Ministers’ group meets over issues

From Staff Reports

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WHITAKERS – Pastors and leaders of 28 churches have revived the Rocky Mount Area Ministers Alliance to help seek solutions to a listing of political, social and economic issues.

The representatives of churches from four counties gathered April 12 at the Franklinton Center at Bricks for a half-day “strategic prayer and planning session,” a release says. The program included a presentation by a Washington religious leader and discussions on solutions and policies to address key issues.

The Rev. Patrick J. Walker, senior pastor of The New Macedonia Baptist Church in the nation’s capital, urged alliance members to work together to face challenges confronting urban and rural communities. Among those he listed were unemployment, crime and quality of life.

“The church and this alliance must maintain social and political relevance, fraternal collegiality and a larger bond in order to effectively address concerns of importance to our congregations and communities,” he told the audience, the release says.

Other topics alliance members discussed included the economy, empowering young people, education, health disparities, voting rights, veterans’ affairs and problems prisoners face after their release.

“The re-emergence of our Ministers Alliance is timely and necessary in order to help our communities understand the real challenges that we are faced with,” the Rev. George Terry, pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in Tarboro, said in the release. “We want our community to know that their leaders of faith are working together to build consensus and programming to strengthen our quality of life in the greater Rocky Mount region.”

The alliance is comprised of churches in four counties, the release says. Of the 28 member churches, about 23 are in Rocky Mount, said Reuben Blackwell, a Rocky Mount City Council member who was asked to convene the alliance and who helps coordinate its meetings.

The meet was organized by the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Rocky Mount and the Justice and Witness Ministry of the United Church of Christ.

For information about the alliance, call Blackwell at 212-3480.