The Fathers and Families Center team is passionate, talented, and supportive of all our program participants and their families. Our diverse staff is united in the belief that every man who walks through our doors can build a noble legacy of fatherhood for their children. See our team members below—and be sure to take a look at our bios to learn more about us.

Wallace McLaughlin


Education: BBA. University of West Georgia; MDiv, Harvard University; PhD., Purdue University

Been a part of Fathers and Families Center: Since the beginning!

Wallace McLaughlin, PhD, a native of Fort Valley, Georgia, is the president/CEO of Fathers and Families Center. Immediately upon graduation from the University of West Georgia, Dr. McLaughlin was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. In 1991, he resigned his commission as captain after serving 12 years on active and reserve duty. He was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service.

While serving in the military, Dr. McLaughlin was ordained as a minister in the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. After completing his military duty, Dr. McLaughlin attended Harvard Divinity School and was awarded the Masters of Divinity degree. As an ordained minister he served as associate pastor for youth and young adults in churches in Fort Meade, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Boston, Massachusetts. He also served as campus minister at the Wesley Foundation (United Methodist) at Purdue University, and pastor of Grace Memorial C.M.E. Church, Indianapolis, Indiana.

In 1993, Dr. McLaughlin founded and served as pastor of Imani Community Church for 23 years with a special outreach ministry to young urban fathers and their families. He has traveled extensively and done missionary work in Haiti, Brazil, and Ecuador. Currently, he serves as pastor of Covenant Community Church.

While completing his PhD at Purdue University, he started working with Wishard’s Social Work Department as the program director for its Father Resource Program. The program grew and evolved into an independent  501(c)(3). Dr. McLaughlin was asked to serve as the president/CEO in 1999.

Since then, he has continued to serve in this leadership role. For the last 27 years, the vision of Dr. Wallace McLaughlin has manifested into one of the most successful non-profit agencies in the country that concentrates primarily on fatherhood. Since program inception, Fathers and Families Center has assisted approximately 20,000 fathers in achieving self-sufficiency and in strengthening their families to improve the lives of their children. In the past two Mayor’s Task Force reports on crime prevention, Fathers and Families Center has been recognized as a model program for working with at-risk African-American men in the community.

Under his leadership, Fathers and Families Center has secured federal, state, and local funding to support initiatives promoting responsible fatherhood, healthy relationships, ex-offender re-integration, crime prevention, and raising special needs children. Dr. McLaughlin has led the agency in transitioning from a hospital-based program to an independent, free-standing, community-based organization, receiving United Way Certification and increasing community awareness and support.

Dr. McLaughlin is a national speaker, trainer, and consultant on the issues of responsible fatherhood. In 2005, he was selected as a member of the Inaugural Class of Hoosier Fellows. In 2006, he received the Stew Wood Youth Advocacy Award for outstanding youth advocacy in the community. In 2009, he received the Greater Indianapolis NAACP Humanitarian Award. In 2016, Dr. McLaughlin received the Jefferson Award and the Center for Leadership Development’s Minority Achievers Award in recognition of outstanding public service. He is currently serving as the Chaplain of the Indianapolis Chapter of the 100 Black Men and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

He is married to the former Karla Ann Hay of Toronto, Canada, and they are the proud parents of one son, Jackson Karl McLaughlin.

Terrence Harper

Health and Wellness Manager

Education: MDiv, Oral Roberts University

Been a part of Fathers and Families Center: For 12 years.

How I help participants: As mental health and wellness manager, I conduct mental health and substance abuse assessments and provide individual and couples therapy using a variety of treatment modalities.

My family includes: I have been married for 32 years and have two sons.

Fun Fact: I discovered I’m not a Cavaliers fan. I’m a LeBron James fan!

Terrence Harper serves as the Fathers and Families Center mental health and wellness manager. In this position, Mr. Harper conducts mental health and substance abuse assessments, and provides individual and couples therapy.

Terrence is a graduate of Ball State University and holds a Master of Divinity from Oral Roberts University. While at Ball State, he founded the campus organization Intra-Denominational, where he was the president. He has been in the addictions and mental health field for more than 20 years and is a certified addictions specialist and licensed mental health counselor.

For 10 years, Terrence served as a coordinator for a chemical dependency/dual partial hospitalization relapse prevention and intensive outpatient program. In 1998, he founded and served as a pastor for the Family Outreach Center Church. The church was converted to a 501(c)(3) counseling outreach ministry for alcohol, drug, and mental health services in 2003. Terrence also served as Pastor of Covenant Community Church and continues to serve in a local church, teaching members to reach their highest level of spirituality. He has been married for 32 years and has two sons.

Terrence actually believes that the Dallas Cowboys are going to the Super Bowl every year, even if they go 8-8 in any given season! Terrence believes that success or failure in life is not by accident, it’s intentional!

James Melton, Jr.

Fatherhood Services Manager

Education: B.S., Health Care Management, A.S., Social Services

Been a part of Fathers and Families Center: 10 Years as of April 2018! Yeah!

How I help participants: I work with participants who are in pursuit of better education and training. I also work with participants on improving the quality of their relationships; with family, children, parents, and others in their community.

My family includes: My wife of 20 years, Tara; my 18-year-old daughter, a freshman at North Carolina A & T; a soon-to-be junior at Lawrence Central High School; a soon-to-be eighth grader at Belzer Middle School; and last but not least, Bear, our vicious and ferocious Maltese guard dog.

Fun Fact: I had the pleasure of serving over 20 years active duty in the U.S. Air Force and spent a part of my career in Greenland (Thule Air Base). I saw icebergs and glaciers up close and personal.

James D. Melton serves as the family services manager for Fathers and Families Center. He is responsible for assisting young fathers in realizing their potential as men, fathers, husbands, sons, friends, and good citizens.

James was raised in the Hoosier State, growing up in the Meadows Apartment Complex, and returned after serving over 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. His Air Force career was spent managing various health care clinics and in-patient units. The latter part he served as faculty supervisor for educational services at one of only nine Enlisted Air Force Management and Leadership Academies. His formal training, teaching experience, and background in curriculum and program development increases the level of service provided to all those seeking assistance at the Center. James’ commitment, eagerness, and dedication to serve others greatly benefits the young fathers and families served here.

James has 15 years of healthcare administration experience, and 20+ years of financial and organizational management experience. He has completed courses and earned certifications in numerous areas, including customer service training, total quality management, and hospital and primary care management. He has received a Basic Instructor Course Diploma, Technical Training Teaching Practicum Diploma, Occupational Instructor Certificate, and Six Sigma Green Belt.

James earned three associates in applied science degrees, including instructional technology, social services, and allied health services from the Community College of the Air Force, and received his BS in healthcare management (cum laude), from Southern Illinois University. He has also earned over 100 military performance commendations and awards, including being recognized as the 2003 Air Education and Training Command Mid-Level Business Manager of the Year for Medical Services.

James is married to the love of his life, Mrs. Tara Y. (Dudley) Melton. They are the proud parents of three beautiful children, Zipporah, Jaela, and James Daniel.