A church in Fort Wayne held a prayer service Thursday night that the entire city was invited to. The goal was to send a message of peace.
Violent crimes in Fort Wayne prompted the Pilgrim Baptist church to invite everyone in Fort Wayne to a prayer service to preach compassion and love in favor of violence and hate.
“So we are called here tonight to come together and to pray for the welfare of Fort Wayne,” said Pilgrim Baptist pastor Raymond C. Dix, Jr. “To pray for the welfare of our state, to pray for the welfare of our nation, to pray for the welfare of our world.”
Dix plans to lead what he is calling prayer walks in the coming days. He said the idea of those is to remind people of the importance of good spirit.
“Our plan is to stay on the south side,” said Dix “And we’re going to go to some of the places and communities where there has been a homicide and we want those people to know they’re not forgotten, that people care. People love them.”
Dix has led these prayer walks before when he was in Gary, Indiana. He said that each day he and his church had a prayer walk there, no violence happened.
Leroy Allison knows this violence all too well. In 2015, his 17-year-old daughter was shot and killed. He had a message for people after Thursday night’s service.
“Not being racist, but if you’re a black man, we need to come together,” said Allison. “Leave every other difference beside, and we need to come together and stop our young men from killing each other.”
Allison and Dix were asked if more police presence or more pastoral presence were the answer to stopping violent crime. Each said both were needed.
The prayer walks will begin on Friday July 13th at 6:30 p.m. and will go every Friday evening until August 17th. Pastor Raymond C. Dix, Jr. said he would get information on those prayer walks on Pilgrim Baptist Church’s website as soon as he could.