‘Albany Awakening’ revival aims to stop local drug and human trafficking crimes

‘Albany Awakening’ revival aims to stop local drug and human trafficking crimes
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 7:22 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) — A southwest Georgia pastor is leading a revival project. The project is aimed at tackling drug and human trafficking issues in one area of Albany. Something local police believe will benefit that area.

Drugs and human trafficking have been known to frequent the area of North Slappey Boulevard near the Palace Inn, according to law enforcement.

Photo of the Palace Inn in Albany.
Photo of the Palace Inn in Albany. (Source: WALB)

The project will be a six-day revival addressing those issues.

Albany Police Chief Michael Persley says it will be a big benefit.

“In any community, when the community gets involved and they take a hold to change the image of their neighborhood, they are getting involved to change the lives of some people for the better; it will help,” Chief Persley said.

The goal is to bring about change and spread a message of faith. The revival starts on Tuesday, March 14th, at 7 p.m. and will end Sunday, March 19th.

The revival is called the “Albany Awakening”. The purpose is to ensure people walk out differently than when they arrived.

Pastor of Life Church in Leesburg Matthew Schluckebier says that part of the reason he started this revival was to bring awareness to this area.

“A month ago, I noticed on Facebook for two weeks that there was either an overdose, a death, or a murder right here close to this property. We just want to bring an awakening to our community, that the light of Jesus Christ can help change those things,” Schluckebier said.

The revival is six days long starting Tuesday with four key themes the pastor hopes everyone will walk away with.

“Really, what we are wanting to do is four different things. We want people to know about God. We want people to find freedom in their lives, discover purpose and begin to make a difference. We know that through the help of Jesus Christ. And him living inside of us, we know that we can do that,” Schluckebier said.

Schluckebier says that he can see the work that is being done inside the church and wants to see the change expand to other areas.

“We ended up merging some churches together. And we took two churches that were about to shut down and merged them together and became a strong church. We just want to see what’s happening inside our building happen in other places,” Schluckebier said.

One misconception that Albany often times presents is the negative side of issues, however, Schluckebier has had a different outlook since moving here.

“When we came here, I did not want to come here. But when I got here, I learned that there is a whole different culture of people than what has even been portrayed. There are some great people here in Albany,” Schluckebier said.

Issues like drugs and human trafficking can happen anywhere. But Schluckebier felt called to this area to tackle those issues.