made him instrumental in initiating and supporting the development of NCS groups in many areas.
“The Head Diener” – Dick Joyce
Several years ago, some of our Moravian Brothers suggested that we hold a Love Feast as part of our NCS Friday gathering before Christmas. Dick Joyce took the lead on getting feast supplies as well as recruiting men to help serve. Since the servers at a love feast go by the German term of “diener”, it seemed fitting to have Joyce be dubbed The Head Diener. Our NCS legend has Joyce in the Diener Hall of Fame, wherever it may be based.
“Job Doc” - George Hoyt
This came about when we started Transition Tuesday. In order to support the men who were looking for jobs, The Job Doc provided practice interviews, resume review, career counseling and most importantly encouragement to men during one of the most traumatic times in their lives.
“Dr. Love” - Phil Ziesemer
This moniker came about after Ziesemer had arranged for Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the Five Love Languages, to speak to our group, which Ziesemer followed up with his own talk on the love languages, encouraging men to be better husbands. Dr. Love stuck quickly and became rather well known both within our group and outside. Ziesemer was called Dr. Love in Costco, at a funeral and even a business meeting! Dr. Love became so infamous locally that we asked him to move to Chicago to reduce the paparazzi at our meetings (joking of course).
“Praying Anthis” - Steve Anthis
The wrap-up duties on Transition Tuesday each week fell to Anthis. God gave him the special gift of being able to pull a section of scripture out of the Bible that related directly to what the speaker had shared that week and then incorporate it into his closing prayer.
“PrayerMeister” – Chris Perry
For our Friday meetings, we wanted someone to lead us in a thought of the day and opening prayer. Part of the DNA of NCS is self-effacing humor, which relaxes the meeting atmosphere. Chris Perry was the perfect fit for this role given his wit, maturity of faith, and experience with NCS. And Perry has owned it in such an effective way ever since.
“Rabbi” – Chris Welch
This moniker came about while Chris Welch was getting his Masters in Divinity at the Wake Forest Divinity School. As a gifted story teller with an enthusiasm for studying the ancient theologians, he was easily set up to be known as “Rabbi”. The nickname also had the benefit of pointing to our denominational diversity across the NCS group.
“Habibi” - Kalim Andraos
On the first NCS trip to the Middle East, the guys kept hearing Andraos call some of the people he knew "Habibi". When he was asked what it meant, he said it was a familiar greeting. In Arabic, it’s a word used to denote a good friend and close relationship. Soon after, Jay Helvey called Andraos "Habibi" and it seemed to embarrass Andraos, due to the more intimate way it was normally used. And naturally, due to his embarrassment the name stuck!
“The General” - Jay Helvey
Kalim Andraos is credited with the nickname for our NCS leader. He says the reason he gave him the nickname of General is because “once you give him [Helvey] a vision he will strategically organize it, develop the plans and bring resources to make it happen in a way like no one can - just like a war general.”