By Rachel Lake (RLake@wsbt.com)
7:12 AM EST, January 21, 2013
BENTON HARBOR – The violence in Benton Harbor has been an issue of public concern for a long time. A group of churchgoers came together Sunday on the eve of Martin Luther King Day to pray for the violence to end.
About a dozen people showed up for the community prayer in front of Benton Harbor High School. For a small crowd, there was a lot of energy and faith.
They may not have been inside a church, but these community members said they could feel God all around them.
"I'm a firm believer in the Word of God. He says where there's two or three, touching and agreeing, His Word is established in the mist, so he was in the mist," said Pastor Bryan Williams with the Latter Day Worship Church of God in Christ.
Pastor Williams and Pastor James Atterberry with the Brotherhood Church of God in Christ gathered with others in front of Benton Harbor High School to pray for the community.
Multiple fights at the school have broken out. Earlier this month, one fight involved 200 kids and some adults.
In addition to prayer, the police presence has been stepped up recently outside of the school.
"If we keep praying and seeking God, he'll help us get through this and you'll see a lot of this murder and violence go away," said Pastor Atterberry.
Benton Harbor saw its first murder of the year this weekend with the shooting death of Gary Alilovich.
"It's senseless. Again, I believe that this starts at home. Parents need to stand up and do what God wants them to do in the home," said Pastor Williams.
"We're praying to God that he'll touch these parents' minds and spirits and touch the teachers, and we'll come together and curve this violence we've been seeing," said Pastor Atterberry.
While there wasn't a big crowd at the community prayer, Pastor Atterberry says it doesn't take a lot of people to get God to work... just sincerity.
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