Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News
Members of the Potter’s House in Fort Worth listen to the Sunday Sermon on the morning after the acquittal of George Zimmerman.
The George Zimmerman verdict was a big topic in churches around the country including the Metroplex. The Pastor at the Potter’s House in Fort Worth wove the case and verdict into his service.
"I can't control the law. I didn't make it up,” preached Pastor Patrick E. Winfield II to several hundred congregants Sunday. “But I can control how I respond to the law. How I work within the parameters of the law. I can't control the verdict because I was not there. But I can control how I respond to the verdict."
Pastor Patrick Winfield spent the better part of his Sunday service addressing the angst among congregants. The feeling here, whatever the facts of the George Zimmerman trial, they know this: a teenager died and the adult who killed him is free.
"I was a little bit shocked, a little bit shocked because of a lot of extenuating circumstances but we have to go on," said Eugene March, a Potter’s House elder.
Pastor Winfield says we can grow and learn from the tragedy by dealing with what he called one of the elephant-sized issues that impact all of us… We too often judge people by how they look.
"How many times have I been in a neighborhood I may not have lived in but then people have taken a second look because I was not looking like everybody else? It is something that is pervasive in our community," Winfield preached.
Some church members felt the jury did what it had to do and it did the right thing.
"I've never been on a jury before,” said Potter’s House member Shequita Burrell. “They had someone's life in their hands and if they weren't sure things happened the way either side said, they had to find him 'not guilty."
"I have a lot of mixed emotions," Winfield told NBC DFW after the service.
“I would hope people respond to it in wisdom. I hope people understand it's a conversation, a broader conversation we need to have, not just in our communities but in our families as well."