“Get ready for there to be change:” Flint pastors announce plan to curb violence

Focused on creating opportunities and putting an end to gun violence in their City, the Coalition of Pastors created a 4-part plan.
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 5:50 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (7/30/2020) - A group of nearly two-dozen pastors fed up with the violence in Flint introduced a plan Wednesday that they're vowing to put into action.

The faith leaders came together on the future site of the North Flint Food Market, a community owned grocery store.

“Anytime the men and the women of God get together on the same page, you can get ready for there to be change in the City,” Pastor Chris Martin said.

Surrounded by Christian and Muslim church leaders in Flint, Pastor Martin said this Coalition of Pastors felt called to come together. They’re uniting after 12 people were shot in Flint over the weekend.

“The young man who passed away is a member of my church; and to see so many parents having to cry over their children, makes it personal for me as a pastor,” he said.

Focused on creating opportunities in their City, the Coalition created a 4-part plan. Two pieces of it include, mentoring young people and providing resources for single-parent homes.

“We get a lot of calls from single mothers who need help trying to raise young men; and so, we want to be a resource for that,” Pastor Martin said. “Because again, with COVID-19, the gyms are all closed. We can’t get the community gyms to open, so there’s a huge void and gap in the community that we want to fill.”

Pastor Martin explained they'll utilize video chat to make it work.

The Coalition is also finding ways to clean-up the neighborhoods their churches reside in, specifically vacant lots.

“We have people in Congress who are willing to work with us on acquisition of these properties,” the pastor said. “So we want to get them to redevelop them, just so that the self-esteem of our young people can be lifted in their communities.”

And finally, the group is leaning on the power of prayer. This Saturday, the pastors will stand on street corners in Flint's northside offering to pray for people who drive up.

“We want people to know that we’re here, we’re not going anywhere. The churches right now may be physically closed but we’re still doing ministry,” Pastor Martin added.

If you’d like to get involved or want to take advantage of these resources, you can reach Pastor Martin at 810-394-3024.

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