Dr Sid Smith, Jr – My Dad is of course my primary earthly role model as a father and as a man. He was a giant of a man in many ways, and I miss his earthly presence in my life terribly. I aspire to fulfill the legacy left by him in ministry, matrimony, and manhood.
President Barack Obama – Whether or not one agrees with his politics, it is clear that President Obama cares deeply for his family and takes great care to ensure that his daughters are raised without falling victim to the many perils of being brought up in the White House fishbowl. I seek to serve as that type of protector from things that, if not monitored and tempered, can destroy my family.
Rev Jesse Jackson – Rev Jackson is frequently seen greeting his sons with a kiss, and in doing so redeems a beautiful image of the type of masculine affection so often missing in Father/son relationships. I endeavor for my children to know that a loving man’s expressions of affection can be healthy and nurturing through my example.
Coach Tony Dungy – Coach Dungy has risen to great successes as an athlete, coach, and broadcaster, while never losing sight of his larger calling from God: to first being a Father and husband of integrity. He and his wife Lauren have chosen to expand their expressions of God’s parenting love beyond their biological children by adopting, and Coach wisely uses the platforms that his career has afforded him to encourage men to be all that God has created them to be. I want to grow in my stewardship of the time, treasure, and talents that God has given me for the benefit of my family like Coach Dungy.
Curtis Gardner, Jr – My close friend and brother from high school and college days in Nashville, Curtis has always been the consummate gentleman, and if you spend even a little bit of time with his two sons you will see the undeniable effects of him passing those gentlemanly traits of courtesy, gentleness, honesty, and honor to them. I have always sought to be the kind of man that Curtis is.
Bishop Walter Hawkins – A world-renown musician and preacher, Bishop Hawkins could easily have related to people as a star…you know the type: untouchable, holier than thou. Instead, Bishop was such a loving shepherd that his church is filled with many who still refer to him as Dad or Pop, although he has been in Heaven for several years. Both his teaching and his walk were a textbook example of a man living with strengths and weaknesses, and loving people enough to take seriously Paul’s admonition to “follow me as I follow Christ”. I am trying to grow into the type of shepherd Bishop was.
Pastor Paul Wilson – Pastor Paul has courageously undertaken the task of raising his three adopted sons along with his wife Kathy. They have risen to the many challenges and joys of parenting with a tenacity that can only come from the deep reservoir of God’s love, while maintaining healthy excellence in ministry. I seek to demonstrate my commitment to Christ through my Fathering like Paul.
Rev Crandel Rankins – Crandel is a veteran youth pastor who I met at my wife Kimberly’s insistence before we got married, and his ministry is characterized by long-term relationships with youth (some of whom are now middle-aged) that he has encouraged towards a closer walk with God. The fervency of his prayers for his kids can move mountains, as their lives will demonstrate. I strive to be a prayer warrior for my kids like Crandel.
Pastor Danny Martinez – The time that I have spent with Pastor Danny has consistently been full of several key ingredients that are evident in his kids…lots of laughter, great fellowship around food, and an insistence on excellence in ministry. Even in the midst of life’s tranquilities and storms, he has sought to lead his family from a place of health that speaks to God’s redemptive grace and mercy. I desire to parent with consistency and maturity like Pastor Danny.
None of these men are perfect, but I admire them all greatly for how they propel me by their example to be a better father and a better man.
Sid Smith III