Dozens Pray to Rid Crime

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(Memphis) Dozens are spending the month going around town and praying for a stop to all the violence in the city. The group is the same group that sponsored the prayer around 201 Poplar just a couple of weeks ago.

Laughter and basketballs hitting the gym floor were in no short supply Saturday at Westwood Community Center. Dre Harris has spent the past four months in this very same gym.

“That's my thing, I like playing ball,” said Harris.

But this Saturday others surprised him and his friends at what they thought was a simple pickup game. Dozens came to pray for peace.

“We are here to bring light to this community center and assure these children they can be safe,” said Reverend Ralph White, pastor of Bloomfield Baptist Church.

White organized the prayer but its wasn't just his congregation that joined hands this weekend, asking God for help.

“When one person hurts, we all hurt,” said Virgie Ayers. Ayers has lived near Westwood for more than 40 years. She came to pray in light of double shooting at the community center that sent two teens to the hospital last month and a deadly shooting that killed a teen father last September.

“It's a hurtful thing to hear how all over the city they getting shot and killed and killing one of another,” said Ayers. But Ayers says she believes in prayer.

Dre is thankful she and others took time to do it.

“Somebody cares. Even though we just don't know these people like that. For somebody in the community to make some type of organization so everyone can be together, that's a good thing,” said Harris.