Dr. Joe Godfrey, Executive Director of American Character Builders
Previews Character Education Kits
Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham Grant
Supplies Character Education Kits to Area Schools
American Character Builders speaker, Dr. Charles Wynn at the Valley High School Health Fair. Thank you Dr. Wynn for the excellent job in preparing Alabama students to "Say NO" to alcohol and other drugs.
In Peter Lumpkin's book, Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence, the author COUNTERS the growing trend among preachers and seminary professors who are teaching that the use of alcoholic beverages is acceptable as long as one "imbibes" with moderation. Lumpkins shows that abstinence is a biblical principal that starts with God's command to Adam and Eve to ABSTAIN from eating the fruit of the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil" in Genesis 3. He goes on to point out that the word for "wine" in the original Hebrew and Greek languages could be used for both fermented and unfermented grape juice, and that it is always spoken of negatively when described as fermented. For a $15 or more donation to AMERICAN CHARACTER BUILDERS (plus $2.10 shipping and handling), you can get a copy of this book! Click the donate button below to make your donation of $15.00 or more + $2.10 shipping to receive your copy! Call the office, 205-985-9529, and let them know of your donation and your desire for Lumpkins' book, Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence.
The following article appeared in The Alabama Baptist newspaper the week of July 24, 2008 (Revised April 2010).
ALCAP/American Character Builders: Volunteers can help students make good choices
By Brittany N. Howerton July 24, 2008 (Revised April 2010)
With staggering statistics of drug and alcohol use and violence in schools across the state, many Alabama Baptists are asking, “What can I do to help?”
ALCAP and American Character Builders has the answer.
American Character Builders is looking for volunteers to teach students in both public and private schools and churches about making healthy life decisions.
“You have a chance to make a difference in the lives of students,” said Joe Godfrey, Executive Director of American Character Builders. “If your participation can save a life, can see one student that says, ‘I don’t want to get caught up in drugs, alcohol and gambling,’ it makes it worth it. We have an opportunity to be a part of shaping our whole culture.”
American Character Builders' more than 30 volunteers spoke to nearly 100,000 students in Alabama schools during the last school year, but more volunteers are needed to help with the increased number of school requests for the upcoming academic year.
Terry Blair, pastor of Fish River Baptist Church, Fairhope, in Baldwin Baptist Association, has been an American Character Builders volunteer for 18 years. He said his involvement stems from his concern for young people and his goal is to alert them to the dangers of the issues confronting them, such as drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
“I want them to understand the things that will harm them and educate them so they can understand that,” Blair said.
Volunteers are prepared for the school presentations by American Character Builders Education Director Bill Day, who leads this program.
Volunteers are trained in how to address drug awareness, suicide prevention, anger management, conflict resolution, character education, gang awareness, bullying, prom preparation, school violence, driving under the influence, gambling awareness and healthy living skills.
Once volunteers are ready to get involved, their names will be put on a list to be contacted when American Character Builders needs a school or church presenter.
Godfrey said when a school or church requests a presentation, American Character Builders first tries to get a volunteer from that area. If that person isn’t available when American Character Builders calls, then another volunteer on the list is contacted. Volunteers can teach as often as they want and as often as schools or churches are available, Godfrey noted.
Rayburn Reed, a member of Schultz Creek Baptist Church, West Blocton, in Bibb Baptist Association, is one who believes in the program.
After his son’s life was taken in an accident with a drunk driver nearly 25 years ago, Reed knew he wanted to be a part of teaching the consequences of such addictions. So after his retirement in 1995, he joined the American Character Builders team to fulfill that goal. “I didn’t think I could do it or I was good enough or that I had the experience. But when my oldest son was killed by the drunk driver, I knew I had to try.”
Blair challenges those interested in making a difference to get involved. “We talk about wanting to make a difference in the lives of young people, but at some point, we have to step out of the church and American Character Builders does this. A lot of young people have never been in a church before; the American Character Builders program gives us an opportunity to go to them.”
And changing one person’s life also impacts the greater good, Godfrey noted. “We hope to see young people that will realize living a healthy lifestyle is to their advantage as well as to society’s advantage.”