MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A group of pastors wants Memphis to be the example when it comes to reacting to the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson. So far, all protests in this city have been peaceful, and they’re doing their part to keep it that way.
The pastors say regardless of how you feel about the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown, you should agree with their message of showing love and peace and not hate.
“Let’s be an example here in Memphis, Tennessee, to the nation,” Pastor Rolando Rostro of Iglesias Nueva Vida said.
Rostro and members of this group of Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of North America were in the middle of a big prayer meeting that included blacks, whites, and Latinos when the grand jury’s decision was announced. That decision led to chaos and violence in Ferguson and some other cities, but not Memphis. They want Memphis to keep it that way.
Rostro said, “The protest and the people coming together in the streets is fine but let’s have an orderly way of doing this.”
The group isn’t just calling for peace; they also want to tackle the big issues like race.
One minister said, “I was raised in an atmosphere that was culturally bound up in racism, when I met Christ, when I truly became born again and yielded to him a life-changing experience came.”
In 2015, the group has a plan to change more hearts. It includes starting mentoring programs to teach accepting cultural differences and reaching out to those young people at risk.
“One of those organizations is called family matters. Family maters is an organization that tackles the problems of families,” Pastor Aaron Campbell of Rising Sun Outreach Ministry said.
This group is also involved with the police department. They say Police Director Toney Armstrong called on them for their prayer and support as he prepared his security plan to handle any protest over the Ferguson decision.