Pastors make plea to stop gun violence in Whitehaven
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Concerned Pastors of Whitehaven (CPOW) held a press conference Monday to address the recent violence happening in the Memphis community.
“If you’ve never heard your mother say that she loves you, I want you to know that I love you son and daughter. You have no reason to take another’s life,” said Pastor Sonya Hunt of Fountain of Lining Praise.
The Memphis Police Department has reported that 18 children have died violently from guns this year.
James Kirkwood is the executive director of the Memphis Christian Pastors Network and a former colonel for the Memphis Police Department.
“Our community is dealing with more than just a COVID pandemic. We’re dealing with a pandemic of poverty. We’re dealing with a pandemic of gun violence,” said Kirkwood.
CPOW says two people were recently shot and killed in the neighborhood where they live.
“We can’t bring the loved ones back, but we’re here to support them and hopefully put an end to any further senseless gun violence,” said Pastor Tyrone Hunt of Healing Cathedral Christian Church.
The group not only calls for the violence to stop but also asks for the community to come together to make it happen.
“We ask for your support to become a better community as residents want a safe community to live,” said Dr. Martin McCain of Grace United Methodist Church.
The pastors say they are willing to work for however long it takes to see change.
“What we’re going to do is begin to strategize with police and other community leaders to work on solutions. Opening our churches, our gyms to our young people, bringing in help,” said Kirkwood
“Whatever it is, we want you to know you can come to us,” said Pastor Sonya Hunt.
Prior to 2020, Memphis saw gun deaths decline, and the pastors hope that through church, school, police and community support, they can put an end to the trauma residents have experienced.
“We matter, you matter, the whole community matters,” said Kirkwood.
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