Fredron Blackmon is not a man who waits for others to take charge.
“In order to change things positively, you have to step up,” he said.
Born in Mobile, Ala., he serves as a pastoral associate and director of liturgy and music for St. Joseph Church in Huntsville.
Blackmon joined the Knights of St. Peter Claver just eight years ago, and has moved from leadership positions with his local chapter to president of the Gulf Coast Conference and then election to Supreme Knight.
He said he has a strong sense of drive, commitment and fidelity to the church.
“My goal is to ensure everything we do is imbued with the Catholic faith,” he said.
To that end, he has three primary objectives:
- Foster the development of youth, especially in the African-American community. Blackmon said Catholic education is very important and needs to start as early as possible, although he added that people are never at an age where formation is irrelevant.
- Increase vocations. The new leader said it is not the role of Bishop Guglielmone by himself, or just the parish priest to foster awareness of vocations. He said it must start in the family and be supported by the community.
- Life issues. When Blackmon talks about life, he’s talking about a wide range of issues that start with conception and end with natural death. He said it’s about being involved with people who aren’t like us, and reaching out to those who are different.
“It’s all about love and mercy,” he said.
Part of his drive comes from an eye-opening experience that most men his age don’t have: open heart surgery. He said it made him want to always be as prepared as possible to meet his maker.
“When Christ calls us, we have to answer,” Blackmon said. “I want the Lord to tell me I did a good job. I want the Lord to tell me ‘I know you.’”
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