Pastors Confess 'God Is The Solution' To Solving Black-on-Black Crime; Form Anti-Violence Program
Pastors in Florida and Detroit have devised an anti-violence program as a solution to the high black-on-black crime and violence rates in neighborhoods. Miami Gardens Councilman and Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church associate pastor, Erhabor Ighodaro, spoke about his approach in aiding the African American community during an interview with The Christian Post.
"The $1 bill has the inscription 'In God We Trust' on it. If we are true to what we say, it should not be a surprise for me to say God is the solution," Ighodaro said.
Ighodaro also spoke at a recent gathering in Miami Gardens, Fl. During his lecture, the pastor spoke about the importance of loving your neighbor.
"People who love one another don't rob and kill each other." He continued, "The scripture says, 'If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray…' We need to do this. It also says 'faith without works is dead'."
In an effort to put his faith into works, Ighoddaro, who is also a Criminal Justice professor at Florida Memorial University, devised an intervention program to stop community violence.
During an interview with CP, social worker Chuck Wilson revealed that the church is the number one place people turn to when their is a crisis. Therefore, the program has been named "Call a Pastor" or "CAP."
"In the streets a 'cap' is a bullet. The founding pastor created the name of the program that gathers 12-15 African-American pastors per week as a play on that street term. We are not limited to high violence, however. We also do preventative work through addressing triggers of violence such as unemployment, housing, low reading levels and lack of activities during student's spring breaks,"
The name "CAP" has stirred some controversry, however, with some calling it unholy and uneccesary, CP reports. Gun violence is a huge threat in the African American community as was the number one cause of death for US African Americans ages 1-44 between the years 1999 and 2009, The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence reports.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that homicides were the leading caue of death for African American males ages 15-24. In 2009, those stats remained true with 90% of those homicides being with firearms.
"Gun homicides are responsible for most firearm deaths among African-American and Hispanic-Americans, whereas gun suicides account for most firearm deaths among Whites and American-Indian/Alaska Natives,"The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence disclosed.
"Without stronger, sensible gun laws, thousands upon thousands of people will continue to die and be injured needlessly each year."
Pastor Steve Upshur of Peace International Church in Detroit grew up in the city among African-American culture, although being Caucasian himself. He suffered heroin and alcohol addiction before turning to Christ.
"I've seen crime, drugs and everything. It's a tragedy to see black people killing each other. So we set up shop on the streets and we meet people where they are. Everything we do is geared towards soul-winning," Upshur, 64, shared with CP.
"I love African-Americans. My heart is to see the races come together,” he continued.
“God put me right where he wants me – in Detroit. I love them and I get to help people who go through hard things and come into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ."