An interdenominational group of African-American pastors has united to ignite a movement to renew marriage and fatherhood in the African-American church.
Press Release: Web
The movement, led by 10 pastors in partnership with National Fatherhood Initiative, Urban Ministries, Inc., and The National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting, has been initiated by a “Call to Action,” which educates and inspires the black church to address the declines in marriage and father involvement that plague the black community.
The leaders of this movement are encouraging anyone who is interested, not just fellow clergy, to sign the Call to Action to demonstrate their support for the mission of renewing the African-American family through the church’s leadership. Please click here to see a copy of the entire Call to Action document, as well as a summary. To be clear, the Call to Action is something that everyone is being called upon to sign, whether you are black or white, religious or non-religious, male or female, it doesn’t matter….
- Are you passionate about seeing more children grow up with an involved, responsible and committed father?
- Are you concerned about the state of marriages in the black community?
- Do you believe the church should play a significant role in supporting and strengthening our families?
If you can answer yes to at least one of these questions, then please sign the Call to Action now!
Resources for Pastors and Churches
churches that are interested in doing more to restore marriages and
support fathers, please check out the following resources:
Men's Ministry Remodeled™
Men’s Ministry Remodeled™ is a one-year plan that churches and ministries can use to establish a sustainable men’s ministry that prioritizes fathers.
24/7 Dad™ Power Hour: Individual or Small Group Studies
Developed by seasoned ministers, 24/7 Dad™Power Hour is a revolutionary men’s small group study series that helps men explore God’s intentions and design for fathers and families. Men will be encouraged to "Reach Up" to God and "Reach Out" to their families with activities and strategies to try at home.
For Christian Lovers Only
This engaging, interactive marriage curriculum is designed to provide guidance in the facilitation of marriage ministry for married, engaged and pre-engaged couples within your church and community.
Leaders and founding signatories of the Call to Action
- Edwin Bass, Founder and Senior Pastor, The Empowered Church (Church of God in Christ) and President of COGIC Urban Initiatives, Inc., St. Louis, MO
- Alex Gee, Founder and Senior Pastor, Fountain of Life Family Worship Center, Madison, WI
- David Guy, Associate Pastor, Life International, Research Triangle Park, NC
- Rob Harrison, Founder and President, 4ever Marriages & Families
- Ray Johnson, Senior Pastor, Calvary Revival Church Peninsula, Newport News, VA
- Bernie Miller, Founder and Pastor, New Covenant Fellowship Church, Chattanooga, TN
- Johnny Parker, Men’s Ministry Director, First Baptist Church, Glenarden, MD
- John Penton, Founder and Pastor, Greater Roosevelt Heights Church, Tacoma, WA
- Clarence Shuler, President and CEO, Building Lasting Relationships
- Sherman Strong, Pastor, Restoration Temple (Church Of God in Christ), St. Louis, MO.
What the Leaders Are Saying
Jeff Wright, CEO of Urban Ministries, said, “African-American clergy are uniquely positioned to lead this revival of marriage and fatherhood in the black community. They have the influence, reach, and most importantly the trust, to lead the African-American community in a movement that has both spiritual and societal implications.”
“With African-American churches and clergy working together and becoming voices for and guides to God’s plan for families,” said Edwin Bass, founder and senior pastor of The Empowered Church in St. Louis, MO and President, COGIC Urban Initiatives, Inc., “we will lead an historic reversal of the destructive trends that prevent us from realizing our potential as a people.”
Roland C. Warren said, “It is no coincidence that while the state of the black family has declined, that the state of the black community – in terms of poverty, incarceration, school failure, and other measures – has also deteriorated. Marriage and fatherhood must be renewed in order for these problems to be reversed.”
The Urgency Behind the Call
Consider the following statistics:
- 2 out of 3 African American children currently live absent their biological fathers.1
- Children growing up without their fathers are two times more likely to be involved in crime, be abused and neglected, and abuse drugs. Also, they are three times more likely to fail in school and five times more likely to live in poverty. Unfortunately, the list goes on.2
- Nearly 7 out of 10 births in the African-American community are out of wedlock. The marriage rate in the African-American community is lower than the rate in any other community.3
1 Data from “Current Population Survey,” U.S. Census Bureau
2 Data from Father Facts, Fifth Edition, which National Fatherhood Initiative released in 2007.
3 Data from The Marriage Index released in 2009 by the Institute for American Values and National Center on African American Marriages and and Parenting