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'We can't just pray:' Faith leaders come together over Little Rock violence

As rising crime pushes Little Rock into a state of emergency, it's all hands on deck to make the city safer.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — As rising crime pushes Little Rock into a state of emergency, it's all hands on deck to make the city safer. From city officials to law enforcement and now even faith leaders. They're all coming together to address the violence in the community.

Rev. Glen Chargois with the Little Rock Pastors Conference, along with Rev. Benny Johnson with Arkansas Stop the Violence, brought together faith leaders Sunday afternoon for a collective day of prayer and also discussion.

"As Christians, we have to do more than just pray. When it comes to issues such as violence, we can't just pray about it. We have to put some plans together," said Chargois.

Rev. Johnson says faith without works is dead.

"It feels like ain't nobody doing anything. The preachers, they're not saying anything. We can at least come together for prayer. There's some ministers who would come out and knock on doors, and it's time to get out of these four walls," said Johnson.

The most recent homicide in Little Rock was on S. Harrison Friday where one person was killed. 

It's the 7th homicide for the year; the first since the city declared violent crime a public health emergency.

"We ask that your hand touches the 64 lives that were lost in 21. The 55 lives that were lost in 2020. The 43 lives that were lost in 2019 and the 42 lives that were lost in 2018, and any life that has been lost in 2022," prayed Mayor Frank Scott who attended.

He says curbing violence isn't going to be a quick fix, but the best first step is bringing the community together. He says proactive policies along with prayer is a start. 

"You're doing a good job memorizing it and talking about it and preaching about it and teaching about it and having Sunday school about it. It's not enough to talk about evangelism and teach about discipleship. We have to actually do it," said Pastor J. Barrington Minix. 

He's the pastor for Gaines Street Baptist Church. He preached about this message during his Sunday morning sermon.

Minix says we need to express love as much as we profess it for people in the community.

"I can not stay in this box. We've got to get out of this box and into the community so that we can show love for one another," said Minix.

Which is what everyone agreed upon at the event. 

It's all hands on deck for peace and prosperity.

"There was a time where the church was very, very, very visible and vital to the community," said Chargois.

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