SAVANNAH, Ga. – Each week pastors around the city of Savannah stand before their congregations, delivering messages to hundreds, even thousands. On Tuesday night, one group of preachers decided to let someone else do the talking.
More than 15 faith leaders of different Christian denominations gathered as a part of the Savannah Alliance of Pastors. The group’s mission is to bring together different communities around the city to promote peace and restoration.
On Tuesday, the public was invited to the Coastal Georgia Center to share their experiences with gun violence.
A small group of families, friends, law enforcement, volunteers, advocates and neighbors took their place to ‘get real’ about violence.
The pastors told News 3 they wanted to use listening as their next tool to fight for peace in the city.
“We are looking for solutions and you any have the inward information we need to get us to that solution. None of the pastors, there are 53 of us have all the answers,” Reverend Chester Ellis said.
One family that shared their pain was Mike and Sheantel Johnson. Their son, Matthew Herrington, was murdered October 29th. “It is hard not to see him come in the door. It’s a pain like no other,” his mother said while fighting back tears.
Pastor Andrew Osborne affirmed her courage in sharing their story.
“Thank you for telling your story. Thank you for offering insights and solutions to your story,” he said.
Current solutions including free therapy, group support and mentor programs for students were also discussed.
The pastors will now take their newfound insights and use it to apply it to their own congregations and communities.
The SAP will be hosting a prayer walk Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. at the corner of 35th and Burroughs Streets to advocate for the Cuyler-Brownsville neighborhood.