Amanda Fitzpatrick, NBC 5 News
Church member Kathleen Shaw addressed the congregation at Gospel Tabernacle Church in Pleasant Grove as Bishop David E. Martin and his church use music and hoodies to share a message about racism in America following the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Kwame Brahme, with his young son Kari by his side, shares his fear of his family one day being a victim of violence and racism.
Inside the Gospel Tabernacle Church, music fills the air. But, on this Sunday, hearts are heavy.
Bishop David E. Martin decided to send a message of his own.
"I felt compelled. We needed to do more than just praying about it, talking about it, etc., So, today I asked all the members to wear hoodies," Martin said.
Hundreds of church members filled the pews with bright and dark-colored hoodies.
Martin, 17, was walking home from a convenience store wearing a hoodie and carrying a bag of Skittles candy and a bottle of Iced Tea when he was shot and killed by a security guard.
At Sunday's service, ushers handed out Skittles and talked about this worst nightmare for parents.
"I have a 22-year-old son and then Kari [youngest son]," said Kwame Brahme. "I'm always worried. We deal with this every day. You have a Rodney King situation, then you have a Trayvon Martin situation. It's always been here. It's unfortunate we are dealing today with the underlying issues of real racism."