Church hosts daylong ‘Stop the Violence Rally’ in Bamberg

It is no secret that violence is overtaking many communities and this nation more than ever before.

In an effort to bring awareness about this dilemma, the Rev. Vivian R. Lingard, pastor of St. Luke and Friendship United Methodist churches in Ehrhardt and Islandton, spearheaded the churches in their first-ever Stop the Violence Rally.

The Stop the Violence Rally was held Saturday, April 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the heart of Bamberg. Both churches came together in the Piggly Wiggly shopping center’s parking lot.

The rally was a plea for everyone, regardless of age and race, to recognize the increased violence and the loss of valuable lives in local communities and across the nation.

The event was free and open to all.

Pastors and their churches from surrounding communities, including a church from Georgia, were also encouraged to participate in this event. Each pastor prayed throughout the event. Lingard said it was inspiring to hear pastors pray for youth, communities and the families that have lost loved ones to violence.

St. Luke and Friendship members served the community with a cookout featuring a large variety of barbeque from several grills and all the fixings, all free.

“We must all come to a place where we recognize that life is not ours to take,” Lingard said. “We must get to higher ground, where we have matured enough and respect life enough, to agree to disagree without violence.”

St. Luke and Friendship UMCs said they are looking forward to next year’s Stop the Violence Rally.

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