The newest issue of “Churches Now” magazine highlights the commitment to uniting DeKalb county that has been forged among its ministers, police force and citizens.
One Friday night a few months ago, a powerful service attended by over 2,000 people was held at Fairfield Baptist Church in Lithonia and included DeKalb’s top brass as well as some officials from Rockdale County. In attendance were notable pastors, our school superintendent Michael Thurmond and Cedric Alexander, our new police chief. The coalition of pastors had been spending months working on a new mentoring initiative for boys call the “Right Choice”. The group of 13 pastors, galvanized by the police chief launched an after school program last fall in response to a string of violent crimes committed in DeKalb.
The coalition credits the police chief for being the catalyst for change. He is said to have had the vision to bring these pastors and communities together. Fairfield’s pastor Ben Gaither saluted Chief Alexander and referred to him as a modern day Nehemiah. It was Alexander’s idea to bring the churches, elected officials, law enforcement and communities together as one. Gaither said the unity service symbolized the power of a village working together to save its children.
Pastor Micheal Benton, who hosted the unity service, already has a program in his church that brings youth to the church after school, feeds and spends time with them until their parents can pick them up. He is quoted as saying, “We have to show them how to make the right choices and let them know what they do matters.”
[DSW Note] This is a wonderful effort by a united community. We are behind them 100%, celebrate them, wish them the best and ask our readers to support these efforts in any way possible.
Read the article beginning on page 34 of the Spring 2014 online edition of the magazine >>