A new page seemed necessary to talk about people who are “doing the most” to live fully in God’s vision for their lives. They are able to hear and “walk” the unique call that defines their reason for being on this planet at this time. They are not dissuaded by what might be described as crazy by the rest of us. They are not discouraged by the walls over which they might have to leap, the roads that lead them down undesired paths. They are only temporarily frightened by the opposition of the mainstreamers who would renegate them to the ordinary holy.
This page will scream “don’t settle.” It will politick for embracing the fullness of the “holy” in its wholeness. It will urge on those who are toeing the line between the familiar and the other that beckons them forward. It will comfort those who’ve already made the choice to be solely what they were created to be, and in that decision do those things that must flow.
This page. It’s taken a minute for me to find myself on this page and I invite you to subscribe so you don’t miss a minute of what’s going on with the wonderful people I’ve bumped into on my journey that’s about to hit 68 years. I invite you to allow yourself to be pushed, pulled or tugged in the direction that will forever awaken you to that which gives you life every day. And not just for a season. Welcome to “Walking worthy…”
Baltimore Fathers and Sons to Brunch with BET
When the BET Father and Son Brunch begins June 9 in Brooklyn, N.Y., more than 75 of those seats will be filled by members of the Black Fathers Foundation, a group started over 16 years ago by Baltimorean, Matt Prestbury. Out of nowhere came a call from Tiyale Hays, senior Vice President, Consumer Insights, BET, asking Prestbury to bring his members to help celebrate Black fatherhood. Prestbury agreed immediately and the buzz began.
“We’re taking two vans and we’re still filling them as the word gets out,” Prestbury said. The dads and their sons don’t have to be members of the group; anyone interested can register on blackmenbrunch.com
“The brunch will feature a panel with Hill Harper, Jeff Johnson, Marc Lamont Jeffries and Hayes.” Prestbury is used to these types of surprises since he’s never sought out publicity for the group. “People asked how we got on the Steve Harvey Show years ago. Somebody just contact me and that was it.” It’s a good sign for a young para educator, who out of his own experience with divorce, sought out other men in the same predicament. And great confirmation of a job being done with quality.
“We started out slowly when I was teaching in private and charter schools, inviting men to brunch or just hang out in the park. But when I started in public schools we created fatherhood groups that were much more organized. That’s when it really took off. I really wanted to create a fatherhood center where people could come,” Prestbury said.
Unable to do that right away, he resorted to Facebook and that’s when the interest, the number of groups and the membership numbers began to swell. Now at 53,000, Black Fathers continues to “counter stereotypes, misnomer and contradictions that pervade mainstream thinking” concerning Black men. “We needed to see each other being responsible fathers every day, our children needed to see us, our wives, our partners needed to see us, because there hadn’t been anything like us,” Prestbury said.
Presently teaching in Howard County Schools, Prestbury has not reached the pinnacle of his vision for Black Fathers. “Someone started a new group recently and gathered over 1,000 men in two weeks; it took me more than a year to get the first thousand,” so it’s really picking up, a factor he attributes to previous media coverage that “blew the doors off,” according to Prestbury.
At one time the group included women, but now members are exclusively male and reside on six continents. Their gatherings are usually in local chapters where meet ups are called by chapter leaders. “And we celebrate Black Fathers’ Day all across the country. Our real focus is to help each other be better fathers, so we ask questions and seek advice, and mentees and mentors are matched as quested,” said the City College ’94 alum and father of three sons and one daughter. He said the foundation is evolving to fund individual projects and provide scholarships for fathers and children.
“We will provide grants to fatherhood organizations that are run by and serve Black men. We will fund events and partner with others to provide resources to men.” Also in the works are books, documentaries and apparel, the sale of which will provide additional funds.
Black Fathers Foundation founder, Matt Presbury, third from left, is with his family; Braylon, Breon, Bryce, Laila and his wife, Kelly Prestbury.
The Waymakers Ministry…
is currently in Ghana fulfilling their ministry mission, or one aspect of it, to facilitate clean water access in Ghana. This is the first of two annual visits and each additionally includes teaching, preaching and the provision of basic needs.
The whole directive originally came as a surprise to the ministry leader, the Rev. Carol Robinson, who had no idea of such a vision. “I didn’t even know where Ghana was, other than knowing it was on the continent of Africa, “ Rev. Robinson said. “But I listened and prepared myself, and with the support of my pastor, began to find my way.”
She found it and found a great need. So after establishing a fine team they began the work. This is one of several trips they’ve taken and already they’ve already made a difference.
“Many people in the villages of Ghana walk over a mile for contaminated water that can be deadly or cause more than 80 percent of all illnesses, due to poor sanitation,” said Rev. Robinson.
“They roll the dice every time they go to fetch water, thinking, ‘If I drink it I might die, but if I don’t drink it I will surely die.’” Each of the wells they’ve built so far serves about 1,000 people, providing clean water without the threat of illness or disease, according to Rev. Robinson, who said,“We then test to make sure the water is acceptable to drink.” She and her team have built four fresh water wells, two restroom facilities and a set of showers. She estimates that more than 4,800 lives have been transformed by their work.
“Our first Waymakers ministry in Ghana, called Streets On Fire, is comprised of street kids we have ministered to in Bible studies over the years and now they’ve become their own ministry,” she said.
Rev. Robinson believes the gospel of Jesus Christ would not be complete without transformation that includes increased knowledge, improved quality of life, renewed family relationships and strengthened communities. And that’s why she answered such a unique call, to be for the people of Ghana; and why she’s been going for 10 years now.“
Honestly, with the need we see, we would go four times a year if we had the funding,” Rev. Robinson said.
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