Fort Worth Leaders Work to End Violence

By Mola Lenghi
|  Monday, Jul 8, 2013  |  Updated 9:35 AM CDT
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Residents from east Fort Worth gathered at the Samaria Baptist Church to begin fighting the cycle of violence.

Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 News

Residents from east Fort Worth gathered at the Samaria Baptist Church to begin fighting the cycle of violence.

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Half a dozen murders, including a pregnant woman, in Fort Worth in the last month have served as the tipping point for one community.

"Violence, in a way, begets violence," said Pastor William Jackson.

Sunday night, pastors, City Council members and residents from an East Fort Worth community gathered at the Samaria Baptist Church to begin fighting the cycle of violence.       

"All kinds of violence that seems to be happening in our neck of the woods," said Pastor Michael Bell.

"This is a community that we don’t want to be labeled as a place that is unsafe," added Jackson. "We want to spread something positive in the community."

Like education for women.

"You have to educate, to know when it’s time to end different relationships or get family involved or when it’s time to go to the police," said Tammy Pierce, who attended the vigil.

Also education for those likely to commit violent acts.           

"Let them know hey there’s another way of resolving issues other than violence – violence is not the answer," added Jackson.

And, they hope, education through faith.
           
"There was time, particularly in the black community, when everything came through the church," recalled Pastor B.R. Daniels.

"Out of prayer will emanate action," said Bell.

The actions proposed are designed to reduce violence and include anger management and conflict resolution classes for kids and adults, in the hopes of preempting violent acts.

Additionally, leaders want to establish neighborhood watch groups and develop better relationships between the community and police officers.

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