Faith leaders to simultaneously gather at four city halls in display of solidarity

Call on community to end tension with police
Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 18:53:14-04

Be united, not divided. Faith leaders spread that message during simultaneous sit-ins across Palm Beach County today.

The groups are pushing for an end to violence and tensions between police and the black community.

If you only hear one of Pastor Howard Barr, Jr's sermons, he hopes it's this one.  

“There is power in unity,” the reverend from St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Delray Beach said.

He is one of several clergy members showing the power of unity. At 3:30, pastors led sit-ins at city halls in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, West Palm Beach and Riviera Beach.

All prayed for police officers killed in Dallas as well as the two black men killed by police officers in Louisiana and Baton Rouge last week. Together they hope to end the violence.

“The tension is not that it's happening here, the tension is more so will it happen, can it happen,” Barr, Jr. pointed out.

“It’s time for us, as a faith community, to not become so comfortable within the walls we worship, but actually come out in the streets,” added Pastor Jovan Davis, from St. John Missionary Baptist Church. He led the sit-in in Boynton Beach.

Davis is speaking out because he wants the world to be a  better place when his three-year-old twin boys grow up.

“I want them to be able to grow up in a nation where they're not judged on their skin color,” he said.

Faith leaders at all four sites read a resolution calling on Congress and the US Justice Department to draft policies to protect the next generation.

Pastor Barr, Jr. said he doesn't want to worry about his 24-year-old son becoming the next innocent, black man killed by a police officer.

“If my son’s going out to the beach, or coming home late, we're concerned whether he’ll make it back home safely,” he said.

Today’s sit-ins are just the beginning. Clergy members plan to next organize meetings with police chiefs and local elected leaders.

They also want to keep the conversation going in the community.

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