LYNCHBURG, Va. – For the second night in a row, people in Lynchburg gathered in solidarity to take a stand against violence in the city.
More than 50 local churches took part in the event at Miller Park Friday night, and conversation is leading to action in the Hill City.
“I feel that one of the things we need to do is consolidate together so that we can move mountains,” Director of One Community, One Voice James Camm says.
While he knows there is power in unity, he says it will take much more to stop the recent rise in violence involving young people.
“Stop allowing undesired behaviors in your neighborhood. Stop allowing people to take your neighborhood over where you’re not comfortable in there.”
Camm says people are hurting and it’s important they have a chance to be heard.
“Let’s just stop the violence, come together as one and support the city,” Monika Osborne says.
As a mom of three teens, Osborne is on board with taking back the city.
“I see that they’re crying out, our community is crying out for more than they’re getting,” Jackie Burgess with Living Word Ministries says.
It starts with community outreach, something Burgess is no stranger to. She says it’s important to talk with kids about their needs. She says she’d like to see more programs in the city to keep kids busy and off the street.
“We need to share hope. That’s what I love about outreach because I can actually go to a person,” she says. “I can knock on their door and share love and hope and God’s light with them.”
Before the city can move forward, there is healing to do. Healing that city leaders say will come once the community speaks out and works with local law enforcement.