Wilmington religious leaders unite to combat violence

Church leaders in Wilmington declared a “Spiritual State of Emergency” Wednesday in response to four recent homicides.

They gathered at the corner of 4th and Rodney Streets for a call to action to other churches, elected officials and the law enforcement community. 

4th and Rodney is close to the scene of a Sunday afternoon shooting that killed a teenage boy.  

“Father God, if there ever was a time that our city, county and state need you it is right now,” Bishop Aretha Morton said during the opening prayer service in a small park.  Not far away, two men played chess under the shade of a tree and a toddler sat on the swing.

“God has not abandoned this city,” said Pastor Ty Johnson, head of the Interdenominational Ministers Action Council of Delaware.  “We have not given up.”

Johnson also called for houses of worship to “take charge” of the communities where they are located.  “The church has a big job when it comes to human services, when it comes to mentoring, monitoring and providing the guidance,” Johnson added.

“We therefore call on and challenge the faith community to put aside its theological differences and stand together on faith in the one true and living god,” Rev. Lawrence Livingston said.

IMAC’s history of community action in Wilmington includes organizing a fugitive safe surrender program and ministering in the streets of some of Wilmington’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

Ministers also called upon elected officials to reverse the pattern of funding cuts to programs that serve urban communities, especially those that impact young people. 

One of IMAC’s signature events is Family Freedom Week, a series of revival services taking place July 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th at various locations in Wilmington.  For more information call 302-777-1190.

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