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Sixteen-year-old ordained minister is wise beyond his years

Posted at 11:19 PM, May 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-11 06:42:11-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- He's only a sophomore in high school but this ordained minister has a message of unity that after the turmoil in Baltimore, he needs you to hear.

He might only 16-years-old but Devante Coles is making a difference. The James River High School student felt compelled to step up, and be proactive in the wake of all the violence that's been making the news.

After the riots in Baltimore and shootings in Richmond on Thursday, one teen has had enough.

"It might happen in Baltimore and New York, but it will not happen in Richmond," Coles said.

A licensed minister who started preaching at the age of 12, Coles rallied both young and old for a unity event at the Unlimited Power Transformation Church. Flyers display the hashtag “not my city.”

"I don't want to have my peers in fear that once they leave the house in the morning they might not return back home due to violence,” Coles said. “We're going to make sure that does not happen here."

"There are a lot of folks that we're not reaching out to and I think this helps us bridge the gap,” said Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham. “If he can draw the youth, I'll come."

"Instead of them having to wait when they're 25, 30, they're going to be participating at 15, 16, 17 -- bringing something to the table," said Elicia Brunson, pastor of the Unlimited Power Transformation Church.

And Coles might just be their leader

"It's time to raise up a generation of believers who are ready to take back our justice and our future," Coles explained.

Coles plans on holding more events on the matter in the coming weeks.