Where are the pastors?

Pastor G. Gregg Murray, Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church

Dear Editor:

Last week, a 20-year-old Black man was killed in St. Petersburg by law enforcement in broad daylight on a busy street. It was reported that this young man shot at police officers. It was also reported that the police shot more than 100 rounds at this young man. If all of this is true, it raises a lot of continued and disturbing questions.

Since this incident, several people reached out to me or tagged me in posts asking, “where are the leaders; where are the pastors?” Those are reasonable questions. I cannot speak for any other pastor or leader in this city, but I can tell you this: pastors are praying all the time.

Pastors are holding regular Zoom meetings with our chief of police. There are pastors leading programs such as “Not My Son.” Pastors regularly preach to our youth, teaching them how to be successful young men and women in society.

Personally, I am doing all of this and then some. Many pastors don’t seek the limelight; we are just doing our part behind the scenes, leading boldly and making a difference in a young person’s life — one child at a time.

I was appalled at the reported number of rounds fired at this young Black man. I was shocked that this young 20-year-old Black man reportedly shot a police officer. We pray that the correct details will come out.

There are no easy answers here. But we all can do our part in raising up an educated and productive group of young people. As a leader and pastor, I take that responsibility very seriously.

I’m praying for this young man’s family. He died before his time. His life was not meant to end this way. I’m praying for our good police officers who care about the community they are called upon to serve. I’m praying that racist law enforcement be weeded out. I’m praying for the injured police officer and their family.

We all must sow our time and our love into our troubled youth. We can lead them to a healthier mindset by simply investing in them, one act at a time.

So that’s where this pastor is. I’m working daily to educate and guide every young person that God allows to cross my path or allows me to cross their path, and my track record speaks for itself.

I’m done with marches and hearing speeches and the photo ops. I’m out here, empowered by God, to show and tell our youth how to live and how not to live to whoever will listen and hear. May justice be served in all things, and may God bless and strengthen us all.

Pastor G. Gregg Murray, Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church

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