JAMESTOWN – A Chicago-area pastor who launched a foundation to help children growing up in troubled circumstances, moved several men to tears at a conference at Koinonia Christian Fellowship on Saturday as he told them that fatherless children struggle to find their identity and are likely to commit mass atrocities against mankind.
Pastor Luis R. Reyes, who founded Church of Joy in Waukegan, IL, was a invited to speak at the conference this weekend by Pastor Ron Lemon.
“A father’s love brings identity, it brings purpose and brings love to the heart for every son,” said Reyes.
Reyes who founded Reach A Generation which serves children and teenagers without fathers met Koinonia Christian Fellowship Pastor Ron Lemon last year at a conference that he hosted in which he ministered to pastors across the country about the importance of being good fathers.
“Pastor Lemon mentioned to me that he was going to be hosting a men’s conference in the Jamestown area,” said Reyes. “He invited me to come, and I was so excited that I was able to make it.”
Pastor Reyes spoke to more than 60 men on Saturday, many got emotional as he gracefully shared his personal experiences with the devastating impacts of fatherless homes.
“When a child grows up without a father they lack identity, they lack purpose, they don’t know who they are and ultimately for many people it can lead to a life of violence,” Reyes said.
Reyes wove examples of some of the drastic actions some fatherless kids, turned killers have taken, during his sermon.
“Recently we saw a young man in Florida murder 17 people at a high school,” Reyes said. “This is the root cause of a fatherless family.”
According to a report in Saturday’s Orlando Sun Sentinel, the father of accused killer Nikolas Cruz died when he was five years old, his mother left alone to raise two children.
“God is a father and that’s what we need to realize,” said Reyes.
To further illustrate Reyes’ assertion, a report from the New York Times in 2015 uncovered how South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof’s father was in and out of his life often resorting to drugs while bouncing from job to job.
“Men need to take responsibility,” Reyes said. “The number one thing we need to do is regain our identity. Anytime a man does not understand his identity, he will commit violence.”