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The Journey church members unite following Stockley ruling

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Worshippers belonging to area Journey Churches decided to worship under one roof Sunday. They filled Westminster Christian Academy for their Sunday services. The decision was made Friday following a judge’s ruling finding former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley not guilty of murdering Anthony Lamar Smith.

The service was not only an opportunity to pray for peace and healing but the area churches also hosted a frank discussion about the differing opinions on the case within the St. Louis community.

“What has been true about our city for a long time is there’s great division and brokenness,” said Pastor Tim Holly, Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in Tower Grove.

He and other Journey pastors felt Sunday was an opportunity to listen, learn and heal.

“To mourn together, to have an honest dialogue together is incredibly important and that’s what we’re doing today,” said Tower Grove Journey member Josh Wilson.

“We don’t spend a lot of time talking but also being honest about the conversation,” said Aaron Layton, West County Journey member.

“I believe that it will be challenging for all of us to hear varying perspectives but at the end of the day I believe it is the responsibility of God’s people to lead the way in correcting injustice in our city and making wrong things right,” said Sabrine Rhodes, member of The Journey Church in Tower Grove. “I believe that we have to be the start of that and this is just the beginning.”

“My church is in west county and so we haven’t experienced things in the same way people in the city have and so we can learn from each other,” said Pastor Scott Hickox, Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in West County. “As we can begin to understand each other, I think that’s when God will begin to bring healing.”

Church leaders said Sunday’s gathering under one roof is not a solution but part of the bigger journey for finding peace in St. Louis.