Church prays for 24 hours to help end violence

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- It's often said that prayer changes things.

"We want to continue to do things that really spark an interest in people to come together and prevent violence," Alpha Nickelberry, a member of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church said Saturday evening.

Thursday morning, a 16-year-old was killed on Detaille Drive and Friday, 14 year old James Thomas was shot in the head at a Community center not far away from the church. After that shooting, the church's pastor decided to do something: Pray.

"A big part of our prayer is for unity, obviously," he said.

At St. Paul's Missionary Baptist Church, people prayed for 24 hours.

Members Alpha Nickelberry, Michael Gaines and others prayed in shifts to help end violence.

"It was really great," Gaines said. "People got healed. Prayers got answered for a lot of families."

The church is the home of Operation Save Our Son's, a movement pastor Dr. John Guns created to help young men.

It is also the same area of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's Operation Cease Fire zone, where JSO is trying to curb violence.

Nickelberry and others are also using the power of prayer in the neighborhood.

"We want them to know that prayer does change things and the way that we address some of the issues in the community is to continue to unify and come together in prayer," Nickelberry said.


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