Gulfport church examines the role fathers play in the world

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A local church took the time to remind the congregation about the important role fathers play in society.

"Mothers really do help teach the love, but the fathers are the figure for what to look up to. Without that role model then you are sort of lost. That's probably one of the problems with this country today; we don't have enough fathers," said David Gooch Jr, a father of a 17-year-old girl.

One place where there wasn't a shortage of fathers today was Handsboro Baptist Church.

"We have to be the ones to stand up for what it means to be a Christian and a good father," said John Martin Franklin Jr., as he gave a speech before the sermon.

The men in the congregation take their roles and responsibilities seriously because they see fatherhood as a gift.

"That's the joy of the life. Just coming home from a hard days work and just seeing them beat you to the door," said Robert Strahan, a father of four.

Some of them say they have been blessed to see their title of "father" evolve through the years.

"Well the way it goes is you love your children, and then you doubly love your grandchildren, and the great-grandchildren are out of this world," said Talmadge Mauldin, a great-grandfather.

There are thousands of parenting books in the world, but these parents say... the best lessons are taught through daily experience.

"I had no patience before my child, and I have become one of the most patient people on the planet...and then on top of that I have to instill that in her, so that's been a blessing there," said Gooch.

But dedicating your life to the little person you helped bring into the world is one of the greatest take backs about being a dad, according to some fathers.

"Watching them grow and watching them learn, it's unexplainable sometimes," said Franklin.

Each of the fathers was given gift bags that included a special bracelet and tumbler cup.

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