Pastors, residents pray, call for action against violence
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Some members of the community are working to get to the root of the violence happening in Augusta, and on Wednesday they offered a prayerful response.
But along with prayers, people are ready for action and for someone to do something.
Their call for action comes amid a string of violence that’s claimed more than 30 lives across the CSRA since mid-April. Also getting their attention are two shootings in the past few days at high school football gatherings in Augusta.
School board members say the string of violence isn’t a school issue but communitywide, and everyone needs to act on it. Teachers, parents, pastors, the district attorney, and even students gathered to form a plan.
Dominique Franklin has one goal, to be a leader on and off the field.
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“It’s up to us to make a change, you know, stand out,” said Franklin, a student in Omega Lamplighters.
Franklin plays football for Grovetown High School but off the field, he’s a mentor to younger kids.
“You don’t want to be a statistic. You don’t want to be a part of that. You’re trying to pull your friends. You don’t want your friends to end up on the news or, you know, in anybody’s jailhouse,” he said
Community members continue to hurt after this weekend’s brutal string of violence.
Anita Bell is a community member. Bell said: “You should be ready to do something to prevent things from happening, to prevent losses.”
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Pastors, students, teachers, and law enforcement did that through a prayer gathering.
Rev. Larry Fryer said: “That’s not just prayer. We are already galvanizing ourselves so that we can work together as a community, something like a whole village concept so that we can make good and positive and progressive changes.”
The goal is to build a stronger Augusta starting now before things get even worse.
Franklin said: “We’re trying our best to make the best choices. We’re trying to keep our friends, keep it, keep our friends in the light, you know, don’t let them hang out with the wrong crowd, make the right choices.”
Fryer helped organize the event and says it’s preparation for continued peace.
“We want to get into schools, and talk with the students and bring different persons from different professions, wherever they may be coming from to help with our students,” said Fryer.
Franklin says it starts with his generation setting the example that it doesn’t have to end in death.
“That’s what this is about, making the right choices,” he said.
Fryer says this is just the start.
“I think as we continue to work together, bring more people in, in the community. I’m certain we can make some changes,” said Fryer.
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