A church in Fort Wayne took its first steps in trying to stop violent crime on the city’s south side, both literally and figuratively.
Pilgrim Baptist Church held its first “prayer walk” to try to open a new culture in the area.
“Before this community takes on a culture of death, we must reinforce a culture of life and give these young people hope and something to live for,” said Pilgrim Baptist Church Senior Pastor Raymond C. Dix, Jr.
Friday evening, the group of around 100 people met at the intersection of Hanna Street and Mckinnie Avenue, not far from the area’s first homicide of 2018. After a group prayer there, everyone walked to the 1400 block of Mckinnie Avenue, where a shooting happened the night before. The group prayed again there.
Pastor Dix is motivated to do these walks both by his faith and his own experiences.
“I’ve gone to funerals and have resided at funerals of young people who were killed,” he said. “I’ve watched mothers sit in the front row of the church and cry, and not having an answer for why my baby? Why did my child have to die? I have seen innocent people being affected. I’ve seen fathers crying over their sons, and so we have to stop this cycle of violence in our community.”
Dix hopes the group will continue to grow and show more people an alternative to violence. He was excited about the amount of people who came Friday but still hopes more will come on future walks. Details on where and when these walks are can be found below.
Community Prayer Walk Times & Sites
July 13th 6:30PM 4220 Hanna Street
Friday July 20th 6:30PM Hanna Homestead Park/Lewis & Gay Street
Friday July 27th 6:30PM Corner of Butler and Barr Street
Friday August 3rd 6:30PM Weisser Park
Friday August 10th 6:30PM 2632 Chestnut Street
Friday August 17th Special Back to
School Prayer for Our Children
6:30PM St. John Baptist Church Parking Lot Hanna Street
*Please note that the prayer walks will not last more than 30 minutes; Clothing with church logo or message encouraged; and please hydrate before and after walks