Faith based community to tackle violent crime - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Faith based community to tackle violent crime

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The violence in Capital City has reached the point where religious leaders say more must be done than just prayer. A group is meeting in hopes of building a coalition to stop the violence in the inner city.

Some in the faith based community say it's time for a change. They are asking people to leave the comfort sanctuary to minister on Jackson's mean streets.

That's just one part of the plan to take back the streets from the criminal element. The faith based community is going into the communities long neglected and overrun by crime to also give back .

Pastor Tony Yarber of Relevant Empowerment Church is asking faith leaders of all denominations to align around crime. Monday night a group met at the church in west Jackson to work on strategies to end the shootings, homicides and robberies that plague the inner city and beyond.

 "We've done a real good job of doing church," said Pastor Yarber. "We've done a real good job of building nice facilities, just haven't done a really good job of touching the hearts of people who don't, in some situations, have any value of life nor sense of who they are." 

The plan is to gather information from the various churches and use data from the Jackson Police Department to develop relationships in the community and put 1,000 men and women of faith on the streets, knocking on doors.

 "We're gonna need to be really good listeners of everybody we knock on doors in those neighborhoods," said Pastor Matt McGue of One Church. "We're gonna need to be good listeners, but we need to listen to each other too. I think the pulse is here." 

"It's because of a lack of education and lack of home reform and things of that nature that crime is spilling out into the streets and blood is being spilled," said Pastor Lionel Taylor of the Epicenter Church. "We have this epidemic of broken homes and young black men being locked up for the rest of their lives." 

Some say recent killings have forced members of the faith based community to go back to the roots of the church.

"I've been there drugs, the guns, the life , prison and there's hope," added Pastor Taylor.

The group will meet again Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Relevant Empowerment Church on at 3900 W. Northside Drive in Jackson.

 For more information call 601-213-8976.

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