Stop the Violence prayer breakfast offers solutions
By Gail M. Brown
More than 125 law enforcement officers, city and county officials, ministers and citizens poured into the Hanging Moss Road Church of Christ family life center Tuesday morning, June 5, for a call to action prayer breakfast in the fight against crime in the city of Jackson.
“Enough is Enough” is the name of the recently established task force which held the breakfast in partnership with the Hinds County Sheriff Department with the support of other surrounding law enforcement organizations and area ministers.
According to data from the Jackson Police Department’s webpage posting as of May 20, 2012, year-to-date reports show that aggravated assaults, armed robberies, carjackings and homicides are up over last year’s numbers. Homicide is up by nearly 50 percent over last year.
The “Enough is Enough” task force, spearheaded by community activist and advocacy journalist Othor Cain, hopes that bringing the church, community and crime fighters together to strategize over solutions to the problem will help prevent and put a dent in crime.
“We must first begin with prayer,” said Cain as he welcomed concerned citizens to the prayer breakfast held at his church. The church is pastored by Curtis Pittman.
The call-to-action breakfast program featured several prayers by local clergymen. Among participating clergymen were Phil Reed, Hosea Hines, Arthur Sutton, John Hicks and C.J. Rhodes. The ministers sent up prayers for local, state and national officials and in particularly, law enforcement officers.
The strategy session for the morning was led by Rhodes, pastor of Mt. Helms Baptist Church. He asked each table group to take several minutes to discuss three basic solutions which could decrease and/or deter crime in the city.
One recurring suggestion derived from the discussions was “unity among the churches.” “In my community we have 16 or more churches,” said Florence Anthony of New Hope Baptist Church. “We need to unify our churches….and that would help our community.”
“There are 801 churches in the city of Jackson,” said Rhodes. Rhodes pointed out that churches have to do a better job of engaging young people. “Many of them are not in church….we have to get beyond the four walls,” he said.
The ‘Enough is Enough’ Taskforce does not plan to let the breakfast be the end-all to fighting crime. According to its organizers, the task force will meet on a monthly basis to develop ways and offer suggestions to the “powers-to-be” on how to decrease crime in the city.
Additionally, the task force plans to create a citywide after-school mentoring program and study truancy laws.