Faith, city leaders host events for healing following deadly week

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 10:48 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - From Wednesday night’s shooting spree to the abduction and murder of a Memphis mother and runner, along with the numerous other crimes impacting Memphians in recent weeks, many are looking for ways to heal this week.

On Monday, there were two different events held with the same goal of bringing hope back to the Bluff City.

“Yes, these are bad instances of violent crime, but we can’t allow that to define the totality of who we are,” said Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church Senior Pastor J. Lawrence Turner. “Memphis is a city with wonderful people and I believe we have a bright future.”

Following several deadly crimes across the city, leaders of all different faiths joined forces at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church to recommit the city to nonviolence.

“The best way to honor victims of violence in Memphis is to double down on our commitment to nonviolence,” Temple Israel Rabbi Micah Greenstein said.

“We value not just humanity, but the reality that we’re all created in God’s image and as such every life is valuable,” Turner said. “Every life matters, and so through nonviolence seek to do what’s possible in order to preserve as many lives.”

With a city that’s hurting and neighbors who are exhausted, city leaders are urging people not to give up on Memphis.

Police Chief C.J. Davis hugs Jane Abraham, owner of The Hart Center.
Police Chief C.J. Davis hugs Jane Abraham, owner of The Hart Center.(Action News 5)

“We don’t want division,” Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis said. “We want everybody to know that we need their help as we try to transform our city.”

Following the interfaith service, another gathering, Ignite Memphis, gathered downtown at Fourth Bluff Park.

Organizers say everyone, including police, community leaders, and nonprofits must work together to stop the violence before it happens, especially with the youth.

“Bear with us, we’re looking for a way to reach you,” The Hart Center owner Jane Abraham said. “We have not found it yet, and that’s our bad, but we’re looking and when we find it, you’ll know it and you’ll find us.”

Memphis native Devante Hill leaves this advice for the young people in Memphis:

“There’s hope in our city. You don’t have to move away,” he said. “You can be the hope, be the change. You have the ability inside of you to develop the change and the city that you desire to see tomorrow.”

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