COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - In an effort to end violence in the Fountain City, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson held the second annual Prayer for Peace Rally on Sunday.
Tomlinson says this peace rally is meant to empower citizens to not accept violence into their communities.
It was a big crowd at the Columbus Civic Center as various churches and organizations throughout Columbus participated in this effort by praying for unity, hope, law enforcement and peace during the rally.
Tomlinson says this event is a community demonstration of different faiths and cultures.
Since last year's prayer for peace rally, she points out the city has already seen results from the power of prayer and help from the community.
"So far this year we have had three tragic murders. About this time last year, we had more like 10-12. And so we need to see that it matters when you become engaged and when you set a community level of no tolerance," Tomlinson said.
"We are not only praying, but providing services through our various ministries to the undeserved area that we are affiliated with directly and indirectly. And lending a helping hand to organizations that are dealing with crime," said Rev Adrian Chester of Greater Beallwood Baptist Church.
Seven different pastors from area churches led prayers during the peace rally.
"We've also been planning and working with the mayor and the crime prevention board to plan this event. But it's important that different faith come together to express in their various ways a commitment to God and to solidarity," Chester said. "Crime and poverty is not a black problem or a white problem - it's a humanity problem."
The second annual prayer for peace rally is sponsored by the Mayor's Commission on Unity, Diversity and Prosperity.
"We will not tolerate violence at the hand of someone trying to have good time or by someone who feels disrespected," Tomlinson said. "Ten of the 22 murders in this community were domestic violence related, someone had to know that was going on or trouble those relationships and yet they stood silently by thinking they couldn't make a difference and we need to be empowered to know we can make a difference."
Tomlinson says anyone can be involved with the city's mission to end crime.
If you missed Sunday's event, there is another way to help the community by becoming involved in the Nehemiah project. You can contact her office at (706)-653-4712 for more information.