PINE BLUFF, AR - Pastors are calling on other pastors to make a difference in Pine Bluff this week.
The Respect for Life Campaign is asking hundreds of clergy to help in its fight against violence in the city.
Rev. Jesse Turner with the campaign said, "We need to change the image."
It's an image that has been tough to shake. The campaign is aiming at stopping black on black crime.
Rev. Kerry Price Sr., pastor of the Breath of Life Church said, "So, I'm very concerned. If I was going to say on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, it would be a 10."
Both pastors hope change is coming.
"It's time to accelerate, its time to begin to encourage our clergy to become involved," said Turner.
"We are leaders in the city, and then we have an audience every Sunday that we can speak to," added Price.
For years the Respect for Life Campaign has been trying to stop violence, but this week it is taking a new approach, aiming at getting pastors more involved.
"The answer is we are working together, that's what's it's going to take, everybody working together," said Price.
The goal is to get all of the nearly 400 churches to train two mentors to help children in Pine Bluff.
"We are trying to catch those kids before they get into a culture of violence," said Turner.
"All it takes is preachers, pastors getting together working with the clergy, working with other ministers across denominational lines and this situation can change," added Turner.
"Now I started in Los Angeles in the streets, where they had the Crips and the Bloods, where to me they were just other people walking the streets because they were human beings. Vietnam Veteran, so war, I know what it's like, and Pine Bluff is not as bad as Vietnam, so it takes us all working together," agreed Price.
"We can change this city, we've got to do it one person at a time," said Price.
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