ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Area religious leaders are hoping a week of prayer will help curb violence in St. Louis summer. The week of prayers culminated with a service Sunday night inside Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.
Host pastor Rodney Francis said prayer alone will not stop violence. He said, “Prayer changes people, and people change things.”
Candles were lit for each homicide victim this year in St. Louis City. The candles were then extinguished. Faith leaders say in addition to destroying lives, violent crime can kill economic development.
“If people are afraid of St. Louis, they’re not going to invest in St. Louis,” said Rev. Rodrick Buton, New Northside Missionary Baptist Church.
He talked about how painful it is to conduct a funeral service for a murder victim.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Burton. “It’s just reprehensible.”
Faith leaders hope anyone caught in a culture of violence can break free and find peace in a house of worship.
“We just need a unified approach with police, along with churches, along with businesses,” said Burton.
“We wouldn’t be in this business if we didn’t believe these things were possible,” said Francis.
“We need to call for more peaceful summer for people to act more humanely toward s each other, and think about their fellow human being. “