An 18-month-old baby girl was recently shot in the head during a wedding reception by three guests who were not even invited to the festivities.
The assailants had a scuffle and decided it could only be resolved through gunfire.
The innocent infant was later pronounced dead.
Now more than ever ministers around the world are proclaiming, “it’s time to cry loud and spare not before matters become even worse.” The issue of violence is complex and there is no single solution, however dealing with different aspects may help diminish these acts. The Indianapolis Recorder asked pastors throughout the community to comment on how the influx of crime can be diminished.
“We need to focus on rebuilding the family unit, through prayer and spiritual development. Our job is to go out and witness and help people. I believe (the family) is the core issue. And these crimes will dissipate when we get back to that. It’s critical.”
Pastor Frederick S. Hyche
House of Prayer Community Church
“I believe the church needs to do more evangelism in the streets than in the church. In church you’re suppose to learn how to go out there and evangelize. We need to get more street wise, especially if we want our young people to get involved. There needs to be less time in the church and more time in the streets.”
Minister Deundre Estes
Universal Ministries Worldwide
“The church needs to be more eager to having more available to not just the victim, but the perpetrator as well. We have to lead the victim and the perpetrator to freedom. Absolutely make sure the victim is safe and secure, but don’t forget there is a criminal still out there full of anger, resentment and revenge. They need to know they have an issue and it’s not okay to abuse. They too need a venue for healing, then the statistics will lessen.”
Pastor Monib Thomas
Lord of the Harvest International Church
“I believe in the power of prayer. The lack of prayer in the community has been a problem. There is a lack of involvement and support that is needed. I remember when I was growing up there was a Boys & Girls Club, it was a positive environment with mentors. We no longer have that in the urban communities. If we are going to help solve the problem, we have to help and not just talk about it. There are many solutions, but we have to be willing to be a part of it.”
Pastor Kim Outlaw
Living Water Fellowship Church
“The church has to get back to its purpose. The word church means called out. We have to get back to the great commission and reach the lost at any cost. The church has become comfortable just sitting in the pews. Criminals are not coming to church so we have to go to them. If the church would get back to its purpose it would make a big difference.”
Pastor Timothy C. Kendrick Sr.
Vision Kingdom Center
“I believe the issue of domestic violence in our society is stimulating in part because we are a violent society. This country was conceived because of war, we believe that’s what people respond too. Many people are un-churched and haven’t seen the value of virtue. Many times the people that need to hear those things are not present in church. We have the opportunity to plant a seed of value to reap the fruit of virtue and it might touch a person’s life.”
Rev. Dr. L. Bryant Parker
Witherspoon Presbyterian Church
“We’re doing about everything we can do. All we can do is continue to pray and work with the parents as much as we possibly can.”
Pastor Claude B. Robinson
Greater Northwest Baptist Church
“There is a lot that can be done in terms of church. We need to get as many people under the ark of Christ to transfer lives of the criminals and the families who deal with it. Invest in things like community centers to keep young people occupied. It’s also important to educate our young women and let them know they have other options.”
Pastor Eric Wiggins
New Horizon’s Church
“(We) need to pray and act at the same time. We need to do more with children, giving them copping methods so their first outlet won’t be a gun. Also in the judicial system before the prisoner is released there should be programs such as anger management, so the transition for them would be better and they know how to function in society.”
Minister Stanley J. Hubbard
Kingsley Terrace Church of Christ
“The church should continue to pray and also share the gospel with people. The church can be a support group. We can teach what the Bible says about living right for the Lord and how to resolve conflict without violence. People’s hearts need to be changed.”
Pastor Charles W. Simmons Sr.
Berean Bible Church