Local church ministry provides role models

 By Thad Williams

For the past year, a local group from Calvary Baptist Church has been running an organization that aims to provide male role models to boys within the community.

The program, dubbed Knights Ministry, helps families that are lacking a male figure by providing programs within the church and by engaging a handful of young boys under the age of 12 with a series of activities and events.

The ministry was started when one member of Calvary Baptist Church, Ragan McCann, saw a need that a number of families within the church had and sought to provide positive role models for children.

“We had a widow at our church,” McCann said. “Next thing you know, we had another widow… and we had several single women at our church and all of them had boys.” 

McCann added that he believes the church is commanded to help people in need. He then began to work with a few other members of the church to form this group that spends time with each of these children to provide for them an opportunity to have a father figure in their day-to-day lives.

The Knights Ministry operates in a number of ways to help the youth of the church community. Groups of four men will alternate weeks where they will each take one of the participating boys out on some sort of excursion or event, as well as spend time teaching them lessons and giving them any advice that they are seeking.

Kyle Rugg is a member of Calvary Baptist Church who took a role in this program, and he works in conjunction with three other men from the church to mentor a young boy from the community.

“[The child] gets qualities from all four of us,” Rugg said. “I definitely think that there is a positive understanding of a strong Christian man.”

In addition to spending personal time with the participating children, the Knights Ministry also plans monthly events for the entire community to participate. 

Billy Lowe is a member of the men’s ministry at Calvary, and while he is not in one of the mentor positions with the Knights Ministry, he works closely with them to help plan and organize these monthly events.

Lowe stated that when it comes to these events, he meets with McCann and other members to “start thinking about things ahead of time to be able to hopefully coordinate and schedule announcements better so that people can hear about it ahead of time.”

Knights Ministry also puts focus on helping the mothers of the young boys. Tiffany Suen is the mother of one of the participating children, and she has been involved with the Knights Ministry since the group first started and said that she is very thankful to them.

“Every kid needs a father figure in their lives,” Suen said. “It is good to know the men will be in their lives to teach them.”

Many studies, such as one written about in an article by SAGE Journals, have been shown to prove that male children who grow up without a father figure in their household are more likely to suffer from a number of effects, including increased dropout rates, drug and alcohol abuse, and incarceration. Knights Ministry hopes to help children in the community avoid this by providing these positive male role models for them whenever they are needed.

The ministry hopes that other members of the community can see what they are doing with these children and inspire them to help in any way they can.

According to McCann, the biggest thing someone from outside the ministry can provide to help these children is time. The Knights Ministry as a whole wants people to know that these boys need their help, and all it takes is a commitment of time.

McCann also expressed that the point of this group is not to take credit for starting this program and helping these children. McCann and the rest of the men involved feel it is an obligation that they are filling for all of these families.

“I didn’t start it,” McCann said. “I didn’t come up with the idea. I didn’t ask for it. And I couldn’t sleep until I did it.”

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