Posted on February 20,
Religious Leaders Hope Influence
RICHMOND, Calif. -- As Richmond Police continue
the hunt for two youths involved in Sunday's church shooting,
on Saturday morning, local religious leaders said they will
launch a new campaign to fight back against violence in Richmond
Church leaders from Richmond, and beyond, met
at the New Gethsemane Church, the scene of the shooting, to
lay out an ambitious plan.
“This is our responsibility,” said Bishop Jerry
Macklin, Church of God in Christ. “And we must take this responsibility
upon ourselves. We can't be scared of our own kids.”
Macklin is leading an effort to change Richmond,
by reaching out to the young. His plan includes hanging an
anti-violence banner outside every house of worship in Richmond
next Sunday and the distribution of 10,000 bibles.
"We've endeavored and set aside a goal that we
will knock on ten thousand doors in the city of Richmond," said
And, over the next two weeks, the outreach will
include prayer meetings on 210 street corners and other demonstrations.
The efforts come after the church was the scene
of a violent shooting: on Sunday, three hooded-youth entered
his church and one of them opened fire wounding two brothers
ages 14 and 19.
On Thursday, police arrested a 15-year-old boy
and charged him with conspiracy.
The outreach planned after the shooting was praised
by Richmond's Mayor. "Bringing the community together is absolutely
key and showing that people care. Richmond cares," said Mayor
Gayle McLaughlin. [emphasis added]
Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus said his department
would employ new strategies in response to the church shootings
as the difficult job of keeping the peace in Richmond may grow
"The challenge becomes keeping it going. I think
we really see some momentum here and some solid commitments
that are very positive," said Magnus. "We have anywhere between
20 and 30 parolees returning to Richmond each month. We're
going to see more of that as we have early release from our
jails and prisons."
Six days after a shocking shooting in his church,
Rev. Levias said he expected the pews to be filled Sunday morning.
"We shall be here tomorrow. We're gonna have
church tomorrow," said Levias.
This religious outreach will require hundreds
of volunteers and money. Several churches, religious groups,
businesses, including the Chevron Corporation, promised funding
for the effort.
here to see the TV broadcast of this report.