COLUMBUS, Ga.- Strong Tower Apostolic Restoration Ministry celebrated Black History month at their Sunday service, but they also used the occasion to bring light to the recent surge of violence in Columbus.
Elder Boykin made sure to address the recent gun violence taking place in the city and the repercussions of the killings. Sgt. Ezekiel Byrd came to the service as an extension of Sheriff Greg Countryman.
He spoke to youth and guests about the devastating occurrences that have happened in Columbus.
“We want to look at this community as one big family and hopefully we can stop this unnecessary killing,” Byrd said. “It’s just truly heartbreaking to see so many of our young people dying at such an early age [when they] haven’t even begun their life.”
Curbing Columbus crime is something Byrd believes is a community effort, and he used today, not only to speak to the crowd, but to also spark conversation.
“Mothers and fathers are losing their children on a daily basis,” Elder Jeffrey Boykin said. “I know it has to be stressing the enforcement law officers because they see these things. They see someone’s child laying on the ground dying and it’s very hard. We just want to send a message, Sergeant Byrd is here to send a message to force it to stop. Let’s come together.”
Though the church tackled some difficult topics today, they ended the service in celebration.
Attendees shared a meal together in celebration of Black HIstory Month and in hopes that conversations like these will incite change.
Elder Boykin emphasized the need for compassion, love and grace, especially during times when members of the community are hurting.