Church prays for city to stop the violence

Many individuals who took part in the "Not in our City" prayer hour stayed for the entire event praying for the safety of their families and everyone in the city.

Church prays for city to stop the violence
July 07
04:45 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



The number of homicides in the city of Winston-Salem is double what it was at the same time last year.

People are nervous and the police department is looking for answers why.

Bishop Freddie B. Marshall of Christ Cathedral Church of Deliverance, 2318 Cragmore St., fought back using the church’s mightiest weapon: prayer.

On Monday, June 27, Christ Cathedral held “Not in Our City” prayer hour. The church says the hour of prayer was for the families of recent shootings and killings. It was also for peace this summer and protection of lives in the city.  The church stated it’s not about where you live, where you work or where you worship. It’s about prayer for our city.

“The more we look at what’s going on in our city and cities just like ours across the country, for those of us who believe in prayer, this just seems like the next natural thing,” said Marshall.  “We can’t control people, we can’t control the times in which we live; we can only affect lives. The best way to affect lives is to go to the one who gives life, and that is to pray. I thought it was important we do a prayer just for our city.”

Marshall stated that this event is not a cure-all and more steps need to be taken to make a change for the better.  He stated that along with prayer, there should be a summit where clergy, government leaders, police officials and gang leaders come together on neutral ground and talk through issues that all sides have with one another.

Willie J. Mason, minister of worship & arts at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, said he was a little sad at the state of the city because he was born and raised in Winston-Salem.

“One of the things that made me want to come tonight is that it’s different when it’s your city in trouble,” said Mason.  “I was born and raised in this city and to know what our city was and to see what it’s become is a little disheartening.  So as an African-American Christian man that believes in the power of prayer, I thought I needed to be here tonight.”

When speaking about additional steps that need to be taken to combat the violence problem, Mason went on to say, “One of the common threads is the church has always been a place of refuge for the black community and we need if the churches of all denominations to come together and engage and embrace our communities. I’m not speaking of just black churches, because eventually everyone becomes affect-ed if the issue isn’t stopped.”

Marshall was happy with the turnout of prayer warriors and the fact there were people of multiple denominations in attendance.  His wish is to have these prayer sessions expand because he believes in the power of prayer.

O. DeShea Cuthrell was a guest of Bishop Marshall and led prayers throughout the night.  His perspective was an important one due to him being incarcerated for 21 months. Before his incarceration he was the minister of music at his church and said he was able to see the side of the justice system where they send what society deems the worst of the worst.  He shared tales of his rehabilitation and wanted those in attendance to know everyone who is incarcerated is not a lost cause.

“With the violence that seems to plague our city, our event to help circumvent this is what drew me here.  My own experience of being incarcerated and seeing firsthand what motivates some to do what they do has brought me to a better place of humility,” said Cuthrell.

Cuthrell said a major challenge is trying to relate and understand those who are committing these crimes and believe there is still hope, because God did it for him and he will do it for them.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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