MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A few days after shots rang out in five shootings in Myrtle Beach, the Clergy Action Team came together to stand up and say it’s time to be proactive and not reactive.
It all started with a roundtable discussion.
“At 23, I wasn't carrying a gun,” said Pastor Stephen Brown.
Just one of the members of the Clergy Action Team, Brown told the group a story about one of his own young parishioners feeling the need to carry a gun to "protect himself."
“I don't know if these young men actually calculate the consequences and use of that handgun,” Brown said. “You can take someone's life.”
The conversation quickly turned to the Facebook Live video of the shooting on Ocean Boulevard that injured seven people. Everyone agreed it was both scary and surprising.
“And then he runs over and hijacks a car, and I'm thinking, ‘Is this Myrtle Beach?’” Brown said.
The video is hard evidence this team has its work cut out for them.
Wednesday morning, each of the members stood up to say they are here for the community, here for law enforcement, and ready to get into the streets and get to the core of these issues.
The discussion was followed by prayer. In that prayer circle was Reverend Elizabeth Bowens, someone who knows the pain of a shooting.
“Because I know, as a mother who lost a child to violence, how penetrating it is to the heart to hear about a gun shooting, because bullets have no eyes,” she said.
Bowens still remembers the day she got the call her son was shot and doesn’t want any other mother to know what that feels like.
Part of the effort from here on out will be for these faith leaders to reach out to the people who know what is happening and why.
“We need the young men and young women to come on board, because the life they save can be their own life,” Bowens said.
Though so many are frustrated, the Clergy Action Team asks the community to keep its faith.
“I really believe that this city is strong enough to get through this. I believe we have to take a deep breath, but I believe the future is better than the present right now,” Brown said.
Now, the Clergy Action Team will be bringing a “Save Our Streets, or SOS program, to the Grand Strand. They want to hear from residents and can be reached here.
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