It’s been less than a week since the police shooting of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, MN. In the days that have followed Minneapolis and Saint Paul has irrupted in peaceful and violent protests.
Billy Russell is the Sr. Pastor of Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, a large African-American congregation in Minneapolis. He shares how his church responded in the face of crisis and tragedy.
“Well first of all it gave us an opportunity to come together and just cry, just weep for our nation our country.”
“We came together on Saturday first of all and cried ourselves together. And we made sure we gave room for that to happen. On Sunday we admitted what we were as the church; that we were all hurting, that was pain, that was grief.”
“What we decided to do was hold on. We come together, we join together, we pray together. we’re going to hold out because we still believe God. That was the whole thing that we id on Sunday: we still believe in God and God will get us through this.”
In the midst of hopeless and trying times God is making himself and his love known. In the times when we don’t know how to respond, the best response is to pray.
Ryan Sather of Cru Inner City shares how churches are coming together in what can seem like a divisive time.
“We’ve found ourselves meeting a lot with pastors and leaders to pray. I think more than anything just trusting that the church has the answers here in our community that can bring hope to the people that feel so hopeless.”
Cru Inner City worked with area churches, including Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and Bethlehem Baptist, to organize a community prayer event. Bethlehem Baptist’s Senior pastor Jason Meyer and Reverend Billy co-led the event on Monday July 11th. They called upon pastors, Christians and other community members to come together to pray for peace and to seek hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.