MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - "Stop. All. The. Violence."
Those four words spoken by Pastor Kelvin Bolden were the main point of today's sermon at the International House of Prayer. As city officials in Moss Point are working to get a grip on the recent crime outbreak, churches are stepping in too.
"We're the hope of the community. We're praying for the community, and praying for our young people that they may turn their lives around," said Daisan Nettles, a Church Elder.
After a 17 year old was killed Friday night, on Rollins Ave, just a few miles away from the church, many people there said it's upsetting seeing the how little attendance was among the youth.
"Very few, that's the sad thing. Very few. There used to be a time that they respected the elders and would come and talk to them, but it's not now. That's the sad part about it," added Nettles.
Through the years, several church-goers say the have seen so many young people lost to violence over the years. The church community says this is why they will never stop the fight to save lives.
"I mean we go into the streets and we introduce to them, we let them know that there is an outlet for them. Come, no one is going to judge about what you have on, as to what you wear, nor how you smell. It says come as you are, and not putting IHOP on a pedestal, but when you come...there's love here, and we're gonna show you just that love," said Lola Langham, a church member.
Before the sermon wrapped up, the pastor reinforced to the congregation that it's better to speak up than to turn a blind eye to a growing problem.
"If you don't get involved, then you might as well be the murderer too," said Bolden.