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Richmonders form prayer chain to 'save lives: We need life not death'

Pastor: 'It’s going to take love. We gotta teach that, we gotta preach that we gotta share that.'
Posted at 3:00 PM, Apr 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-16 17:18:22-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmonders lined up in front of the Richmond Urban Ministry Institute (RUMI) on Chamberlayne Avenue Saturday morning to pray over the city struggling to combat gun violence.

The prayer chain included calling for Jesus Christ to help stand against the "evil" organizers said has plagued the community.

“We are out here to save lives. We aren’t out here to lose any more lives," Pastor James Wilkins said. "We are tired of our young people dying on the streets. We need life not death.”

Richmond Police reported 15 people have been killed so far this year. However, Crime Insider sources said several more have happened that have not yet been classified as homicides.

“Enough is enough. This is why we go hard in regards to our city,” Pastor Valerie Coley said.

The group started the prayer chain back in 2015 following the death of Amiya Moses. The 12-year-old was shot and killed on the city’s Northside.

In the wake of the tragedy, the interfaith community rallied and continues to help bring folks together and to resources along the corridor.

“We care," Wilkins said. "We love our community and we want to see change.”

Following the prayer, the group gathered for free food and fellowship.

“I hope people will hear this and know there is a power," Wilkins said. "It’s going to take love. We gotta teach that, we gotta preach that we gotta share that."

The ministry hopes this prayer chain will spread. Other prayer events took place at the same time in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and even Africa.

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