PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — There’s a new approach to reducing crime concerns in parts of Palm Beach County. And a local bishop wants to know what role the church can play with a call to action this weekend.
It’s Thursday afternoon and the congregants of the Gate International Church have mid-week service in the streets.
”We’re making our community safe. We want to be able to walk out our doors and feel safe,” said Bishop Ronnie Green, The Gate International Church pastor
“This place has changed, man. Turned around,” added Paul Decker, a three-year Westgate resident.
People like Decker say the visible outreach made a difference in this part of unincorporated Palm Beach County. And the man leading the charge says it’s time for other churches from Belle Glade to the Atlantic Ocean shores – to step up to the plate.
”The church has taken on such a fear of the streets until we’re not standing on what we should live for,” Green said.
He’s a religious leader with a philosophy that he believes can be applied to the county’s gang issue, homicides, homelessness, and poverty. It's gotten the attention of county leaders.
”Create the solutions as a community,” said Mack Barnard, Mayor of Palm Beach County. “We have to police our own communities.”
”The government is not going to be able to do it without the church,” added Green.
Mayor Barnard and Bishop Green are referring a call to action Nov. 16 at Gaines Park in West Palm Beach at 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Speakers will include former gang member turned street preacher, The Warrior Level. The theme of the event is ’It’s time to make a difference.’
”If we’re willing to die for what we believe then we don’t fear the message that we have to take to these streets,” Green said.