About Us

A Proud Past - A Bright Future…

Drug free powerlifting has a proud tradition in Mississippi. It's roots were put down at St. Stanislaus College (a high school established in 1854) in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Brother Bennett Bishop

Brother Bennett Bishop 1931-1994

Brother Bennett we salute you and we thank you for your contribution to our sport.

TESTAMENT: "I never heard anyone describe Brother Bennett as a "typical" Brother of the Sacred Heart. He was unique in so many ways. On Holy Days of Obligation at St. Stanislaus, he and all of his students would wear bright, colorful neckties in "silent protest" of what he perceived as a lack of adequate observance of the Holy Days by the school community. That practice typifies for me the fascinating blend of "conservation" and "liberal" elements which co-existed within him. (Brother Bennett would have no difficulty with that first "label", but he'd probably take exception to the latter one.) He was a very traditional classroom teacher, both in content and in methodology, but he never "went out of style" in the minds and hearts of his students. They greatly admired and loved this bastion of Catholic orthodoxy and of American patriotism who allowed his deep love for each of them to show through his formal, disciplined demeanor. Brother Bennett spent most of his teaching career at St. Stanislaus, serving there from 1969-1987. While at St. Stanislaus, he gained state and national recognition because of his involvement in weightlifting and powerlifting, his love of which paralleled his love for the classroom. As founding president of the American Drug Free Powerlifting Association, he dedicated countless hours and seemingly limitless energy to a cause which he strongly believed in. In a 1984 interview with the Gulf Pine Catholic newspaper, he said, "A lot of good people teach weightlifting. But as a Brother, I also teach religious truths and help in the moral formation of the young people in my club. That's what being a Brother all is about." Being a Brother was eminently important to Brother Bennett. His fidelity to community prayers and activities was obvious - even though his penchant for tardiness was likewise legendary. In his own way he deeply loved his Brothers, his life as a religious educator, and his involvement with weightlifting. In 1969 he was honored by the State of Alabama for his efforts to promote patriotism among high school students; and in 1980 he was elected vice-president of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of the Right-to-Life Association. In the midst of all his activities, he remained committed to sharing his life and love with his mother and other members of the family; and he developed and sustained close friendships wherever he served. Brother Bennett knew clearly during the past several months that his battered heart could stop beating at any time. He was prepared to meet, face-to-face, the Sacred Heart he had served so generously throughout his life. The 'Ametur Cor Jesu' (Loved be the Heart of Jesus) he insisted his students include on every work paper or test submitted to him is now his song of praise for all eternity".

Brother Paul Montero, SC, Provincial.
, a teacher at the school, was the Founding President of the American Drug Free Power Lifting Association (ADFPA), the predecessor of the USAPL. He did much of the early work from his office in the gym at St. Stanislaus.

He adopted for our organization the motto, "Men's Sana in Corpore Sano"
(A Sound Mind in a Sound Body) as well as official colors at the time, red & black, directly from the school. With its beginnings in Mississippi, our athletes helped pave the way for the growth of the sport. Also, the names of some of the greatest athletes in the history of our organization are from Mississippi.

Today the tradition continues. The Brother Bennett Award
The Brother Bennett Award is the most prestigious of the honorary awards given by the members of USA Powerlifting. It is named for the founder of the drug free powerlifting movement in the U.S., and recognizes extraordinary service to the athletes of our organization and leadership in furthering the cause of drug free sport. The recipients of the Brother Bennett Award reflect the highest ideals of our sport, and many of the recipients were both mentored by Brother Bennett and share his vision of a lifting platform free from the effects of strength inducing substances.
is given each year for service to our organization and our young athletes continue to make their mark on the sport of powerlifting. It is now more important than ever to let athletes know they have a choice - a drug free choice.

Let's all work together to raise the awareness and profile of drug free lifting. We can spread the word, support drug free meets and participate where we can. We have a great past and an even brighter future.