Church, Civic Leaders Gather Together to "Stop the Violence"

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By Brittany Bivins

Nineteen people have been murdered in the City of Montgomery so far this year. Now church and community leaders say they want to do something to combat the violence. On Saturday, dozens of people came to Montgomery's Gateway Park for the first "Stop the Violence" Rally.

The event included speeches from local preachers and civic leaders, encouraging people to work through their problems, instead of turning to violence.

"I think that when all of the pastors cross denominational lines, once we come together and show the community that there is a united effort, I think we will be able to efficiently deal with the problem of crime in our city," said Bishop Roosevelt Crawford of Connecting the Body of Christ Fellowship Church, who helped organize the event.

Other community organizations also came out to encourage young people to sign up for educational and recreation programs, which they hope will turn children's mind from violence and toward hope.

"We can come together and we can put a stop to this violence that we're having and we can get the kids focused in a positive direction in their lives and we won't have the senseless tragedies that's happening week after week," said Coach Thomas with the Montgomery Ravens, a youth-league football team.

Organizers say this is just the first of many events they hope to hold to reach out to the community and provide more educational and mentoring opportunities for children.

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