MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A national movement is hitting the streets of the Grand Strand, one step at a time.
In a call to end violence, faith leaders from across the Myrtle Beach area held the Circle of Faith Walk. They chose to hold the unity walk on the first of the year to symbolize starting over and starting change. “We heard about what is going on in the country and said let's do something different,” explained Rev. Tim McCray.
He said it is not a protest. "It's about unity, bringing faith leaders together, praying for the wisdom of God for our city," said Rev. McCray.
Walkers said it is a call for change. "Change for our community, for our young people, we need to start doing something, something outside the four walls of our church," expressed Stephanie McCray.
The event was sparked by issues across the country. "Recent decisions in our country have caused growing unrest in minority communities, particularly in Ferguson, Missouri; Staten Island, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; and in our own state of South Carolina," wrote Rev. Tim McCray in a press release about the event.
The release added, "we also pray for the safety of law enforcement. The brutal and senseless murders of two New York police officers this weekend are unacceptable and heartbreaking, especially at a time when the community needs to be united."
It is also to address issues closer to home.
"Memorial Day weekend was a big issue for our city. We want to prevent crime, really, it's a major issue, crime, gangs, homeless, major issues in our city," the Reverend said during the walk.
Members of Journey Church, Christ United Methodist Church, The Father's House, Trinity Church, and from Bible Fellowship Baptist Church joined the walk. It started at noon by Myrtle Beach City Hall, leading participants to Plyler Park and down the boardwalk.
Police officers helped the hundreds of walkers to cross streets while directing traffic in certain areas. Along with the church members was Warren Gall, the Police Chief with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
"I care about what is happening in our community, what is happening to our young people," said Chief Gall during the walk.
He also cares about what is happening to his own sisters and brothers in blue.
"The police, government, and first responders, need the same level of support and caring because bad things are happening to them, too," expressed Chief Gall.
Organizers plan to hold the walk every year.