January 2016




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Eastern Shore Youth Reach Out to End Violence

Story by Sharon Klahn

Ron’Shaye Clark, founder of the “Stop the Violence” campaign and Keith Acker, co-pastor of the West Wilmington (Del.) church, witness in downtown Wilmington. 

A recent rash of shootings in downtown Wilmington, Del., inspired 27 youth and their leaders from three area churches—Chesapeake Conference’s West Wilmington and Linthicum (Md.) churches and Allegheny East Conference’s Voice of Truth church, also in Wilmington, to begin a “Stop the Violence, Take a Stand” campaign in the community. Three young adults from the Voice of Truth church lost their father, a taxi driver, in one of the shootings.

The Chesapeake youth have been participating in a conference-wide series of witnessing training called CPR (Call, Promise, Release) and were compelled to respond to the violence in their city. They met with civic leaders and gained permission to distribute 500 copies of Steps to Christ and Bible study request cards at a community marketplace and in Rodney Square, the city’s transportation hub.

Following the event the young people regrouped for worship. “We heard testimonies from each participant,” said Keith Acker, co-pastor of the West Wilmington church, “and saw the excitement in each face as they expressed how God has blessed them to get out of their comfort zone and minister for him.”

“Our visit to Wilmington was amazing!” shared Suan Allen, a West Wilmington church member. “Witnessing to the people, and encouraging them to help stop the violence seemed like an effective way to reach out to them. Most of them were receptive and in agreement with our message. A young man even decided to aid [us] in handing out the books.”

Lucas Mongare and Travis Nyamwange helped to distribute copies of Steps to Christ in a youth-led campaign to stop violence.