ST. LOUIS – Pastor Dion Randolph is the pastor of a small church on the corner of a neighborhood with big needs. All Saints Southern Baptist Church is near Page and Pendleton in the city’s Vandeventer neighborhood.
“There are no jobs here in this area,” said Randolph. “If there are no jobs, then you have crime.”
The church is located on the same block where a 4-year-old child was shot on the Fourth of July.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department reported Friday the child died from those injuries. The department is encouraging anyone with information about the case to call police. Anyone interested in a reward can contact CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS and remain anonymous.
“We’re praying for them and we want them to know our heart goes out to them and if there’s anything we can do for them, please don’t hesitate to call upon us,” Randolph said.
The pastor lost his own son to violence 10 years ago.
“I just kind of went numb and didn’t know how to channel my thoughts,” he said.
Dion Randolph Jr. was killed in a shooting in the Metro East. A suspect was arrested. The arrest brought comfort to Randolph but the pain of losing his son remains.
“Each and every day brings on different memories, brings on different reflections, brings on different pain,” said Randolph.
He said a big part of his church’s mission is to be bridge to a better way of life for those living in the neighborhood. He believes his church can play a role in curbing violence in St. Louis. He said his small church has delivered food and made donations to those in need.
“When there is violence, there is most of the time retaliation of violence but that doesn’t solve anything,” said Randolph.
He encouraged anyone seeking or offering help to call him at 217-316-4351.