Braddock street minister authors book
A Mon Valley street minister has published a new book that discusses the problems African-Americans face and how to find spiritual solutions.
The Rev. Sheldon Stoudemire released “Ministering to the African-American Male” earlier this year through Baltimore-based Publish America.
The book is available through Amazon.com and will be sold through Barnes & Noble this fall.
“I've come to the conclusion, as a minister, to have the Bible as my basis on foundation to go to,” Stoudemire said. “This is written from a faith perspective.”
Stoudemire, 51, of Braddock is in his 26th year of ministry, and is active in the Greater Pittsburgh chapter of MAD DADS — Men Against Destruction, Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder.
He has worked with people in multiple school districts, group homes, churches, the military and other organizations throughout his career. Those experiences are what drives Stoudemire to get his story on paper to help others.
“I'm using scripture as the answer,” Stoudemire said. “Not that I'm against getting therapy, or counseling or antipsychotic drugs. It's not written from a perspective with a whole bunch of data, whole bunch of statistics. It's pretty practical from my experiences over the last 25 years.”
Stoudemire said he has noticed a pattern of behavioral problems plaguing the people he deals with.
“It's not that they're not academically sound or they don't have the aptitude or proficient skills to accomplish the task,” Stoudemire said. “It's the behavior. It's the distractions. It's the attitudes. It's the ‘I don't care.' With that comes absences, missing school, suspensions.”
Stoudemire has taken some of his own statistics, documenting 1,992 street missions since September 2003.
He said 75 percent of the people to whom he ministers, who are between the ages of 14 and 45, have either been shot, shot at, or have shot someone. Stoudemire recommends parents get more involved in their children's lives in order to help prevent problems in the future.
“They need to monitor what they're doing on the computer, the music they listen to, how much television they watch, who are their friends,” he said. “They need to try and understand their world a little more.”
The paperback book is 52 pages. The chapters are referred to as lessons that are easily read and understood.
The author said the book is a good size for people who get overwhelmed by lots of reading.
“You don't want to wear down people with all that,” he said.
Stoudemire said he may make his ministering books into a three-part series with more details of his interactions with people and other experiences. He released his autobiography “Been There Done That!” last year.
More information about Stoudemire and his books are available by calling 412-758-8217.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.