LANSING, Mich. — A newly formed group of Lansing pastors is hoping to reduce gun violence in the city.
Chris Maxie, the pastor at Christ's Kingdom Builders Church and part of the Assembly of Lansing Pastors, says Lansing’s religious leaders have remained silent for too long.
“We recognize that collectively we weren’t there and so we want to shift that and be there," he said adding that "we want to invite community groups that are already working on these issues to join us. We know that there is a benefit to partnering with people."
The group is made up of 33 faith leaders and plans to focus on several areas of concern which include establishing a police review board, housing insecurity, racial disparities, discrimination, city budget matters and gun violence.
The pastors agree that COVID-19 has played a large role in the uptick of violent crime in the city and that families need help.
"Sixty-seven percent of our homes in Lansing are led by single women. When you talk to parents, when you talk to our sisters, they are working, They are doing everything they can to raise their children. So it's not a parental issue. Its an ‘us’ issue. It’s a community," said Pastor Sean Holland of Epicenter of Worship.
The group has sent an official request to Mayor Andy Schor’s office asking for a meeting to hash out some solutions but hasn’t heard back yet. Schor's office also did not respond to a request for comment from FOX 47 News.
“We’re looking to have the city of Lansing help provide resources to those groups that are already in the community to give these young people an alternative to their street life. The underlying issues of poverty and lack of resources kind of contribute to young people feeling like they don’t have any hope," Maxie said.
The Assembly of Lansing Pastors meets on Monday nights and plans to hold a community conversation which is open to the public on Wednesday night at 6:45 p.m. at Kingdom Ministries Center at 3000 W. Miller Road.
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