LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A group of pastors met Wednesday morning in Lansing, pledging their commitment to address what they call issues in the community.
They discussed everything from housing to the budget but at the top of the list was gun violence.
Wednesday morning, after officially announcing their desire for additionally involvement in city issues, the pastors united and literally stepped forward.
“We are coming out of our pulpits now,” said Pastor Terrence J. King, the founder of Kingdom Ministries. “We are coming out into community to serve.”
Pastors lined the stage and acknowledged their need to do more to move Lansing forward as a city.
“We recognize our absence,” King began, ” and repent before God and our community for our lack of leadership as a collective body of faith leaders.”
The leaders had a list of five main issues they want to discuss with Mayor Andy Schor, fellow city leaders and those in charge of grass roots organizations.
Among their topics of interest: a police review board, city budget accountability, housing insecurities and racial disparities and discrimination.
But atop the list of concerns, almost unanimously, is gun violence and prevention.
“Lansing has been rated ninth in the country for gun violence deaths,” King said. “That rallied us together in June and since June we have been meeting.”
When asked how they’re going to make an impact, pastor Melvin Jones of the Union Missionary Baptist Church said it’s about changing the way the church has traditionally done things. He pointed out much of the violence has involved teens this year and says that’s where things need to start.
“The church has always had a historic voice, but we need to make it a more contemporary voice, “Jones said. “So that young people especially know that we are willing to get in the trenches with them to fight for the issues they think are important.”