Anti-violence church group plans event for Saturday - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Anti-violence church group plans event for Saturday

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

A Savannah grassroots group met Tuesday at the Temple of Glory on Stiles Avenue to discuss and plan an anti-crime rally after the recent string of violence in the city.

The group is organizing under the slogan, “We Must Do Something”.  Two dozen pastors of area churches came together to talk about the “We Must Do Something Impact Night” that will happen this Saturday along Waters Avenue.

It will start with prayer at the Second Arnold Baptist Church from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Then from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., they will canvass the neighborhoods along the Waters Avenue corridor.

"When it's our brothers, our sisters, our aunts, our uncles who are calling for non-violent ways of settling our differences, calling for the violence to stop, then perhaps the message will get across to the community,” said Maj. Larry Branson, SCMPD.

Church leaders say this is about leaving the four walls of their sanctuaries, and getting out to talk with the people in some of the higher crime areas around town.

Pastor Charles Roberson, Kingdom Life Christian Fellowship, said, "We want to talk to people in the community. We want to engage them, we want to offer hope to them, and we want to offer resources to them. And we want to let them know that all of these pastors, that we care, our churches care."

Bishop Matthew Odom, Temple of Glory Community Church, said, "We want to meet people where they are, love on them, let them know that there is hope. Let them know that the church is concerned, that we care, and that our faith tells us that God is going to impact this greatly."

The church leaders involved in this community outreach event say their ministry extends beyond the pulpit, and they will use “We Must Do Something” as a way to reach a particular demographic Saturday night -- 18 to 25-year old men in a higher crime area.

"Saturday night is a time, sometimes a rough night in town. So we thought it would be the best night for us to go out and talk to young people,” said Pastor Roberson, Kingdom Life Christian Fellowship.

They expect around 200 people will be gathering for the event. If everyone that's expected to come out shows, this will definitely be one of the larger turnouts that seen in recent history in response to violent crime around Savannah.

Shirley Hazzard, owner of Mama's Kitchen, said, "It needs to stop. Maybe if it stops, we'll get more people in here. Some people I talk to, they don't even come over to the side because there's too much killing."

Hazzard operates a restaurant on Waters Avenue, and in the same area hundreds of church members will be delivering a message of hope to people living there this Saturday evening.

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