Pastors organize community prayer walks to help stop violence - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Pastors organize community prayer walks to help stop violence

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

Some local pastors want you to join them on community prayer walks to help curb violence in the Summit City.

It's the type of initiative that's been tried before, and the pastors are hoping it will stick this time around.

"When people are exacting evil in a community, we believe that when light shows up, darkness has to flee," says Pastor Raymond Dix, Jr. of Pilgrim Baptist Church.
That's why he's starting a movement to lead six community prayer walks on Friday nights to help stop the violence on the southeast side, and send a message to people living in the area.

"We care about what you're going through. We care that someone needlessly lost their life in this neighborhood. The second thing is we want to serve notice to those people who are committing acts that are anti-social, and be able to say there's an opportunity for you to change your life," he says.
"The thing that concerns me most about initiatives in our city is that we don't seem to be in it for the long haul," Rev. Bill McGill says.
McGill of Imani Baptist Temple is part of this new push to pray for and walk the streets where homicides happen.
But he says he's seen this kind of thing over and over again, saying it's up to the commitment of residents and others to sustain the effort.

"We are going into some very hard areas, if you will, and it's going to need concentration, concerted effort. We can't start something and then because it gets cold decide that we can no longer be outside. Violence happens not only in the summer, it happens in the winter.," McGill says.
He hopes the success of the anti-crime 10Point Coalition that began decades ago in Boston can be replicated when it's launched in Fort Wayne later this year, where pastors and volunteers walk the streets to talk to people in high-risk areas.
Perhaps it can complement this new faith-based movement.
"It's not just the prayer in the communities, but it's actually the presence of the people of God that bring light to those communities, that help illuminate the light that's already in those communities," Dix says.
The first community prayer walk will be Friday, July 13th at 4220 Hanna Street at 6:30 p.m.
Everyone is welcome.

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