By Keith Knepp
SYRACUSE — Behind the bearded countenance of the gentle giant that is Travis Dailey lies a heart of gold — a man who loves Jesus and isn’t ashamed to tell you about it.
The Syracuse man earns his living working as a master embroiderer at T-Zone Custom Apparel in Milford. When he’s not there, however, you can likely find him involved with a program through Grace Community Church in Goshen, or with his family, which includes his wife of nearly 20 years, Brandi, and children Reagon, 23; Nolan, 14; and Nora, 9.
A native of Southern California who came to Indiana during his junior year of high school, Dailey graduated from Goshen High School. He teaches Sunday school to fourth through sixth graders at the church and is deeply involved with the men’s ministry, including the infectiously popular Fight Club group. He has been involved with Fight Club for several years, currently serving as one of the group’s leaders.
“Fight Club is a 10-week program that puts a ‘deadline on good intentions,’” he said. “For me, it has changed my life drastically. Before Fight Club, I was just going to church with my wife. I wasn’t really doing anything. I was just going to church just to go to church.
“When I joined Fight Club, it showed me how to follow Jesus. It showed me the tools I need to be a good Christian, a good husband, a good father. Every chapter I’m in shows me something new. I just grow in my faith and with my brothers.”
Dailey explained there are two chapters of Fight Club each year at Grace, each of which includes as many as 500 men. He currently is participating in his 13th chapter.
“This chapter, there’s been a lot of first-timers,” he said. “But we do get a lot of returning guys, for sure. Some guys take chapters off. I don’t want to take chapters off because I think it’s good for me and keeps me on track and out of trouble.
“I love serving in my church. It’s a great church doing great things. I get to go on missions trips with the kids and do a lot in our community, as well. We’re on mission here, too, to spread the news, right here at T-Zone every day.”
He’s been working at T-Zone for six years, alongside the business’ owner and his longtime friend, Scott Herring, who also is heavily involved with Grace Community Church and Fight Club.
Dailey also enjoys camping. Each year he takes a trip with 50-60 of his church brothers. “Wild at Heart” takes the men to Little New Orleans, a mountain in Maryland where the group gets closer to God, having fun and building relationships with each other.
“We go up there, we shoot guns, we have guys who give sermons,” he said. “We have small group time, alone time. We go down the Potomac River in canoes, play games. It’s just a great time.”
He said he’s been going on the trip for the last several years. The next iteration will take place in October and Dailey is already making his preparations to attend.
Dailey also is very proud of his children and their love of God.
“Nolan is an awesome kid,” Dailey said of his eighth-grade son, who attends Syracuse Middle School. “He’s a big, giant kid. He’s like 6’5”, 265 (pounds). And then there’s Nora. She’s a light, she’s awesome. She’s my little athlete. I’m trying to get Nolan to be an athlete but he’s really smart and just knows better. Both Nolan and Nora love Jesus with all their hearts.”
For more information about Fight Club at Grace Community Church, contact Dailey or Herring at (574) 658-9663 or visit gracecommunity-church.com/men.