Frayser church faces tough questions about teen pregnancy

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Memphis church congregation is working to break the cycle of teen pregnancy.

Just before Sunday morning services at Pursuit of God Church in Frayser, Pastor Rickey Floyd asked some tough questions regarding the alarming number of teen pregnancies at Frayser High School.

"You want to stop people from getting pregnant?" asked Floyd.  "Well then what do you do with the people who are pregnant?"

Floyd's church is located directly across the street from Frayser High School.  He said there are some troubling trends when it comes to teens engaging in sex.

"So many times, men will find them situations ... where they are doing it to prove their manhood," said Floyd.  "What we found with this generation, the women are more assertive and more aggressive than the males are with sex."

Terrica Sutton, a 16-year-old student at Frayser High, has a two-month-old daughter.  Sutton has her own views on why teenage girls get pregnant.

"Some girls try to do it because they think it's cute," said Sutton.  "For some, it is an accident."

Ministers like Floyd said the entire community must do something to address teen mothers.  His church has a unique connection with students at Frayser High School.  About three years ago, the church began a program to try and help young girls and prevent them from getting pregnant.

The church has hired a full-time staffer to work with the girls at Frayser High School and help them understand the consequences of becoming a young parent.  In addition, the church will teach young girls and boys about abstinence, self-esteem and other factors involved in young people having children.

"We have to focus on the boys, too," said Floyd.  "Because these girls are not getting pregnant by girls, they're getting pregnant by boys."

Floyd said that he is a child of a teen mother and knows how important it is to break the cycle of teenagers becoming parents.  He said while a lot has been said about the pregnant students at Frayser High School, he knows his program and others are working hard to raise the kind of awareness needed to solve the problem.

Floyd said teen pregnancy is a problem the entire community should be working to prevent.

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