East Alabama pastors discuss protests, unrest

East Alabama pastors discuss protests, unrest

(WTVM) - As protests continue across the country, spiritual leaders in the Chattahoochee Valley join the chorus of those voicing their frustrations over injustice.

Spiritual leaders across East Alabama said they are heartbroken over the death of George Floyd.

“I was hurt," said Dr. Raymond Cochran, Sr., the pastor at Franchise Missionary Baptist Church on Phenix City. “I cried. I don’t know the folk. But I know God, and God is not pleased with that.”

Several pastors shared they know how frustrated people feel right now after the lives of Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery others have been taken across the country.

“For the African-American community, this is not something new,” said Dr. Clifford Jones, the pastor at Greater Peace Baptist Church. “This is something that’s been going on for over 400 years.”

Cochran said he’s in full support of peaceful demonstrations.

“The protesting, fine,” he said. “You got a right to protest. But you don’t have a right to burn and to tear up.”

Jones said it’s going to take everyone from all communities, races, and backgrounds coming together to enact change.

“Until we as a nation come to recognize the fact that if anyone is suffering and hurting, it affects all of us,” he said. “In fact, the Bible teaches that. If we’re the body of Christ, we have a responsibility to speak out against wrong wherever it is.”

Cochran said we also have a responsibility to vote.

“Your power is in God,” he said. “And your power is in the ballot box. Your vote counts.”

Jones also said he hopes community leaders in East Alabama can get together soon to talk about the issues and how they can take steps to address injustices.

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