Pastors, community members come together to build hope, unity on north side of Tulsa
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- More than 75 pastors and community members of all different backgrounds and beliefs came together in hopes of unifying the community and bringing a little hope back to the area.
"We live in a situation where people are hopeless and they are kind of giving up on life, and we want to get out and bring hope to the community," Pastor Layla Caldwell said.
A July shooting at Crawford Park that killed two people was the final straw for Caldwell.
"I got frustrated with the violence in our city, as well as the division," she said. "I realized as a spiritual leadership in the community that we need to come together to take back our community."
In two lines, pastors and neighbors walked the run-down parking lot, filling the empty spaces Caldwell believes creates issues in the community.
"There are no stores, no shopping center, no economic development," she said. "When you live in a community with disparity, it brings hopelessness and we want to bring hope."
Pastor Bill Davis says the gathering today is what hope looks like.
"This is our community and it is up to us," Davis said. "That is how we make our community get better."
Tulsa is already up to 65 homicides for the year.
Sergeant Marcus Harper has been to many of them, but today he isn't in uniform and is armed with a spatula.
"A community that is united, man there is no stopping that community," he said.
Pastors, police and community leaders say it will take patience and courage to make a difference.
"For those folks that want to be violent and kill and maim, what we are saying is there is a better way, but we have to be courageous enough to confront that and I think that is what they are doing today," Representative Regina Goodwin said.
The group says they will continue hitting the streets and speaking out to the community until they see change.