Moultrie minister stepping up to fight violence - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Moultrie minister stepping up to fight violence

MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - A Moultrie man remains in the Broward County, Florida Jail after being arrested by US Marshals. Ponikarski Green is charged with murdering 36-year old Terrell Hawkins in Moultrie last week.

That shooting led one Moultrie minister to step up to try to stop the violence. Reverend Cornelius Ponder is working with the police department and Sheriff's office to end a recent string of violent crimes.

Police tape and GBI trucks have become a common site in Moultrie, a trend that Reverend Ponder says needs to end.

"We've buried in the last six months right here at my church, three young brothers under the age of 40 all to murder. It's just time for us to stop sitting back," said Reverend Cornelius Ponder.

Ponder is now in the early stages of making a change--meeting with the Moultrie Police Chief and the Colquitt County Sheriff.

"It's time to put neighbor back in the neighborhood. And it's starts with increasing the value of life, intensifying our opportunity to love our brothers and sisters," said Ponder.

He is planning three events at his church on 2nd Avenue Northwest in 2015 to get civilians and law enforcement together in a joint effort to fight these crimes.

"If we can come together for our football team, then I know that we can look beyond our differences and we can come together for the love of our fellow man, our fellow brother," said Ponder.

Sheriff Al Whittington says law enforcers appreciate Ponder's work and believe it could make a real difference.

"Oh it's, I guarantee a very, very strong tool in helping to curb the violence," said Sheriff Whittington.

Ponder says the events will not only allow citizens the opportunity to interact with authorities, but also will educate them on how to work out differences amongst each other.. without violence.

"This is a county thing. This is not a northwest or a southwest or a black thing or a white thing, this is a Colquitt problem venue that we're on," said Ponder.

Ponder hopes to hold the first event in the next few months. He says any other pastors or community members who want to help in the fight can just contact him, and that help would be appreciated.

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