With the love of Jesus Christ in their hearts and a mission to heal the neighborhood, the Spreading the Word Across Town (SWAT) team at Acts Full Gospel Church partnered with Tower of Faith Ministries to host a “Stop the Violence” block party Saturday Feb. 18.
“We want to pray and just touch heaven today,” said Senior Associate Pastor Dr. Wendell McCoy, as Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full COGIC and Pastor Roosevelt Taylor of Tower of Faith Ministries led prayers in praise and a spirit of hope with about 400 community members at the intersection of Havenscourt Boulevard and Bancroft Avenue in Oakland.
“I was inspired to have this block party because I am tired of the violence and the babies dying,” said Bishop Jackson, as he released one of three white doves in memory of Oakland children who have died by gun violence, all before their sixth birthdays.
The doves were released for 3-year-old Carlos Nava, 23-month-old Hiram Lawrence Jr. and 5-year-old Gabriel Martinez Jr. A dozen more doves were released in commemorate all who have been affected by the violence and killings.
“We can reach these troubled kids in the community more effectively if they see the church, law enforcement, politicians, and park and recreation department connected, ” said Pastor Taylor.
Participants included Lena Binns and Darren Brown of PG&E who authorized the use of the company parking lot for the kids’ zone, which featured a brightly colored bounce house and refreshments.
“I’m an Oakland resident, and this means a lot to me. And anything we can do to partner with Bishop Jackson and Pastor Taylor, I’m happy to do it, said Binns.