Special to 0-A News
From Walter Albritton, Senior Pastor Trinity UMC
For Sunday, Jan. 10, 1999

Parents seek help in the difficult task of raising their children in today's world

When Rusty and Suzanne Baker discovered that she was pregnant with their first child, they looked at each other and shared a sense of helplessness. They realized they needed help, not with the delivery, but with the question, "How on earth do parents raise normal, healthy children in today's society?"
Out of a need to find help for the task of parenting they stumbled onto a seminar being taught on the theme, "Growing Kids God's Way." They enrolled and found "just the help we were looking for." In fact they were so impressed with the course that they prepared themselves to teach the material and offered the seminar in their own church. Suzanne is a physical therapist and Rusty is a teacher, coach, and trainer at Opelika High School. Now the Bakers are the proud parents of two handsome boys, Chase and Jesse. And they are convinced that they are doing a better job of parenting because they are using the principles they learned from "Growing Kids God's Way."

So convinced are they that they persuaded their church, Trinity United Methodist in Opelika, to sponsor a "Conference on Biblical Parenting" on Friday night and Saturday, January 29-30.
Not satisfied to have just anybody teach the material, they went after the "top guns" in the Growing Families International organization, inviting them to come all the way from California to Opelika. So Gary Ezzo, and his wife, Anne Marie, are coming to direct the conference.
Who are the Ezzos? Gary is the executive director of Growing Families International and Anne Marie is one of the principal authors of the materials they use. Anne Marie has a background in pediatric nursing and is a childbirth instructor. She is a co-founder of Christian Childbirth Educators and co-author of "Birth by Design."Together the Ezzos have authored a number of biblically based parenting curricula, used by over a million parents throughout the world. These include the popular series, "Growing Kids God's Way," "Preparation for Parenting," and "Preparation for the Toddler Years."Gary has also authored "On Becoming Babywise," "Babywise II," and "Reaching the Heart of Your Teen." These church based parenting curriculums are used by over 6,000 churches across North America and 95 other countries.
In the conference at Trinity, the Ezzos will speak about topics like "Elements of Discipline," "Raising a Moral Child," and "Fathers' Mandate." Their stated goal is to help parents lay a foundation for confident child rearing based upon tested principles of scripture, physiology, and Christian psychology.
Already dozens of people from across the southeast are registered to attend the conference. Registration information may be obtained by calling the church at 745-2632.
My guess is that there are many parents in Lee County who may want to take advantage of the unusual opportunity to spend a few hours with Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo.