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Eastside Churches Respond to Rash of Shootings

Updated: Monday, May 5 2014, 11:32 PM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- In
response to the rash of recent shootings, churches on the Capital
City's Eastside are working together to bring peace to their
neighborhoods.

While Springfield Police are doing what they can
to curb the violence that's been plaguing the Capital City, churches
like the one on the corner of MLK Jr. Dr. and Kansas St., are finding
themselves in the middle of the violent struggle.

"We have heard
from some of our parishioners here, but also, we're watching the news,
just like everyone else, and we recognize there're a lot of shootings, a
lot of people getting hurt," said Josiah Small, a Fellowship Elder with
Capital City Church of God, just off Cook St.

The violence is troubling.

"Whether
it's our kids or someone else's, your heart goes out when someone's
hurt and and anytime there's shooting, you're concerned about kids,"
said Small.

"We have to show more love and compassion, just like
Jesus did. We have to show peace on this corner," said Pastor Juan
Morrison, Jr. with the Prayer Wheel Church of God in Christ.

It's pushing churches to be active in keeping their neighborhoods safe.

"We've just been keeping them in prayer, letting them know that the Lord is going to work it out," said Morrison, Jr.

"We
have partnered with the police... We've been keeping an eye out, a lot
of times we'll drive by at different hours during the night and the
daytime to make sure that nobody's just loitering around on the property
and just keeping and open eye for, not only this corner, but for this
block as a whole," said Carla Morrison, First Lady of Prayer Wheel
Church.

While the police are uping their presence, so are these congregations.

"We're
actually going to have a prayer walk in June and we'll pray for
different parts, of not only our community, but around the city, in
addition to that, we'll stop and be able to talk with people, and
hopefully that'll let them feel that there's a place to go," said Small.

"This
church is praying. The people across the neighborhood can hear us
praying and that just brings us together as a community," said Mrs.
Morrison.

Just down the street from the church are police lights
that flash, day and night, reminding the neighborhood that there is a
police presence, ready to protect and serve.


Eastside Churches Respond to Rash of Shootings


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