New Mount olive is one of the oldest churches in Rock Hill and was the site for many mass meetings during the civil rights movement in the city. That's why Pastor Maurice Hardin took it upon himself to host a community forum in the wake of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
"We want to have proactive measures and not reactive measures," said Dr. Hardin
Dr. Hardin says now is the time to gather with city leaders and police to discuss enacting new policies and initiatives to prevent a situation like the one in Ferguson, Missouri from happening in Rock Hill.
That's why Pastor Hardin is asking residents to join him Friday night along with clergy, police, city and school officials for a community forum.
Nearly two weeks ago, Michael Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson Police officer. Since then, there have been protest, riots and destruction in the city.
"I think gone are the days of past where we can just say 'that's someone else's problem'. This needs to be our problem and we need to work together to protect our children because today it's Michael Brown, tomorrow it could be my child," said Dr. Hardin.
Rock Hill Ward 1 commissioner Sandra Oborokumo will be one of several speakers at the forum, Friday night.
She believes the city and police are doing a good job with residents to prevent a Ferguson-like situation from happening in the city, but it's up to officials to bridge a gap between them and certain segments of the community.
"There are programs and activities going on in Rock Hill to help our communities, what we need to do is reach those who don't seem to be reachable at this point," said Oborokumo.
Both Oborokumo and Hardin agree something needs to done on a national level to avoid more police and community violence, but it's starts with policies and practices in their own backyards.
"This is not just a black thing, it's a community thing and we have to work together hand in hand to make a difference," said Dr. Hardin.
That Community forum will be held Friday night at New Mount Olive Church at 6 p.m.
Residents from Rock Hill and surrounding communities are asked to join in on the discussion. Pastor Hardin says street and Gang violence will also be discussed.