Carey Casey learned how to be a father and a strong man from his own father.
In the 1960s, Casey heard people call his father the N-word in public and remembers his father rising above the ugly insult, saying: “Son, evidently, they don’t know my name.”
But Casey, the CEO of the National Center for Fathering, knows many children in America aren’t blessed with a father in their household.
About 65 million men in the United States are not active in their children’s lives, Casey said.
To help re-engage men with their families nationwide, the National Center for Fathering is teaming up with local churches nationwide to show the movie “Courageous” about four police officers and their struggle to be better fathers. “Courageous” hails from Sherwood Pictures, the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., which produced “Fireproof.”
Casey came to speak in Wilmington at a well-attended showing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington of “Courageous” in November 2011. And now New Beginning Christian Church is teaming up with seven area churches to bring the event back to Wilmington.
The church will host a dinner and showing of Courageous with Casey as the keynote speaker 5–9 p.m. June 30 at the church, 3120 Alex Trask Drive in Castle Hayne. The event is free, but donations go to the National Center for Fathering.
New Beginning’s associate pastor and New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said the event aims to help Cape Fear men recognize the importance of their fatherly roles to their families.
Scott Diggs helped organize the first Courageous event, and said the movie changes lives. At that screening, audience members got a surprise visit from one of the film's actors, Robert Amaya, who plays Javier Martinez in "Courageous."
“The movie is one of the most impactful films of your life,” he said. “I get chill bumps thinking about it.”
One National Center for Fathering program is already in three New Hanover County schools is Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students.) But Diggs hopes the program that encourages men to regularly volunteer in the schools as mentors will spread to all area schools.
“Children without a biological father in the home are more likely to be poor, drop out of school, girls are more likely to be pregnant as a teen. But by a Dad just being there, those statistics flip,” Casey added.
Casey, also a minister, paraphrased Malachai 4: “God wants to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the father or the land will continue to be cursed,” he said. “There’s some great things that take place when a daddy’s heart is turned to his children. . . We firmly believe the battles President Obama has and President Bush had – education, health care, the economy – I am convinced as we work with fatherlessness the other evils of our world will go away.”