If ever there was a fitting image of faith and duty-bound fatherhood, it is that of elementary school teacher and basketball coach, Malcolm Batchelor. An educator for nearly two decades (19 years) in Atlanta-area schools, Batchelor served in the US military before attending Clark Atlanta University, where he met his wife, April, the first week of school. A devout Christian, Batchelor uses his love for the game of basketball to teach and coach AAU quality talent, including his son, Stone-Jacob. Batchelor’s daughter, Addison, rounds out his beautiful family of four.
What legacy are you leaving for your children and the children of your community?
The legacy I desire to leave is the unapologetic acceptance of who you are. I believe that each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made and that God has a specific purpose for each of us to fulfill. Embracing that purpose and every distinct characteristic given to each of us, allows for us to evolve perfectly in God’s ultimate plan for our lives.
How would you describe your Fatherhood culture?
The essence of my culture as a father is to be present and patient. As a father, I realize the lack of time I have to impact my children before they leave my home. I want to be present for every special moment and available for their every need. I want to be patient and understanding with them knowing that they are learning daily to become who God has called them to be, and my role in their journey is paramount.
From a father’s perspective, what two books would you recommend every child read?
I highly recommend the daily reading and studying of the Bible, which is replete with examples on how to successfully navigate all aspects of life. The personal relationship they develop with God through Jesus Christ will guide them even when their father is not present. “Liberated Through Submission” is another great read by P.B. Wilson. It is about a woman who found that her ultimate liberation in all areas of her life, was directly related to her willingness to submit to Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Which fatherhood experiences have taught you the most about yourself?
Watching how my kids view and adore me is a constant reminder of how my presence and love positively affects them. From car rides to school, to trips out of the country, I realize that the only place I want to be is in their presence. God tailor-made me to be a father and knew the excitement I would have in that role.
How important is keeping your word?
An individual’s word is their social line of credit. The respect that someone has for you is built upon their ability to consistently trust who you are. As a father this is so important because we are heroes to our children and our greatest superpower is to do what we say we will every time. It is easy to love and respect someone you can count on.