Funeral directors group leads ‘Stop the Violence’ rally

The procession of hearses pulls up to Roberts Funeral Home for the “Stop the Violence Rally” on Monday, June 13. The Funeral Directors and Morticians Association of North Carolina sponsored the rally.

Funeral directors group leads ‘Stop the Violence’ rally
June 16
11:30 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



A motorcade of hearses started at Douthit Funeral home before traveling through the streets of local neighborhoods. It ended at Roberts Funeral Home, where a rally was held.

With the recent gun slaying in the city of Winston-Salem, along with the alarming number of shootings that took place in Chicago during the Memorial Day weekend, the annual “Stop the Violence Rally” held by the Funeral Directors and Morticians Association of North Carolina (FDMANC) seemed to be right on time.

The rally was held as part of the FDMANC convention taking place in Winston-Salem this week.  Funeral directors from across the state gathered at Roberts Funeral Home to bring awareness to the senseless black-on-black crime that has plagued the community.

Pastor Curtis Friday of The Love Church said he feels this is just a start, and it’s going to take more to make an impact on the community.

“It’s a good start by bringing everyone together and getting the information out so everyone knows what needs to be done,” Friday said.  “We are going to have to take a step of unity to get out there into the community and have less talk and more action.  I believe we forget what Jesus did when he was here on earth and that was going out and loving people.  If the church can come together in unity and make an impact there will be less crime.”

One member of the community who attended the rally stated that there have been two shootings in the last three weeks in her neighborhood alone, and people have to stand up for what they know is right.

The Rev. Dr. Nathan Scovens, pastor of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, expressed his gratitude for members of the church, police department, and the morticians for coming together to bring awareness to the issue.  He emphasized the need to get out into the streets and reach out and let people know this isn’t the way.  He stated at his church alone there have been two homicide related funerals and he had another one that Monday afternoon. Scovens said that this has to be a wake-up call and that God has given us the power to make change.

Winston-Salem Police Chief Barry Rountree was one of the speakers at the rally.

“Any time you can bring awareness to a situation and get a lot of people thinking about it is great,” said Rountree.  “Hopefully, the people that are here will actually go out and start trying to minister to the young people and let them know it’s a better way to do things.”

He agreed with Friday that one won’t change things.

“I don’t think i’ts one step that’s going to fix this, it’s going to be a process,” said Rountree.  “People have to value life more and not want to settle issues with violence.  It’s bigger than just one step, but it’s important that we are taking that step so everyone understands what we are dealing with.”

According to FDMANC secretary Cheryl V. Anderson, the rally was enacted by the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association down to the state level at the conventions to embrace the communities they serve.  As funeral directors, they strive to let the community know they are there for them and let people know there is a better way to settle a dispute than picking up a knife or gun.

“Things like this lets the people know that we as funeral directors are a family and we are here for the community,” said Anthony B. Roberts of Roberts Funeral Services.

“We need to get back to the basics of when the community was a family. In the African-American community, we were raised together not as one but as a whole.  We need to go back to teaching our children morals and values. We need to be that village again,” Anderson said.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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