Columbus religious leaders gather in an attempt to end violence - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus religious leaders gather in an attempt to end violence

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Saturday night's fatal shooting at the Peachtree Mall raised the Columbus murder count in 2016 to five.   

In an attempt to eliminate some of the violence taking innocent lives in our community, some religious leaders gathered at Shirley B. Winston Park to discus what they can do to help.   

Reverend Richard Jessie with Revelation Missionary Baptist Church believes that some of the problems could be related to all of the violence seen in media. Children watch movies glorifying violence, they play first person shooter video games, and hear about killings on local newscasts every night.

"We need to start censoring some of these programs that we are allowing our young people and us to look at," said Reverend Jessie.  

Another concern voiced was the need to have an open dialogue with youth to be more aware of what is happening in their lives.

"As adults and leaders we have to take an interest in what we are hearing. We have got to take an interest in what we are hearing. What we are hearing youth complain about, or who is after who, or who is bullying who," said Reverend Felicia Holmes of Faith Tabernacle.  

"We do not condone violence killing one another.  So we are making an appeal today for young people to leave your weapons at home, leave your weapons in their places where they need to be. But let's stop killing, let's stop hurting one another," said Dr. Ralph Huling, the pastor of St. James Missionary Baptist Church.  

Dr. Huling was the one who gathered all of these leaders and stressed the importance of beginning to play a larger role as religious leaders.   

Dr. Huling also told News Leader 9 that he will plan to continue these gatherings and more in an attempt to rid the Fountain City of senseless acts of violence like the one that claimed the life of Anthony Meredith on Saturday night. 

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