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Powerhouse Community Development hosts fatherhood workshop

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CEO of 3 C's Fatherhood Education Partnership Joe C. Meriweather speaks about the importance of having a father figure for children to look up to at the fatherhood workshop hosted by Powerhouse Community Development on Saturday, Dec. 8.
(Kelsey Alumbaugh/Democrat-News)
On Saturday, Dec. 8, "Connecting with Your Kids," a Fathers Committed to Families workshop, was held at the First Baptist Family Life Center. The workshop sessions were focused on identifying fathering strengths and weaknesses, discovering how to connect with children and learning practical tips on how to be a better dad.

"I thought the workshop event went great! I wish more could have been in attendance, but it was a great start," Pastor Charles Stephenson said.

During lunch, CEO of 3 C's Fatherhood Education Partnership Joe C. Meriweather spoke. Meriweather grew up in a home without a father, and said his biological father only came into his life when he spent 10 seasons in the NBA.

According to Meriweather, his father lived in Detroit. The only time he heard from or saw his father was when his father asked him for tickets to games in Detroit.

The three c's stand for called, committed and connected. Meriweather has been the CEO for a year and a half. The program hopes to address the void of educational training programs geared towards developing young boys into responsible men and fathers.

Meriweather started his speech by describing 12 individuals with characteristics found in everyday men.

"First of all, I'd like to talk to you about some ordinary men that taught me a lot about life's ups and downs," he said. "While I'm talking about these men I want you to see if you can relate to some of them. I'm going to tell you a little bit about their character and ability without using their names. The first individual, he was impulsive. He was bold in what he believed in and a leader." And on Meriweather went listing different characteristics of the men that were considered both good and bad qualities.

"You might be asking yourself 'How could these men teach anyone anything about life?'" he said. "These are characteristics of the 12 disciples. Ordinary men, just like you."

Meriweather said the disciples were not always good men, but Jesus spent time with them, teaching and training them.

"Sometimes, we as men do not do that with our sons," he said. "We don't spend time with them. We are too busy chasing the almighty dollar."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one out of three children live biological father-absent homes.

"They are learning from the streets, gangs, mothers and the prison system," Meriweather said.

According to A National Center for Fathering Training Program, 85 percent of all youths sitting in prison grew up in a fatherless home.

"Having a child makes you a father, but not a dad," Meriweather said. "You see, we don't always have to be that young man's biological father ... you as a man can step up and become the young man's nurturing father."

And for Meriweather, those nurturing father figures were coaches and men in his community.

When he became a women's basketball coach at Park University, he made sure to be a father figure to his players.

"We need to start stepping up and becoming the men God wanted us to be," he said. "In my own opinion, and this is just my own opinion, I think the world is so messed up because men have not stepped up to become men. And if we don't step up, ladies will. ... But, it still takes a man to teach a man how to become a man."

"There's been so much wonderful, wonderful information here today," Stephenson said after Meriweather's speech came to a close. "Hopefully you're going to leave here inspired, motivated to build better relationships with your children or the children you come in contact with that God has blessed to be in your life."

Stephenson said he enjoyed hearing Meriweather's lecture.

"I felt his life story reflected the challenge facing young men of today with an absentee father and how an individual can overcome adversity and make something of themselves," he said.

He also noted the influence one could have by being involved in the lives of one's children.

"I hope men left understanding the importance of being connected and active in their kids life," Stephenson said.

The workshop began at 8:30 a.m. and came to a close at 2 p.m. Breakfast and lunch were served.

For more information or to enroll in class contact Dave Rimmer at Powerhouse Community Development Corporation 660-886-8860.

Contact Kelsey Alumbaugh at kalumbaugh@marshallnews.com

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