COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Multiple churches across the Chattahoochee Valley joined together Saturday morning for the 2nd annual March for Jesus.

The event served as a sign of hope with the city’s crime in recent weeks.

Escorted by the Columbus Police Department, churchgoers and community members marched across the city of Columbus. Love In Action Outreach Ministries and Walk for Christ Ministries put on the event in response to the violence Columbus has faced in 2023.

“This is a great community, but we’re hurting,” said Columbus Mayor, Skip Henderson. “And the people are troubled because of all the stuff that went on a couple of weeks ago. And we’re better than that.”

Over 50 participants started at St. Luke Middle School and traveled through Downtown while making stops at Columbus landmarks. Chaplain Emilio Rosa from Love In Action Outreach recited scriptures in English and Spanish throughout the day. He says the event shows the community there is hope in unity.

“In the middle of what’s going on today, we are trying to let the people know that there’s hope,” said Chaplain Rosa. “There’s hope. There’s a way. And we want to do our part to try to make our community a better place.”

Henderson says the city plans to continue to invest in youth programming and make sure our local law enforcement has the resources they need to keep our city safe.

“We’re also working with the US Attorney’s Office because we need to have stiffer sentences,” said Henderson. “If somebody uses a gun, there’s too many guns on the street. Even if you don’t use the gun and you’re a convicted felon, but you have it in your possession, you should do time for that gun. That’s what we’re asking them to help us with. And by approaching it from all these different angles, we’re going to stop this criminal activity in Columbus.”

Chaplain Rosa plans to continue unifying the community through faith and continue the yearly event.