COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther sent this letter out to more than 200 local clergy and faith leaders asking them to pray for a peaceful 2018.
Hello Faith Leader,
As we begin 2018, I want to wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for all that you do to serve those who live, work and worship in this city. Columbus is strengthened through your willingness to serve in ways that provide food for those who hunger, homes for the homeless, hope to the hopeless, and help to the helpless. Because of you, the City has made great strides in moving Columbus forward.
As you know, in 2017, Columbus experienced a record number of homicides, and we, as a community, must come together to make 2018 a year of peace. This is one of the reasons why we are implementing the Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy.
We know we cannot do this alone. We need partners like you and the rest of the faith community to help make changes. I am asking faith leaders to take a few moments during your services the first weekend in January to pray with your congregation for a safer and more peaceful 2018.
I believe that through prayer and continued thoughtful communication and dialogue, we can make 2018 a safer city for all. We will continue to keep you informed of our plans to address safety in this community.
I thank you for your prayers for guidance and wisdom as we enter this New Year.
Many have already stepped up and to see what more they could do.
Frederick LaMarr is a pastor at Family Missionary Baptist Church.
He believes that Mayor Ginther believes this letter should serve as a wakeup call to the whole city, but he knows it will be a challenge.
“It starts with us,” said LaMarr. “No it’s not an easy fix, but guess what we didn’t get here easy. We didn’t get here overnight we not going to change overnight.”
In Mayor Ginther’s letter, he addressed that last year “Columbus experienced a record number of homicides.”
He also says the city is implementing the Comprehensive Neighborhood Safety Strategy to help fight violence in Columbus.
Some are not happy with the mayor’s strategies, but this pastor said those people need to look for solutions.
“If what he’s doing not working tell me what you’re going to do.”
Pastor LaMarr said he practices what he preaches and will continue to work for a better Columbus.
“I’m in it for the long haul. I’m in it to win it.”
He added the faith leaders and law enforcement can’t do this alone. His vision is for everyone to try and help one person and that begin to change the violent trend in Columbus.