The ministry â€œLetters from Dadâ€ was born during the aftermath of a death.
George Vaughn, the ministryâ€™s creator, was cleaning out his fatherâ€™s house and putting things in order when he came across a tackle box.
Inside, there were rusted fishing hooks and rotted fishing line. His first instinct was to throw it away. Then he had a realization.
â€œIt just hit him like a ton of bricks that that was all he had of his Dad,â€ said Marcus Redding, reverend at Hulls Grove Baptist Church.
Vaughn, the father of seven children, decided then and there that he would leave his children more. So began â€œLetters from Dad.â€
Since it started in Dallas, Texas, the ministry has gained 70 participating churches.
Hulls Grove Baptist Church is one of the those 70, and the only trained church in North Carolina.
This Saturday marks the introductory meeting to the ministry. Those who participate will learn how to write letters to loved ones and â€œpass on their spiritual blessing.â€
During the course of five meetings, men will write letters to their wives, parents and children. They will also leave their last will and testament.
â€œIf you knew this was your last day on Earth, what would you say to the world?â€ asked Redding.
These letters will then either be presented to their loved ones or placed in a memory box for future generations.
â€œThe beauty of it is youâ€™re asking guys to write this down â€” donâ€™t just have the concept in your mind,â€ said Redding.
An estimated 100 men will be participating in the first meeting. Men from all over Lincoln County are invited to attend.
â€œItâ€™s not just a Baptist thing,â€ said Redding.
The large group will be addressed and then split into smaller â€œLegacy Groups.â€
The goal is to have men communicate with each other and communicate with their loved ones.
Redding has noticed many men shrink from talking about their feelings. During marriage conferences the wife often does the talking while the husband â€œshuts down.â€
He hopes â€œLetters from Dadâ€ will help men open up.
â€œThis macho thing is really killing our society,â€ he said.
He expects the ministry to grow and hopes other churches will hop on board.
â€œThis is honestly one of the greatest ministry tools Iâ€™ve ever seen in my life,â€ he said.
Want to go? â€œLetters From Dadâ€ Words of Hope, Faith and Love will have an introductory meeting this Saturday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hulls Grove Baptist Church, located at 6670 N.C. 27 West. A meal will be included. Pre-register by calling (704) 276-1181. For more information visit lettersfromdad.com.
by Sarah Grano