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What this Petersburg pastor learned visiting crime scenes and funerals

Posted at 3:03 PM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 18:25:21-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- As shootings and murders grip Petersburg, it's not just police officers who are showing up at crime scenes. So does Pastor Belinda Baugh.

Every Sunday morning, Baugh leads her church in worship. She's been in ministry for nearly 22 years.

But day or night, you can also find her standing at the yellow crime scene tape and at the funerals of those killed in Petersburg by gun violence.

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"I don't just want to show up on the scene and hug and love when there's grieving. I want to let them know I'm here for the whole ride," Baugh said.

You will also find her marching in the streets promoting peace and begging the public to come forward with information to help police solve violent crimes.

"If you don't, it's going to happen to somebody else's child," Baugh said. "You got children dying and we're not talking about adults, but you're talking about babies. Some people have a mindset that like, these walks don't matter, or they are not going to bring about any change. That's the wrong mindset to have."

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Baugh understands firsthand how these crimes are impacting her community.

"My daughter is actually a teacher here in the City of Petersburg, she teaches Cool Springs fifth graders. My son is actually incarcerated, he's been incarcerated now, next year will be 14 years," Baugh said.

She understands and listens to those who see and live the violence and who say they are tired of the talk.

"Hey, look at this Pastor Baugh, I got three kids, where they going but to stand around the corner, you know. They ain't got nothing here for the kids to do. This is their language, this is what they say," Baugh said.

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She believes that analogy isn't wrong.

"Our children now in this generation don't have anywhere to go. They go straight from school back into a doom, dream atmosphere and then they sit in the house all day on video games, TVs and nobody's consistently feeding their minds," Baugh said.

Baugh said that she is working hard to find more ways for the community to interact with children and the youth.

She said that she'll continue to walk the streets of the city to preach the importance and the need for peace.

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