Business Ministerial Alliance rallies for peace, justice and prevention

April 27, 2017 in News, Religion

By Janice K. Neal-Vincent

Contributing Writer

Chief Lee Vance called for straying youth to clean up their lives and to get an education. Photo By Janice K. Neal-Vincent

Chief Lee Vance called for straying youth to clean up their lives and to get an education. Photo By Janice K. Neal-Vincent

The Save-A-Lot Corner at McDowell and Suncrest became a hotspot for Business Ministerial Alliance of Mississippi (BMA) as they rallied against senseless killings of youths April 24.

Along with the 100 Concerned Clergy of Jackson and Heal the City Coalition, the Alliance came boldly before several hundred residents in defiance of apathy and complacency. Their stance positively appealed to men in the community to actively hold youth accountable for committing violence.

They devoted special attention to the recent killing of the 17-year-old youth who was murdered on Ventura Dr. in South Jackson. Organizers emphasized that a good community is one that does not abuse its members, but protects and cares for them.

“We have to protect our babies. We need to take a stronger stand. The black community is the only community that destroys each other. We’ve got to wake up as a culture. We’ve got to teach our babies about the Lord. We’ve given up on our children. We haven’t decided to give our children to the Lord,” said Martez Hopkins of Knowledge Camp University.

Chief Lee Vance called for driving drugs and guns out of the community. “A lot of our 14, 15, 16 and 17-year-old kids are lighting up on wet [dope].

We’ve got to convince young people that another young man’s life matters. There’s nothing but destruction in dope and a gun.” Vance encouraged youth who were straying to change the direction of their lives.

He said to parents and the community, “We can’t hold up for them when they’re wrong. We must instill pride. As men we must put in their heads that they have got to get educated,” he charged.

Rev. Kevin Clayton of New Mount Zion called for unity. “We are better than this. Now if you go to the park, you have to have a weapon. I left the club and went to the church. Politicians, we’re not relying on you anymore. We’re taking our streets back one by one. We, the clergy, are standing with the community.”

Rev. Hosea Hines of Christ Tabernacle Church, called upon members of the cloth. “My challenge is to the clergy. We have to move from the church house to the street,” he said. He then asked the crowd to support their pastor.

“These are men and women of God that God has appointed to help our city. Get behind your pastor. Support your pastor. Pray for your pastor. Protect your pastor,” he insisted.

Hines then directed onlookers to the voice of God. “God wants us all to take this vigil personally. Mothers are crying. Children are fatherless and motherless. Sparing no one present, the minister admonished, “Tell everybody, ‘Do your job.’”

Leading the audience in a chant, Hines said, “If you see something, say something. Say I will stand up. I am not afraid. Jackson matters. Men of Jackson, stand up.”

Then singer, arranger and composer Vergia Towner-Dishmon was called upon to engage the crowd. She soulfully led them in the familiar tune ‘Victory Is Mine.’

“There are more wonderful people across Jackson than people causing trouble,” stated Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr. of New Horizon Church International prior to closing the rally in prayer.

The club Hot Pursuit was among those who rallied. In his public persona Slim, president/founder, expressed: “I want the people to see that bikers do a lot for the community. We’re not a gang, we’re a club, an organization, trying to change the image of bikers by supporting the community. Our main focus is positive role modeling for youth. We emphasize having pride by taking care of property and making sure that crime and drugs are free from the community.” Slim maintained that he wears his Hot Pursuit uniform daily.

The club, composed of 18 members, does four community events annually. Some of their projects include engaging through Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Tots and feeding the homeless.

South Jackson residents James and Stella Coleman were also at the rally. “I feel the rally is great and should be continued because it gives those of us in South Jackson structure,” said James. “It sets the pace for unity. It also shows that Jackson is not all lost. Getting involved with the people and pouring back into the community gives them hope,” Stella interjected.

Inquiries can be made by calling EOI Media 601-951-9377; Tracie 769-300-1016; or Slim 601-720-6764 or email: dowhatitdoslim240@yahoo.com.

Rev. Kevin Clayton of New Mount Zion Church calls for unification and taking the streets back. Photos By Janice K. Neal-Vincent

Rev. Kevin Clayton of New Mount Zion Church calls for unification and taking the streets back. Photos By Janice K. Neal-Vincent

Rev. Hosea Hines of Christ Tabernacle Church calls for clergy and community to take a personal stand against violence.

Rev. Hosea Hines of Christ Tabernacle Church calls for clergy and community to take a personal stand against violence.

Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr. acknowledges the majority of Jackson residents who are striving daily to make it a wonderful dwelling place.

Bishop Ronnie Crudup Sr. acknowledges the majority of Jackson residents who are striving daily to make it a wonderful dwelling place.