King Solomon to host family empowerment events

Published 11:11 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pastor R.D. Bernard and his congregation are trying to address what they view as the biggest problem facing America today. It’s not the national deficit, or health care reform, or even systemic poverty.

The congregation of King Solomon Baptist Church feels the disintegration of the nuclear family is the biggest problem facing America today

“We feel the lack of family structure is really hurting America and our community,” church elder Thomas Sandles said. “Economic status doesn’t lead to criminal activity, but without that family structure, our young people struggle.”

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King Solomon Baptist Church congregation have set out to bring awareness to this through three days of workshops and activities hosted by the church called Family Empowerment Weekend.

The event, scheduled for June 25-28, is in its fifth year and is gaining traction in the Vicksburg community for its dedicated approach to improving family life in the area. The theme this year is “Family, My Connection to the World” from Ruth1:16.  The focus this weekend is to recognize and focus attention on the importance of family.

“Our community has really warmed to the idea we have, Sandles said. “The community support has been really terrific.”

The activites begin Friday at the Vicksburg Auditorium with dinner and a theatre production starting at 7 p.m.

The play will touch on topics affecting family life, from illegitimacy to violence to sexually transmitted diseases and the generational effects of those subjects.

Saturday, the Oak Ridge branch of King Solomon will host a quiz bowl competition from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. before concluding the weekend with two separate church services at the Oak Ridge King Solomon location. The first service will be at 8:15 a.m. followed by the second service at 11 a.m.

According to the U.S. Census, 43 percent of all American children live without a father in their homes. The Center for Disease Control puts that number at 73 percent for African American children.

“The one thing that links most male prisoners is fatherlessness… We see this fatherlessness and this pattern, and even in our community, many of the social issues such as violent crime, have — at their core — a young, violent person who is the product of a single parent home,” Bernard said previously.

“We don’t say that, and I don’t say that, to castigate or to denigrate any portion of our populace, but it’s high time that we understand the ramifications and results of our actions generationally.”

The church links many problems the country faces to a lack of family cohesion and hopes this weekend will not only bring awareness, but also a personal responsibility to do better.