Local ministers encourage churches to help fight crime - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Local ministers encourage churches to help fight crime

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Crime statistics show violent crime in Albany is down this year, but property crimes are up.

Some local ministers want to get churches involved in the fight against crime. They're supporting local law enforcement and encouraging churches not to move out of bad neighborhoods.

It's not church business as usual. Nearly a dozen local ministers gathered today at the Law Enforcement Center in advance of an Albany crusade later this month. They think churches coming together can help Albany fight some of its evils, especially when it comes to crime.

"When the heart of mankind is changed by the power of God, there is no hatred, there is peace, harmony," said Dr. N.D. Audu, Nations for Christ International Ministries.

They call it spiritual warfare.

"You're thinking about relocating, you're saying Oh Lord, this place," said Audu.

Instead encouraging pastors and their congregations not to move out of neighborhoods where churches may have been the target of thieves and vandals. They want churches to stand strong against crime and talk to those on their streets.

"Ministers should be aware of what's going on and be a positive influence and a positive impact on the community," said Pastor Livingston Fulton, Agape Life Ministries.

Some of the Albany Police Department highest ranking officers sat in on the discussion. While Chief John Proctor hasn't had contact with the group before Friday, he says the community must get involved with crime fighting, especially the churches.

"They hold one of the largest interconnects with the community, each week that they meet, some of them meet many times and I think we have to involve them in solving this problem," said Albany Police Chief John Proctor.

Procter says it takes a network of social service organizations to solve problems such as poverty, teenage pregnancy, and school drop out rates that feed into crime.

The Albany crusade will take place September 24th and 25th at the Albany Civic Center. The free event, sponsored by Nations for Christ International Ministries, is expected to bring in people from across southwest Georgia and even neighboring states.

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