According to the 2010 Census, of the 168,000 children living in Memphis, nearly 67,000 — about 4 in 10 — are living in a family with a female householder and NO FATHER PRESENT.
Later this month, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton will host the Second Annual Memphis Training Camp for Dads. (Wharton is writing a guest column about the issue that will run with your response.)
From your perspective, how big is this problem? How do you see if effecting your congregation, your community, the culture at large? What can/should be done about it?
Sociologically, the absentee father is probably the key to most of our problems in Memphis and the nation. Although the statistics are especially alarming among African-Americans, this issue affects all of our families. I see evidence in young people every day of the good job or poor job that fathers have done in rearing their children. Every church, school, and social agency would be wise to focus on this issue in coming years.