Albany Preachers lead movement to "Stop the Violence" - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Preachers lead movement to "Stop the Violence"

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –35 Pastors and Church leaders in Albany are leading what they call a "Movement to stop the Violence."

They're calling on men in the community to stand up against crime and gangs and work to improve the city.

After the murder of his sister, one Pastor said he knew he had to take action and lead an effort to fight crime.  Bishop Frederick Williams said he prayed and was led by God to make a stand against crime in Albany after his sister, 58 year old Johnnie Williams, was brutally stabbed to death December 8th in her own home on Whiting Drive.

Williams said "Come up with a movement in this city that will stop the violence. So it was birthed from the tragedy of that."

Bishop Williams has been joined by 34 other Church Pastors in the community who are leading this movement against crime.  Rhema Word International Ministries Bishop Victor Powell said "I think the church, specifically in the African American community, it is the greatest voice, the greatest influence. And we need to use our influence."

But they want to emphasize this is not a black church call to action. They are calling on all men in the community to join together to take back their streets.

Powell said "We are asking leaders to not stand on the sidelines and criticize. And sometimes want to fail. Come, let's do something together. And we think this is at least a first plan of action."

Saturday the Albany Church Leaders are hosting what they call a Men's Summit, to stop the violence. They are calling for all men to step forward and take the first steps toward solve the overwhelming crime problem.

Powell said "We believe that part of the dilemma is the lack of fatherhood, or the lack of mentors in the lives of many children. No matter what color, race."

Williams said "Hey, enough is enough. Let's get this thing together, and let's once again make our city safe and attractive. That's what we are hoping to come out of this."

These Pastors believe the Churches should lead the way, and this Saturday hope all men will come to their summit to stop violence. But they say it's just a first step in their action plan to make Albany more crime free.

The Pastors want city and state political leaders to attend the Summit. It will be at the Albany State University's ACAD building, Saturday January 9th at 11 AM. They have moved it from the courthouse steps to Albany State because of the cold weather.

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