Sheffield preachers, city leaders to discuss recent crime in community
SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WAFF) - Jeffrey Braxton is a pastor at First Missionary Baptist Church. He’s been preaching in Sheffield for 10 years and describes it as a quiet town... until recently.
“I think with all of these recent events that have taken place that it has really alarmed the citizens within the community,” Braxton said.
He, along with Sheffield Mayor Steve Stanley and Sheffield Police Chief Ricky Terry are meeting on May 3 to address the direction the city is going. Braxton emphasizes that community involvement is necessary for change. Especially, in reaching out to local youth.
“I think we need to go a step further because those young individuals, they’re not coming to our rallies, they’re not coming to city hall for any rallies, so we’re going to actually have to go to where they are.”
Braxton says there’s no community center and not enough jobs available to attract more young people in Sheffield. He believes they aren’t coming because they have a poor perception of the city.
“I think that our young people perhaps believe that city government and city officials really just don’t care.”
On April 21st, a shooting at Blake Apartments left 25-year-old Alexandra Lashay Robinson dead. 25-year-old Kelvin Weakley was arrested and charged with manslaughter. That shooting was just two blocks away from Greater Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, where Pastor Dowand Malone preaches. He told me some of his congregation lives in that same apartment complex and they are fed up.
“It’s just frustration. Frustration,” Malone started. “I’ve seen from a lot of my members posting on Facebook ‘Y’all put the guns down. Y’all stop with the guns and that type of thing.”
He even spoke of a plan in the future.
“Going forward, our church is actually working on now is a Gun Buy Back event.”
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