Photo by Heather Middleton
By Jason A. Smith
Fatherly love was the focus of an event at a local church, as area dads hit the dance floor with their daughters.
An annual "Father-Daughter Dance," was held recently at Turning Point Church in McDonough.
More than 100 participants attended the event, according to Mike Turner, senior pastor at the church.
"The idea behind the dance is for fathers to connect with, and communicate their love for, their daughters," said Turner. "I have a big heart for seeing dads take their place back in the family."
Turner, who was raised by a single mother, accompanied his seven-year-old daughter, Madelyn, for the occasion. Turner said his own experiences led him to create the dance concept.
"God had put it in my heart," he said. "Over the years, I can see how not having an active, godly father hindered me from my purpose. I understand how important it is, to be validated by a father.
The gala, Turner continued, included an opportunity for fathers to write letters of affection to their daughters, and read them to the children during a slow dance.
Kevin Maddox, and his daughter, Breanna, have attended the church for two years, and came for the second straight year, to the "Father-Daughter Dance," on March 5. Maddox, a 31-year-old plumber from McDonough, said he appreciates the "bonding time" he had with Breanna, through the dance.
Maddox said that he hopes more fathers will choose to take part in the yearly event.
"It hopefully lets her know how much I love her," the father said. "I'm actually talking to a few other dads, to see if they want to bring their daughters next year, even if they don't go to our church."
Breanna Maddox, 7, is a second-grader at Luella Elementary School. She said the letter-writing portion of the dance was particularly memorable for her, because of words spoken by her father.
"He said that moment he saw me, he knew that I was the best thing that ever happened to him," she said.
Brad Post, Connections Pastor at Turning Point, escorted his 12-year-old daughter, Madylaine, to the dance. Post said the event has increased in popularity since its beginnings.
"It's grown every year," he said. "We're at capacity, for the building we're in. But, when we move to our new church in the fall, we hope -- the next time we do a "Father-Daughter Dance -- to accommodate more [people]