Protests and prayers sparked in CLT

Protests and prayers sparked in CLT

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The events in Ferguson and New York City related to the deaths of two black men and use of force by police, with no indictments and race relations, have motivated people around the nation and here in Charlotte to protest and pray.

At two churches on two different sides of town, people talked about justice and hope. More than a hundred people listened as seven different ministers shared their words of prayer about the events that have been happening across our country. And after many of those words, there was silence.

"Prayer is not only speaking but listening.  And I pray that our time of quiet together will let God speak to us," said Dr. Russ Dean of Park Road Baptist Church.

At Park Road Baptist Church, their community event was called from Ferguson to NYC to Charlotte: Prayers of Reflection and Hope.

"We knew that there were problems, we never knew that they were that bad. There's something going on and it clearly has a lot of to do with race," said Dr. Rodney Sadler of Union Presbyterian Seminary.

A moment of silence was also held at Mt. Zion Church of God. "I want us to give moment of silence a moment of silence for Eric Garner. Close
your eyes, give a moment for Eric Garner," said brother John Barnett of True Healing Under God (THUG).

A woman in the congregation wore a leather coat with the words, "Black lives matter," written on the back.

Barnett not only paid his respects to the man who died in NYC after a police choke hold, he reminded the congregation about Jonathan Ferrell, who was shot by CMPD officer Randall Kerrick in 2013. Kerrick is expected to be in court on Thursday.

"We've got one court date. It's not in Sanford, Florida. It's not in Ferguson. It's in Charlotte, North Carolina," Barnett said.

A call to action was also raised at Park Road Baptist. "For example, my friend Robert Dawkins who works for Democracy NC is taking an
anti-racial profiling bill to the Charlotte city council tomorrow at 4:45 room 267. You think I'm trying to give you a hint," Sadler said.

"I think it's interesting that he sent us off with the charge to meet tomorrow at the government center. Of course, not everybody will be able to do that, but it helps us to think that there is something that we can do," said Felicia Eybl.     

Reverend Amy Jacks Dean of Park Road Baptist said this is just a start. She wants her grandchildren to know that she both prayed and stood up.

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