Anthony Ponder has been cutting hair for most of his life. He has also spent a lot of time in prison. Ponder lost his equipment the last time he was incarcerated. A pair of Macon, GA churches have set him up with gear again. In return he is cutting hair on Sunday mornings for other men in transition.
Centenary Church Macon, GA
I was told that my father was a barber. My father got killed when I was seven years old but I often heard that he was a barber. Maybe that stuck in my head that I wanted to be like my father.”
“I started when I was about in the tenth grade. I just picked up some clippers and started cutting.”
“Then when I get shipped off to prison that’s where I normally work, in the barber. Population barber. So I’ve got plenty of practice. Unfortunately.”
“Before I went, I had tools, right. I was staying at like a boarding house and I got arrested at night and everything got left there. So when I came out this time, I didn’t have anything.”
“I got out on a Tuesday. August 18th. I got home in Macon 10:30 at the bus station and I didn’t know where to go. I actually went to my uncle’s house and slept in his old truck in the back yard.”
“Mr. Eric approached me and asked if I still wanted to volunteer and cut hair. I had asked him that before I went to prison when I had my own stuff.”
“So Mr. Eric, we had a conversation he said he had a way that he could buy all the tools for me if I worked so many times cutting hair he would donate them to me.”
On Sunday mornings, Anthony cuts hair for other men who, like him, are at a crossroads.
“When they sit in the chair they are at my command, basically. And I get a lot of good stuff from them. And I give them something back also.”
“I want to give him some hope. Like I have. That’s my aim. Give him hope. Let him know there is hope. There’s a better way. If he’s down and depressed and discouraged, let him know there’s a better way.”
“This last trip in prison made me better in a lot of areas. In the past I wouldn’t have been that way. I’ve learned, just let stuff go now. I’m better. I’m better.”
“Pray for the barber. That’s my payment. Just pray for the old Barber.”